->This free forecast is brought to you courtesy of Aspen-Snowmass Resort<-
Short Range Forecast Discussion - Updated for Friday, October 31, 2014 - We are expecting a significant winter type storm to move in this weekend, and it looks like a fairly strong one with significant snowfall potential at the resorts, especially above 9,000 feet, though in Aspen we are expecting appreciable snowfall in town as well (mainly Sunday night). This system moves through the area with pretty good dynamics and moisture, but some limitations as the system weakens and is deflected northeast as it moves in Sunday, and favoring southwest slopes Sunday and Sunday night, then more west and northwest slopes on Monday as moisture is diminished. A decent shot of snow is expected for early November, best across southwest Colorado as a portion of the incoming storms' energy pinches off and crosses that part of the state as a separate circulation. Mostly sunny skies are expected under building high pressure Tuesday and Wednesday, through Thursday at least as high pressure ridging builds in strong. (please see the longer range forecasts toward the bottom of this page) CM
Do you want to keep track of the US and southwest Canada snowpack? Check here >.
7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 06 to 16 November, 2014 - High pressure dominates most of the western US for 5 - 7 days after a good storm for the western US... with mostly sunny and mostly dry conditions Tahoe to Colorado. Storms should become more frequent with less sunny weather overall (seasonal) as we move further into November, especially after the 10th. 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
Monarch Mountain...all natural snow...all natural setting...all about having fun! Come see why so many people rave about what Monarch has to offer. Short lift lines, inexpensive restaurants, friendly staff on and off the mountain and no hassles of traffic to and from the ski area. Winter is on the way and we have made some great changes to add to Monarch's overall experience. We’ve widened some trails and added an additional 130 acres of awesome backcountry (extreme) skiing in Mirkwood Basin. This is an exciting change that we have been working on for quite some time and we’ve now opened the gates to our die-hard skiers/riders who are looking for new, challenging terrain. Did you say powder? We've got plenty of it here at Monarch because we still only use Mother Nature’s snow for our guests to ski and ride on. On a good snow day you just can't beat the all natural powder here. Monarch is also known to have some of the best tree skiing in the state, so be sure to check it out before the locals ski off the fresh stuff!!