Check out our 2013-2014 Winter Outlook toward the bottom of this page.
We have the long range outlook there as well!
Our new iPhone app, optimized for iOS7, allows you to set push notifications to your phone for any Forecast snow total you want to know about, within 5 minutes (or less) of us typing it into the forecast, or of that data being entered. Be the first to know when the specific snow totals you want to know about are being forecast for your favorite resort, or resorts, out to 5 days. The app was very expensive to make, but for $1.99, cheap to buy; Check it out here!
7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 15 to 24 December, 2013 - We expect a shifting pattern, as east Pacific high pressure ridging that has been a very persistent feature this fall breaks down a bit, and the storm track-jet stream cuts more across eastPac waters and into the west coast, with a more zonal (fast moving, west to east) pattern and fast moving storms possible into mid December and beyond. These storms would favor California, Lake Tahoe resorts specifically and the northwest US (Oregon/ Washington Cascades) with heavier snowfall, and drying/ weakening as these storms move into the northern and Central Rocky Mountains including Alberta down to Wyoming, for mostly moderate to heavy snowfall potential in each storm there (lighter to the south including Arizona), though some will have heavier snowfall potential. The next storm arrives mid to late next week with another shot of snow for western US resort areas, best for the northwest US. Either way, the pattern stays pretty busy across the west, and this is expected to be good for snow pack and conditions as frequent storms keep the snow coming right through the Christmas holiday period. CM
Longer Range Outlook
Last winter we had a La Nina SST pattern in effect, and our weather was drier than average across the southwestern US, and near to above average snowfall was recorded across the Pacific Northwest. This does not include December, which was near to above average in precipitation for some parts of the southwest US. Christmas and through the rest of the season was pretty dry for most areas including Tahoe.
We do not expect a repeat of last season, this season...
As of now, December 2013, we are continuing to be affected by an ENSO-Neutral, or La Nada Sea Surface Temperature pattern across the Equatorial Eastern Pacific (SSTs near to slightly below average).
The larger time-scale SST pattern in place right now is a cool phase PDO, or negative PDO, which stands for Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This is a more long term pattern (decades), and it has made any recent years El Nino SST patterns weaker. All of this means a couple of things for us. We do not have an El Nino or La Nina SST pattern, so nothing is as clear cut as either of these can be in terms of prevailing weather patterns. A wet Southwest US is not likely (El Nino), and a dry pattern for the southwest US and wet for the Pacific Northwest (usually the case with La Nina) is also unlikely, so we are left with the many potential scenarios in-between, but overall we think all areas will see better than average snowfall and colder than average temperatures.
We expect the ENSO Neutral, or La Nada pattern to continue through at least mid-winter, with a possible trend toward El Nino in the late winter/ spring/ summer of 2014. East Pacific high pressure ridging will be a pretty persistent feature in the early season, possibly through December and into January, with colder than usual storms moving in out of the northwest and not as much out of the west, off the Pacific, for plenty of cold blasts and storms hitting the Rocky Mountains, and the anything goes cut-off low pressure systems also a common feature this winter, through December and into January, giving southwest desert areas, including southern California, some shots at potentially significant snowfall.
Cut-off low pressure systems, though a bit more dicey and hard to predict, can provide many areas across the southwest US including northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, and southwest Colorado with good dumps of snow, so with these storms a good possibility, we could still do pretty well in these areas. Faster moving clipper-type storms are also expected to hit northern Colorado and Utah, Wyoming, the northern Rocky Mountains and on through the Pacific Northwest with some good dumps of snow as well.
-->After the Christmas-New Year rush, the La Nada may start to wear off, being replaced by a weak El Nino SST pattern. This means we could see a strengthening jet stream across the west and eastern Pacific, and increased moisture in general for late winter snow storms as they move in more directly off the Pacific, late January-February and through April. We will keep this outlook updated as more information becomes available. If you want to know when the snow is coming (and be able to set unlimited alerts for any resort), within 5 minutes or less of us (our our sources) entering the data into any of our forecasts, be sure to
We have the highest base elevation for any major ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area. Kirkwood also has the most snowfall this season for any resort in the Sierra. The mountain is often frequented by pro riders and skiers because the terrain is the most diverse of the local ski resorts. You can spend the day turning down a groomed run, shooting the half pipes, jibs, and rails in our terrain parks, bombing down a hair raising steep thick with untracked powder, or hucking yourself off a cornice at the peak. Whatever your preference, Kirkwood can accomodate it. Named one of the top 10 over all resorts in TransWorld Snow, Kirkwood is truly a Tahoe "must ski/ride.” Offering Lake Tahoe's highest base elevation for some of North America's deepest, driest snow. 2,300 acres of wide-open terrain promises something for everyone, from gentle groomed trails to hair-raising steeps and chutes. The resort was rated amongst the top 10 places to learn to ski by USA today and offers innovative First-Time Skier and Snowboarding programs on its wide, gentle slopes. The Children's Center makes skiing more convenient for families and fun for kids. Kirkwood also features a freestyle terrain park, half pipe, tubing hill, 80k of scenic cross country skiing, dog sled rides, and more. Looking for an escape from the frenzy of the modern world? Surrounded in every direction by endless miles of Wilderness and Forest Service Land, Kirkwood offers the unique balance of a world-class mountain with all the creature comforts in a pristine sanctuary.