Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.
In the ski industry, talk about the weather is more than just idle chit-chat. Like farmers, we keep an eye to the sky and a hand on our “almanac”–a.k.a. the forecast models. This year the long-term forecast is calling for a La Nina weather pattern. Skiers in the Northwest like La Nina–it portends more and bigger snow storms.
The storm pattern we look for is a high pressure system off the coast toward Hawaii and a low pressure system over the Gulf of Alaska. This clocks the moisture from Alaska and the cold temperatures from the north towards Washington State. It’s a beautiful thing to see that pattern set up.
I watch the GFS and NAM forecast models, which can be found at: http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/, and right now “the pattern”, as we call it in our household, is shaping up. Over at Cliff Mass’s weather blog http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/, he forecasts a series of storms hitting the Washington coast this weekend, with big waves and high winds.
Of course that system will also hit the mountains in the form of snow. How much and how low we don’t quite know yet, but up at Crystal Mountain, we’re ready.