7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 07 to 17 October, 2014 - It looks like we may be experiencing a period of dry and milder weather almost this whole period of time, under an upper-level high pressure ridge across the western US (almost all of the western US may be affected by this ridge, with warmer than average weather and mostly sunny skies). Even southwest Canada, BC and AB, should remain dry through most of this period. We will be watching. CM
Longer Range Outlook
As of now, October 2014, we are still on a path to see an El Nino Sea Surface Temperature pattern hold across the Equatorial Eastern Pacific. Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies yield a weak El Nino pattern across the eastern Equatorial Pacific (El Nino development is on track, but it will be weak, still favorable for California and the desert Southwest, plus much of Colorado and northern New Mexico).
A weak El Nino is now being predicted for this fall and winter, into early 2015. It looks like the early season (October/ November) will see more rain and snow for southern and central California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. This should help kick off the early season for places like Mammoth Mountain. This should also help build up a better than average base of snow for Aspen-Snowmass and Taos Ski Valley. Temperatures are expected to be near and below average for these areas as well, which helps. Maybe Thanksgiving will be pretty good for many more areas across the southwest, and even for Squaw Valley in Tahoe. The Northwest US is expecting a drier and milder than usual fall, with less snowfall than average, though with their usual heavy snowfall, especially in the Cascades, this drier/ milder than average fall season could still be good for resorts across the northwest US, mainly along the Cascades, less so inland.
The larger time-scale SST pattern in place right now is still a cool phase PDO, or negative PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation). This is a more long term pattern (decades), and it has made any recent years El Nino SST patterns weaker (it looks like this is the case with the current El Nino, which was expected to be strong initially.
To summarize, the possibility of an El Nino pattern this fall and winter are "likely". Forecasts from other agencies are calling for El Nino conditions to hold this fall and winter. This would favor the southwest US (including southern California and across to Taos Ski Valley, even Aspen, Colorado) for heavier rain and snow this fall and mainly winter (2014-2015), after the wet monsoon summer across the southwest US (we forecast this in the spring). Northwest US areas, and southwest Canada, along with northern Colorado through Wyoming and the northern Rocky Mountains, should expect a drier than average, or near average snowfall winter (2014-2015). Tahoe/ Mammoth should see near average snowfall this winter. This is our outlook for now, and we will update as more info becomes available. All of this information is generated in-house.
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 download the app.
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.