I started this Saturday with a workout in the Foothills of Colorado. Ran into good friend Justin Becker and we ended up finishing the trail run together while chatting about mountaineering and this bulletproof area of high pressure. “When will this pattern change? We need snow.”
Justin is a great athlete and human being. He has an engineering mindset and values data and preparation. He’s almost finished climbing Colorado’s 14ers in calendar Winter. Next on his list is a 7,000m or 8,000m peak somewhere in the world. We also talked about skiing and ski mountaineering and the lack of snow.
Let’s get back to his question, “When will this (dry pattern) end?”
The dome of high pressure now anchored across the West is running two full standard deviations stronger (higher pressures) than the 30-year average. This locks the lower 48 Intermountain West into drier than normal conditions into early December (maybe longer).
There is some data that suggests the West might see lower pressures on December 5 or later. But, breaking down large domes of high pressure is difficult. Here’s one possible scenario on December 5, notice the dip in the storm track.
Overall, the heaviest precipitation continues to fall in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and western Alberta. What’s on the horizon? Here’s my snow forecast between 11/27 and 12/6, click to enlarge:
The snow you see in Wyoming occurs on/around 12/5.