I’m not one to obsess about the forecast¹. So when I just happened to check out the latest forecast discussion on NOAA, I was pleasantly surprised. I especially liked this part:
A MUCH STRONGER SYSTEM WILL IMPACT THE REGION ON FRIDAY FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR HEAVY SNOW IN THE MOUNTAINS AS WELL AS COLDER WEATHER AND LOCALLY WINDY CONDITIONS.
Friday looks like our best chance for snow, with the forecast calling for 6-10″ up high and about 4-6″ down low. With strong west winds, we could pick up a little more than that in places like Green Valley Bowl. Saturday will bring some leftovers and orographic showers with Sunday now offering cold enough temperatures to add a little man made snow to the mix.
Already we have a 8-12″ base on the upper mountain, but need quite a bit more to open. It rained lightly yesterday, but not enough to melt what’s already in place. However, the rain hopefully helped to rid the growing snowpack of early season facets that could cause avalanche problems down the road.
People always ask John, “how much snow do you need to open?” The answer is always, “it depends.”
We always welcome a big November storm that deposits two feet of wet snow that compacts into a nice, smooth base. (Miles Clark over a snowbrains.com put out a nice post this week about why the PNW gets so much snow. The pattern mentioned in the article would be very welcome right about now.)
But this year we’ve had an accumulation of smaller amounts of snow that could add up to enough. Some of the long-term models are showing a low in the Gulf of Alaska, which could usher in those classic November storms we all like to see.
With “summer grooming” and strategic rock picking at Crystal, we try to set ourselves up for needing the least amount of snow possible to open. This could be one of those years where we get enough to open Green Valley, but have to wait for more snow to open the rest of the mountain. Only time will tell.
So start doing your snow dances and rubbing your Ullr pendants. Book that non-refundable trip to Mexico for Thanksgiving and stop washing your socks. We could use all the help we can get up here.
¹ Actually this is a complete lie.