What It’s Been
Skiers and riders in the PNW are all in the same boat. We have some of the best conditions in the lower 48, and still we know it’s not good enough. Maybe we’re spoiled here. Perhaps our skis are too fat.
We want more than fast groomers and bluebird days. We expect relentless storms, snowfall filling in our tracks, and a progressive improvement in the snowpack as days turn to weeks.
If yesterday’s mini-storm is any indication, things are about to change. In fact the skiing improved tremendously yesterday, and with what looks like another 2 inches that fell on my truck overnight and another bluebird day, today could be a vast improvement.
The last two weeks have been more Rockies than Cascades. We’ve had sunny days and a few weak stormlets pretending to bring new snowfall. We’ve had some warm days, some cold and clear ones and day after day on the corduroy. It hasn’t been bad per se. In fact I’ve enjoyed myself. As my friend Michelle Longstreth always says, “any skiing is better than none.” And she’s right. Skiing groomers is better than not skiing at all.
But still. It’s not the same.
Disclaimer: I’m not a meteorologist. You should all know that by now. I’m way too optimistic to be a real forecaster, since I just take the prediction I like the best and go with that one. I hear “chance of snow” and I think “snow.” I hear “chance of rain” and I think “snow.” I hear partly sunny, and I tend to think “snow.”
Bear that in mind as you read on.
What’s It’s About To Be
Santa is about to relinquish our storms. Maybe he’s just wanted to keep them for himself, but now that his snow runway is in, he’s probably tired of shoveling snow. And as it turns out, La Niña wasn’t a very good house guest. He’s ready to give her back.
It’s almost Christmas and we’re about to see a return to real winter. This weekend a smaller system comes through Saturday afternoon and Christmas Day. While the NWS is calling for higher freezing levels Saturday night before a return to cooler temps Sunday, Santa and I had a little chat. He promised snow.
Early next week a more vigorous system comes through. Temps stay cool and precipitation amounts are kicking back up. This is the winter that we know and love. This is La Niña’s grand entrance.
It’s still a little too soon to tell, but right now Tuesday looks to be THE DAY next week. So make your plans now. Those of you who don’t already have next week off, you might want to plan your sickness now.