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Short Range Forecast Discussion - Updated for Friday, November 27, 2015
TODAY and SATURDAY - Strong and cold low pressure is presently located over southern California and southern Nevada (as of 5am Friday), and sits to the west of Colorado today causing a continued somewhat moist south/ southwest wind flow into the state. Because this low sits further west than necessary/ desired, and is a bit moisture-starved due to its trajectory mostly over land (no change), only light snow is expected at times for Aspen-Snowmass and I-70/ northern resorts. A weather disturbance moving through tonight will cause some accumulating mostly light snow for Aspen and the rest of western Colorado, favoring southwest Colorado. The front range, and mainly southwest Colorado are more favored overall the next 2 days, with the heaviest daily snow totals expected across southwest Colorado under a prolonged favorable wind flow (favorable orographics), and a strong southwest oriented jet stream.
SUNDAY - The low pressure system from out west moves in and through Colorado, with a more eastward (and colder) push of the wind flow across the mountains, for better accumulations across Aspen and northern Colorado resorts (a nice moderate+ shot of snow for the whole Roaring Fork River Valley, and especially Aspen-Snowmass Resorts), less for the southwest/ San Juan Mountains (though still moderate), and the Front Range.
MONDAY - Low pressure moves eastward onto the plains, strengthening, with an unsettled pattern overhead, lingering moisture, and favorable orographics for moderate snow across northern resorts and northwest slopes, lighter snow for Aspen. Monday looks quite cold.
TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY - Low pressure moves further eastward, with clearing skies and cold air continuing in place, but plenty of sunshine. Wednesday looks a bit milder. We expect some low elevation temperature inversions to hold Aspen's nighttime and daytime temperatures down lower than the nearby mountains, as the more dense and cold air sits in the lower valley areas. Please see the long range forecast for more. CM
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7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) -
Next Tuesday through Friday (through Dec 4th) we could see frequent and fast shots of snow (1 day of sun and the next snow, then a sunny day, etc.). A few days of stronger high pressure ridging and warmer temperatures may follow this.
The El Nino SST pattern is strong, right now, and it looks like we will see a VERY strong El Nino continue this winter, possibly stronger than the 1997-1998 version, which is the strongest (in terms of SST anomaly) on record since 1950. This set-up would usually cause heavier rain and snow across California (mainly southern and central, including Tahoe, but especially including Mountain High and Big Bear, as the epic 1997-1998 season can attest to) and the southwest US this winter. This would be a vast improvement for Tahoe-Mammoth. Southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico usually do well, including Taos Ski Valley, who had a great season in 2014-2015 with the weak El Nino(ish) anomaly. Aspen is in between, and we would say average snowfall should be expected at Aspen-Snowmass in 2015-2016, which would make for a good year. We will be monitoring the progress of this right here, stay tuned... CM
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