Over 48 hours now of consistent model agreement on a cold October storm next week.  I’m trying to contain my excitement and rubbing my eyes as well as I look at the models to make sure I’m not seeing things.  This scenario of a ridge South of the Aleutians and the ridge building over the Central US, holding in place a cold low pressure pushing a could trough down the West Coast, pulling in moisture off the Pacific and combining with the jetstream tapping subtropical moisture right into Central CA, is our perfect mid-Winter scenario for a multi-day powder dump.

I have to add in a bit of caution as the models are not as reliable long-range during the change of seasons in the Fall and Spring, but with so much consistency and agreement and now only 4 days out the confidence is growing in at least a decent storm for the high terrain if not lake level. Not just by October standards but by Winter standards.

The details are still not completely in focus but low pressure should be sitting off the coast of Oregon by Monday morning feeding in colder air and moisture off the Pacific. It looks like the precip will stay light and maybe mostly confined to the crest through Tuesday morning with snow levels as high as 7000 ft. Then the GFS and Euro have a stronger wave coming in around Tuesday night-Wednesday morning bringing heavier precip and dropping snow levels below lake level.

I’m usually the only one crazy enough to give snowfall guestimates 4-5 days out but if the latest model runs were to verify we could see 6-12 inches above 7000 ft. especially along the crest before the heavier event on Wednesday.  With the second wave which looks even colder as well, preliminary guestimates as of right now are 6-12 inches at lake level and 1-2 additional feet above 7000 ft.  Again, hold tight another day or two with this being October and model confidence is less than in Winter.

That being said, here is the latest GFS snowfall forecast map (in inches) showing up to 2 feet along the crest and up to a foot for the basin.

Sound crazy?  As crazy as the prediction for 100 inches in Mid-November 2 years ago?  It’s been awhile since we have had snow measured in feet in October.  I will be fine tuning the details through the weekend so stay tuned…

The cold trough and snow showers could linger through Thursday on the mountains before the storm track shifts North and we warm up a little into the following weekend.

The long-range climate models continue to show a -PNA pattern and below average temps through November.  That should also keep open the possibility of more storms.  An early start to the season was the forecast back in September and is common during weak El Nino years.

More tonight as we track this early season storm potential….BA

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