This is going to be  little bit of  wait here as we wait for the pattern to change.  The only good news for now is that the ridge isn’t right over us pumping in warm air.  We have plenty of cold in place now from the cold front that blasted through today so the white ribbons of death will be able to expand to more trails.

The resorts with the big snowmaking systems like Northstar and Heavenly win in these situations with a late start to the season.  That is one of the reasons they spent millions to build their big snowmaking capabilities.  We will see another shot of some cold air this weekend as the shots of cold continue to come down from Canada on the East side of the ridge in the Pacific.

Over the next couple of weeks it does look like the ridge wil slowly shift further West in the Pacific slowly starting to creek open the storm door.  Let’s look at the ridge now at 45n 130w in the Pacific.

Just a big wall sending storms coming across the Pacific up into Alaska.  There are a couple of things that will favor the ridge moving back from the coast.  The first is the postive PNA we currently have going negative around mid-month.

The second is the MJO which is quite strong.  As it enters phase 5 it would be in a position favorable for pulling back the ridge this time of year.

The forecast models tend not to pick up on the MJO unti about a week out but they are catching onto a pattern change around mid-month.  Here is the map for the 16th of December from the GFS.  Notice now the ridge is out to 150w allowing the trough to dig down the West Coast.

 This is not a lock this far out but it’s a sign things could change.  The same indicators that pointed toward the current ridge  a couple of weeks ago now point toward a trough a couple of weeks from now. 

Meanwhile Alaska will continue to get pounded if you are up for a trip. Stay tuned, it will happen eventually…..BA

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