Saturday, November 28, 2009

Snowmaking is in the forecast...

Things have certainly cooled off the past day or so now. And strong winds removed all the leafs from my yard (no need to rake). I know it's been a rough season to forecast so far, and it's been challenging. Especially when the forecasting models are not into agreement on anything. But the NAO and AO are now negative and thats going to be noticeable with cold air and storms riding up the coast about two times every week, and some may yield snow. But we don't want that right now, we want arctic air for snowmaking. And it seems like that will move in for the 5th of December and Mountain Creek should be able to open the slopes on Saturday the 12th (a week later than projected) which isn't too bad I guess.

Check back in because we have snow chances this week. All I got yesterday was fllurries :(

P.S. Killington Vermont has had 10 inches of snow since yesterday. Look at the pictures from today vs. the one on my blog yesterday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What is happening?

Ok, so I didn't make a snowmap. Simple because I don't think anyone will be accumulating snow. But snow will be flying in the air today! Without a doubt. But we DON'T want it to snow. If it snows then when resorts want to start making snow they can't because the base will have a rough time holding up against the weather with a weak layer at the bottom. So let's get some REAL cold air first.

This picture is from Killington VT about five minutes ago. As you can see it's almost December and it's raining here and not a single drop of snow. It's not just us.

The arctic oscillation and north atlantic oscillation are both negative now and getting more negative. And it's cold, and we have been dominated by low pressure. But where is that arctic air we need to start blowing snow? It's not just Mountain Creek, but EVERY resort on the east coast is currently not operating. This will change now, starting from north to south, but the low elevation of Mountain Creek is going to hurt badly. I don't see a snowmaking window (reasonable snow making) any time soon. There can be some night this week that blowing could take place, but I really don't recommend it because it will warm back up during the day and rain storms seem to be in our future. I hope this moderate El Nino collapses soon, because this is so far is a typical El Nino pattern. I even remember El Nino years with only 8 inches of snow for the whole season, but that was the strong El Nino of 1998. Let's just sit down and try to not think about snowboarding... or it will eat you alive

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Snow is coming

It looks like it will be snowing by the end of the week. The models are still not in agreement with each other making this difficult to forecast. Check back tomorrow for the snowmap

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NWA Conference 2009

Here is the video from the NWA conference in Norfolk Virginia this past October!

Wanna link to this video directly?

Black Friday snowstorm 2009?

Euro and GFS show it. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Could next Friday be our first MAJOR snowstorm? Keep checking back for more, I'm all over this.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just one week away!

There is without question a pattern change taking place middle of next week. This change is one that favors cold and snowy weather, and I'll tell you why. The arctic oscillation has a positive and negative phase. The positive phase is when the stratosphere over the arctic is cooler than normal which allows for a strong polar jet stream, which keeps all that arctic air bottled up. Then the negative phase which has a warmer stratosphere which allows for the polar jet to weaken and cold air can pour south. Well right now the stratosphere over the arctic is flipping from cold to warm which indicates that we have some blocking starting to begin, and that winter is about to begin.

This is confirmation that the arctic oscillation (AO) with be going negative. And that is what allows for arctic air masses to invade the mid-latitudes.

Now I am a bit obsessed with atmospheric and oceanic oscillation patterns. And this is my favorite blocking pattern of all, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). When it is positive it's typically warm and dry across the eastern US and Europe. But when it's negative it means colder and wetter weather for both, and in the winter it usually signals coastal storms with snow. If both the AO and NAO are negative at the same time it has winter written all over it. And look at the NAO chart:

Oh yeah. This is the start of winter, and I see snow making opportunities up and down the appalachians and even natural snow by next week. Finally.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Only a week off :(

Well my "Mid-Month" that I was seeing on the models never really happened. But Ida, which the models missed completely did happen. That bad news is, that we have to wait a little longer for winter, but only about week and a half. Thanksgiving will really feel like winter, and it's all winter from then out... this is it

More Later On

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let's do a rewind

Well, the models did an absolutely horrible job on Ida. So much that in one day the models showed two feet of snow, inches of rain, and clear sunny skies. This lack of understanding effects every event that comes after, because now the pattern is totally different. It's like the Butterfly Effect, and that basically means that one little thing has a HUGE effect on the world around it. After the models caught onto this the mid-month trough that was consistently being shown disappeared completely.

Now, I keep hearing people say that this is the effect of El Nino. And they are simply wrong. The El Nino (which is weak by the way) is out in the western Pacific and is going to collapse sometime in January. It's not the reason why it's been so mild, and here is why. The Arctic Oscillation pattern typically needs to be negative for the cold air to move down into the mid latitudes, the cold air will have to wait a little longer. Perhaps in time for this years late Thanksgiving.

Let's give the models a few days a catch on to the upcoming pattern. Having the remains of Ida on the grid is not helping the accuracy of the long range. We are so close...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What a headache

Well as of right now I see no consistency in any of the models. Not only different models, but also the same models at different runs times. They are having such a hard time because of the tropical systems located in the Gulf of Mexico. Let's give the models a day to become more organized and be trust worthy. I see anything from a snowstorm at the end of the week, to sunny skies, to a warm rain event. That's how poorly the models are handling this. It's going to be a tough week...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

First major snowstorm?

Don't be alarmed by the title, it got your attention though, didn't it? The 12z GFS has it on there and it's bring measurable snowfall Thursday-Friday. This wasn't on past runs, and I like to see consistency before I take a stand on anything.

Now as for my mid-month, the models have all but lost it for the past week now. But I know they are wrong, and todays 12z model finally has it back on there. More updates later tonight if the models become consistent.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Well, this probably didn't deserve a snow map. But it does look like some light snowfall could occur over the highest terrain. The 1,000 foot mark is looking good for minor (very minor) snow accumulations. I normally wouldn't make a map as pointless as this but I'm getting excited for winter. Anyhow it's not a major storm so please don't get excited, not yet...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Snow and cold coming

One thing I have been talking about lately is a "mid" month arctic blast which will allows most resorts to open up early. Now that will happen around the 15th-19th, but let's talk about a closer event, one that yields more snow for the area.

This week a trough will dig into the northeast for the better half of this week and it will bring chilly, and yes snow. The snow flakes will indeed be flying in the air this week but it looks like southern New England and even into New York could be seeing the heaviest precipitation. The models keep tracking the system further and further inland, which would benefit us for accumulations. The trough will have a negative tilt and that is key in BIG snow, let's see if anything evolves out of this interesting situation...