Tag Archives: Weather forecasting

Weather or Not: Hoping for another “Miracle Saturday”

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For the past three weekends, Crystal Mountain has been blessed with miracles. Three Fridays in a row we’ve had rainy, soggy, extremely windy storms turn cold and calm just in time to lay down enough snow for a powder Saturday. The weather gods might be trying to tell us something here: they are still in charge, but they are ultimately benevolent. The way I see it, the weather gods love weekend skiers and riders. Or maybe it has more to do with Pacific storms circling around low pressure systems, but hey, a girl can dream.

Last week, the rain and wind came Friday and threatened to ruin the cold snow from earlier in the week. But again, the weather gods blessed us with a reprieve, and Saturday we woke to fresh snow and cold temps. Here’s a little video clip from last Friday when the wind was nuking at the top of Rainier Express. When the patrollers got on the chair, it was still fairly calm at the top. It quickly ramped up while we were on the lift. Needless to say, the lift quickly went on wind hold.

Today is Thursday and once again the rain has returned. Yesterday ended in a beautiful afternoon, but now it’s raining at the base and snowing (just barely) at the top. These are the days when we are glad to have the gondola. A dry ride up goes a long way to lengthen the ski day. Today is a day for the hearty souls born and bred in the PNW, who don’t mind a little rain (either that or we just don’t know any better).

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The mountain came out Wednesday afternoon

The real question, however, is whether or not we will have another miracle Saturday. Will the weather gods, once again, bless us with a miracle?

This morning, I conferred with my most trusted source for weather: the magic 8 ball. I don’t know about you all, but whenever I have a high-stakes question of serious consequence, I head straight to this little black orb of wisdom. And guess what you guys? The signs point to yes!

magic 8 ball

My most trusted source for weather!

While maybe not as accurate as the magic 8 ball, from time to time I still check in with the “professionals” in the weather forecasting biz. The weather gurus at UW Atmospheric Sciences department back up the magic 8 ball prediction, calling for a few inches of snow by Saturday morning and continuing throughout the day. The Sunday morning prediction is looking even better:

Snow Prediction

Monday looks to be a warm and wet day, with the long term models calling for more snow on Tuesday. We aren’t quite yet back into the earlier pattern where even when no snow was predicted, we’d still picked up a few inches every night as if those weather gods just couldn’t help themselves. But there are still good days ahead.

Only the magic 8 ball really knows.

I, for one, am hoping for a miracle.

 

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I’m Not Going to Jinx It

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I’ve been knocking on so much wood the past few days that my knuckles are raw. The weather forecast looks extremely promising for snow starting this weekend. If all the forecast wishes come true, we could pick up plenty of snow to open by Thanksgiving. But then again, the snow level could be too high. Crystal could get blocked. It could rain on Tuesday. The GFS model is especially keen on this probability. Doesn’t the GFS know we are trying to open a ski area here? Sheesh.

Still, my hopes are up. Tuesday is a million years away in forecast terms. Instead, I’m banking on the Sunday-night-into-Monday-morning resolution shown in the graph below. Purples and reds mean 8-12 inches. That orangish color around Paradise? That’s 16 inches for the 24 hour period.

24 Hour Snowfall Prediction for Monday Morning

Skiing by Thanksgiving just might be in the cards. I’m not an especially superstitious person. But if I thought that not changing my socks or never stepping on the threshold of the door while exiting the house or even washing my hands five times before doing anything would make it snow, I would happily become OCD just for the cause. I just haven’t found a reliable ritual yet. This is the Pacific Northwest after all. The weather is a crapshoot. Temperatures fluctuate like the nozzle of an unattended firehouse.

But when it is good, it is very very good. If we get the goods this weekend with no gully washers in sight, my prediction is we’ll be skiing soon (and by soon, I mean next week. And by next week, I mean Wednesday or Thursday). Hope to see you all on the slopes. Fingers crossed.