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Short Range Forecast Discussion - Updated for Saturday, October 03, 2015
Today and Sunday we expect a cold low pressure system to drop south through California, ending up over southern California with higher mountain snow there (above 9,000 feet). Aspen and western Colorado looks mostly dry. On Sunday we expect some isolated mainly afternoon thunderstorms otherwise milder temperatures and mostly sunny skies. Monday and Tuesday we expect showers all across the area, some heavy with some thunderstorms mixed in, as low pressure out west starts to move in and provide instability and increased moisture. Snow is expected in the higher mountain areas, then snow levels dip to 9,000 feet Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning for some snow in Summit and Grand County resort base areas. In the Aspen Valley and other valley areas below 10,000 feet, we expect showery and chilly weather, very fall-like Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday we start clearing out, and upper mountain areas are left with some snow and cold air initially, as high pressure ridging aloft builds in. Please see the long range forecast for more. CM
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7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - Next weekend we expect warmer than average temperatures and mostly sunny/ dry weather across Colorado, with low to no threat of thunderstorm activity. Early the following week, Mon/ Tue the 12/ 13th, we may see northern Colorado including Aspen get clipped by a low pressure system moving through mainly to the north. Otherwise, the western US as a whole looks drier and warmer than usual possibly through mid-October under unusually strong high pressure ridging aloft.
The El Nino SST pattern is strong, right now, and it looks like we will see a VERY strong El Nino this fall and winter, possibly stronger than the 1997-1998 version, which is the strongest (in terms of SST anomaly) on record. This set-up would usually cause heavier rain and snow across California (mainly southern and central, possibly 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. We will be posting a detailed outlook for Aspen-Snowmass, Squaw Valley/ Tahoe, Mountain High, and Taos Ski Valley in the coming months. We will be monitoring the progress of this right here, stay tuned... CM
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