I just wanted to post for those who got excited with the first storm and are checking back for more. Unfortunately we are in the predicted Fall pattern now that the MJO influence is gone, but read on for the “Official” season snowfall prediction.

I see nothing changing in the pattern until maybe the very end of the month, but even then nothing big. We have the ridge that will sit over CA for now and will wait for the jetstream to get stronger later in the season. The one thing to watch is for another possible visit to the Western Pacific by the MJO around mid-november. That could mean snow again before Thanksgiving. No promises though so watch the MJO on the sidebar tracker and stay tuned for updates on any pattern change.

The winter forecast looks to be on track with a later start and what should be a quicker ending in the Spring with the water a littel warmer right off the coast. In the middle we should be cold and have plenty of snow but the shorter season should keeps us around average for snowfall. La Nina conditions are holding steady this week in the weak range but are still forecast to strengthen to moderate this winter.

We have a cold PDO still which is good news! Overall any strentgh of La Nina in a cold PDO has averaged out to around 105% of average precip in Northern CA and 97% of average in Central CA as compared to 95% and 81% respectively in a warm PDO. We sit right in the middle of Central and Northern CA which historically would put us right at average for precip in any La Nina during a cold PDO cycle.

I don’t have a strong La Nina followed by a moderate La Nina to go off of from history. The closest thing is 1999-2000 with a moderate to moderate, and that season was 84% of average snowfall. If you take the last 6 moderate La Nina years and average the snowfall at Donner Summit we sit at 408 inches with the average being 409 inches. So once again history would point us towards being right around average this season if we have a moderate La Nina. If you take the 3 years of the 6 that took place during the last cold PDO cycle, you get 428 inches as the average snowfall which is 105% of average.

Based on this data and the way the patterns are looking for the winter I am following suit with history and forecasting average precip with possibly slightly above average snowfall. I think the above average snowfall could be the result of colder than average temps leading to some snow fluff. I think we possibly start the season running below average for snowfall and then above average by March, then ending down around average with the shorter season and the below average snowfall in the Spring.

Last year the history correlation of a strong La Nina in a cold PDO gave us 131% of average snowfall. I went conservative with 125% as my official prediction. This year i’ll be a little less conservative and will keep the extra 5%. So here you go my “official” number for the season is 105% of average snowfall measured on Donner Summit. Let the games begin….i hope i am closer this year after getting 32% more snowfall than predicted last season. Stay tuned…..BA

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