Snow forecast next 8 days

Tomer’s Take

  • The West is largely dominated by high pressure. A few small cold fronts will sneak through the eastern periphery through 1/23 with minor snow accumulation in MT, WY, UT, and CO.
  • Ski the Northeast this Sunday-Monday with a Nor` Easter on tap.
  • When will this pattern change for the Intermountain West? It could be a long wait and confidence is low. Potentially by 1/29 or later.

Infrared satellite shows the storm track and lack of activity across most of the West.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/14/2022 5am.

Looking down the road

A few small cold fronts will sneak through the eastern periphery of the Western high pressure. But, a larger pattern change could be a long way off. Below is one possible scenario around 1/29 with lower pressures building across the Intermountain West.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/29/2022, GFS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

Let’s look at my snow forecast in two time periods.

1/14-1/18:

1 small cold front sneaks through with minor snow in MT, CO.

Inches of total snow 1/14-1/18.

1/19-1/23:

1-2 cold fronts sneak through with minor snow in WY, MT, UT, CO.

Inches of total snow 1/19-1/23.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

New to CO: Avalanche transceiver detection via helicopter

Highlights

  • New beacon technology installed on select Flight for Life helicopters can now be used to locate missing people wearing avalanche transceivers.
  • “This technology is another tool in our toolbox,” says Dale Atkins of Alpine Rescue Team.
  • The helicopter beacon can detect any avalanche transceiver on the market today (at 457kHz).

Alpine Rescue Team, Loveland Ski Area Ski Patrol, Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC), and Flight for Life Colorado gamed out new (to Colorado) technology on 1/10.

I talked with Dale Atkins of Alpine Rescue Team about how this technology works and how it will be used. Atkins has been involved in avalanche rescues since the 1970s.

Notice the beacon hanging from the bottom of the helicopter. Photo Dale Atkins on 1/10.

Efficiency

Search and Rescue (SAR) is a two-part operation and involves several agencies. First, you must locate the missing the person(s) before any rescue can be performed. Atkins said, “This is another tool in our toolbox. The helicopter can cover great distances in a short amount of time.” Atkins stressed to me that this technology can’t be used for all SAR missions, but when deployed it will likely increase SAR efficiency.

Search and Rescue involves several agencies. Photo Dale Atkins on 1/10.

Limitations

Weather, type of emergency call, location of emergency, and size of avalanche are all considered before Flight for Life is deployed.

“I could see using this technology for very large avalanches with numerous missing people. It could be used just outside of ski area boundaries. I could see using this technology in remote locations with numerous small avalanches that would normally take ground crews a long time to search,” Atkins said.

Demonstrating the new (to CO) beacon technology with responding agencies. Photo John Kyler, CCSO, on 1/10.

Colorado Avalanche Risk

Colorado leads the United States in avalanche deaths per year. In between storm cycles, we see numerous sunny, dry days dominated by high pressure. These frequent changes in temperature and humidity create rotten snow layers (snow faceting).

Atkins also says we have a large population with easy access to high risk terrain.

As we wrapped up our chat, Atkins said staying safe in the backcountry is largely about terrain selection. “Know where you’re going. How steep is it? Are there signs of other avalanches? How stable is the snowpack? Get educated before buying any gear.”

Ethan Greene (CAIC) and Dale Atkins. Photo John Kyler, CCSO, on 1/10.
Search mode. Photo John Kyler, CCSO, on 1/10.

High pressure with a wrinkle

Tomer’s Take

  • A cold front sneaks through the eastern periphery of this Western high pressure on Friday 1/14.
  • This fast-moving cold front delivers light snow accumulation to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado on Friday 1/14. Then it’s back to dry weather for a week.
  • The most active weather occurs in British Columbia and at times WA.
  • When will a larger pattern change occur for the Intermountain West? Data is mixed and confidence is low. There are signs of a stronger cold front around the 22nd or later, but even this could be optimistic.

The infrared satellite shows the storm track. The jet stream remains most active in British Columbia and at times WA.

Infrared satellite and storm track, 1/13/2022 5am.

Longer Range

Looking down the road, a stronger cold front might brush the Intermountain West around 1/22 or later.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/22/2022, Euro interpretation.

Snow Forecast

A minor, fast-moving cold front hits MT, WY, and CO on 1/14 then it turns dry until 1/22-ish.

1/13-1/18:

Inches of total snow 1/13-1/18.

1/19-1/22:

The snow you see in MT, WY, and CO occurs on/around 1/22.

Inches of total snow 1/19-1/22.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

The Sunrise of Life

My good friend Ryan Kushner sent me this outstanding sunrise video from Monday morning on the 14,265′ summit of Quandary Peak, CO.

I’ve climbed mountains with Ryan for 16 years. He’s climbed all over the world including G2, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Denali, and South America. I’m sure Ryan has something big planned soon!

Quandary Peak summit sunrise 1/11/2022, Ryan Kushner.

Tomer’s Take

  • A rather tranquil period through 1/16.
  • One minor cold front delivers light snow accumulation to MT, WY, CO, and NM between 1/13-1/14.
  • When will this pattern change? Data is mixed. Lower pressures might brush UT, MT, WY, and CO around 1/20-1/22.
  • It’s really a waiting game until we break the high pressure dome across the West.

Infrared satellite and storm track. Notice the big high pressure dome across the West.

Infrared satellite and storm track, 1/12/2022 5am.

Waiting Game

There’s some indication that slightly lower pressures might brush the Intermountain West 1/20-1/22.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/21/2022, EPS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

Let’s look at my snow forecast in two time periods.

1/12-1/17:

Inches of total snow 1/12-1/17.

1/18-1/21:

Inches of total snow 1/12-1/17.

Waiting game for the West

Tomer’s Take

  • A weak to moderate intensity atmospheric river continues in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia through 1/13 then ends.
  • I’m forecasting zero snowfall in CA and UT through 1/20.
  • Large high pressure dome dominates the West and Intermountain West through 1/20 with a couple minor fronts.
  • Waiting game: when will the high pressure break? We might have to wait until after 1/21.

Infrared satellite shows the current storm track and atmospheric river flow into the PNW.

Infrared satellite and storm track 1/11/2022 6am.

Here’s the latest integrated vapor transport (IVT) forecast for the Pacific Northwest (48N, 124.5W), which helps pinpoint the atmospheric river.

Looking down the road

High pressure remains strong across the West until possibly 1/21 or later.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/22-1/23, GFS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

The minor snow you see in Colorado occurs on 1/14 with a minor, fast-moving cold front.

Inches of total snow through 1/20.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

Snow forecast next 8 days across the West

Tomer’s Take

  • Reversal of fortune for the West after a 2-4 week solid storm cycle.
  • Splitting jet stream and high pressure builds in through 1/18 with only minor fronts.
  • Warmer and drier than normal in CA, UT, WY, CO, NM.
  • Potential break in the pattern by 1/19 or later.
  • The best snow with an active jet stream remains in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and western Alberta.

Infrared satellite shows the splitting jet stream and large high pressure dome across the West.

Infrared satellite 1/10/2022 5am.

When will the pattern change?

Looking down the road, high pressure dominates through 1/18 with only minor fronts for the Intermountain West. A potential change occurs around 1/19 or later as pressures drop.

Pressure anomalies valid 1/18-1/19, GFS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

My snow forecast through 1/19 is abnormally dry for the lower 48 and Intermountain West. The 1-2″ you see in Colorado occurs with a minor front on 1/14.

Inches of total snow through 1/19.

Season Totals so far

Inches of total snow.

Reversal of fortune for the West; atmospheric river PNW

Tomer’s Take

  • Reversal of fortune for the West after 2-3 solid weeks of back to back active storm cycles.
  • Large dome of high pressure building across the Intermountain West through 1/15.
  • A warmer and drier than normal 6 day period for CO, UT, WY, MT, ID, NM, and CA as a split jet develops over the Pacific.
  • The exception is the Pacific Northwest (PNW), British Columbia, and western Alberta where snow is likely with an active storm track.
  • A weak to moderate intensity atmospheric river hits the above mentioned areas between 1/11-1/13.
  • This will also inject warmer air and push snow levels high.
  • Zero snow in my California and Utah forecast through 1/16.

Water vapor satellite reveals the splitting jet stream and building areas of high pressure.

Water vapor satellite 1/9/2022 7am.

For storm track analysis and snow forecast, please watch my forecast video 1/9/2022:

Tomer forecast video 1/9/2022.

Snow forecast next 8 days across the West

Tomer’s Take

  • Final storm system of this cycle. Then high pressure builds.
  • Drier, warmer period 1/9-1/14 for the Intermountain West.
  • Pattern might change after 1/14.

Notice the storm track and lurking high pressure dome on the water vapor satellite image.

Water vapor satellite 1/7/2022 5am.

High Pressure

A ridge of high pressure builds 1/9-1/14 across the Intermountain West.

Forecast pressure anomalies valid 1/10/2022, GFS interpretation.

When does it break? Maybe after 1/14. This is 1/17-1/18 –>

Forecast pressure anomalies valid 1/17-1/18, GFS interpretation.

Forecast Snow

Let’s look at my snow forecast in three time periods.

1/7-1/8:

Inches of total snowfall 1/7-1/8.

1/9-1/13:

Inches of total snowfall 1/9-1/13.

1/14-1/16:

Inches of total snowfall 1/14-1/16.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

Powder day! One more storm system then high pressure

Tomer’s Take

  • It’s a powder day in the Wasatch, Tetons, and the Central & Northern Mountains of Colorado.
  • Parts of the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre in Wyoming received 30 inches or more.
  • There’s one more storm system sliding down the jet stream between Friday-Saturday for ID, MT, WY, UT, and CO.
  • Then high pressure builds and the snow machine stops (except in the PNW/B.C.) until potentially 1/14.

Powder day at Loveland Ski Area!

1/6/2022

Jackson Hole:

1/6/2022

Winter Park:

1/6/2022

The northwest-oriented jet stream will keep the snow falling in the Wasatch, Tetons, and Central & Northern Mountains of Colorado. Notice on the infrared satellite the next low pressure hitting the Pacific Northwest. That hits the interior Rockies between Friday-Saturday.

Infrared satellite with storm track 1/6/2022 5am.

Then high pressure builds into the West. This will curtail snowfall for at least a few days across the Interior West.

Forecast pressure anomalies valid 1/10/2022, GFS 500mb interpretation.

Snow Forecast

Let’s look at my snow forecast in two time-periods.

1/6-1/9:

Inches of total snow 1/6-1/9.

1/10-1/13:

Inches of total snow 1/10-1/13.

For more analysis please watch my forecast video:

Big powder next few days across the West

Tomer’s Take

  • Best snow occurs through 1/8 across the West then higher pressures build.
  • Bulk of accumulation in Utah occurs on 1/5 and 1/8.
  • Bulk of accumulation in Colorado occurs on 1/5, 1/6, and 1/8.
  • 1-3 feet in the Pacific Northwest through 1/7.

Water vapor satellite reveals a powerful northwest flow oriented jet stream and moisture flow.

Water vapor satellite and storm track 1/5/2022 5am.

High Pressure

Higher pressures build in after this storm cycle across the West. Snow amounts will drop off dramatically.

Pressure anomalies (500mb) valid 1/10/2022, GFS interpretation.

Snow Forecast

Let’s look at my snow forecast in two time-periods.

1/5-1/8:

Inches of total snow 1/5-1/8.

1/9-1/13:

Inches of total snow 1/9-1/13.

Drilling down, here’s my snow plume forecast for Jackson Hole, WY:

Inches of total snow.

Wind

A powerful jet stream rakes the high peaks next few days then wind relaxes around 1/9.

Forecast wind gusts (MPH).

For more analysis please watch my forecast video: