7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 22 October to 01 November, 2014 - After the 20th we start seeing stronger storms move in off the Pacific as western US high pressure breaks down, allowing storms to affect the northwest US/ northern California (Tahoe), southwest Canada, and also the central and northern Rocky Mountains, with some mostly light to moderate snow possible at higher resort elevations. Snow falls to 8,000-9,000 feet in Utah and Colorado next Wednesday and Thursday as low pressure sweeps through and out (out on Thursday). Storms should become more frequent with less sunny weather overall (of course this is seasonal) then and through the rest of October. Next Friday through Sunday ~ 24th-26th we see upper-level high pressure ridging build across most of the western US, for mostly sunny skies and dry/ milder conditions. By the following week (starting with Monday and Tuesday the 27th/ 28th) we see rain and snow across the northwest US and southwest Canada as Gulf of Alaska low pressure starts moving in again, but just more windy conditions for Colorado and Utah, northern New Mexico, northern Arizona as upper-level high pressure ridging flattens out at this time. The last few days of October, through Halloween, we may see a stronger and colder low pressure system drop into the western US with rain and snow from Tahoe to Colorado (southern extent of precipitation), plus all areas to the north of this. 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 at least to start, still favorable for California and the desert Southwest, plus much of Colorado and northern New Mexico). Please note; Many computer models indicate the El Nino SST pattern may become moderate strength later this fall and early 2015, with would help focus more of the Gulf of Alaska storm action across the southwest US and California, where its desperately needed.
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
Northstar-at-Tahoe's comfortable attitude comes from the fact that we're a comfortable size. Northstar has 79 runs on 2,480 acres. It's big enough to keep things interesting, but no so big that getting around becomes daunting. New signage and grooming maps this year make it easier than ever to get around the resort and know where you want to start and end your day. For those who often find themselves struggling to decide whether to make a park lap or a powder run, The Stash offers the perfect solution. A collaborative new concept created by Jake Burton and Snow Park Technologies (SPT), The Stash combines park riding with backcountry feel and features...so skiers and riders can get their powder and park fix all in one run. Every once in a while you need to cast off some of the trappings of civilization and pay attention to stuff that matters. Stuff like reclaiming a goggle tan, or seeing your friend do his impression of the agony of defeatâ€ guy. Northstar Resort is the kind of place where these things can happen. Up here life is unrushed and unrehearsed. You're allowed to improvise. There is no scene - just people who enjoy being on the mountain. It feels like home, but you're encouraged to act like you're on vacation. This season, Northstar Resort is proud to announce the opening of new doors in the Village at Northstar including a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, art galleries and more. In addition, during summer 2006, the resort launched the next phase of its extensive mountain improvement plan, which included the addition of two new lifts, relocating the cross-country center, adding new parking lots, expanding its snowmaking system and opening additional terrain.