I’m looking at these forecast models all day and scrutinizing whether we get 1 or 2 inches. I have never done that before as I would normally call this week dry with a quick mention of dusting possible. This is what the Winter has come to so far though.

Back in January the forecast was a dry week 1 for Feb, light snows week 2, bigger snows for week 3, and the biggest storms for week 4. Well the score so far is we scored a point week 1 with a few inches, another point week 2 with 1-2 feet on the mountains. But now a bust for week 3 as these next few systems through Tuesday will pound the Pacific NW with several feet, but the ridge did not shift back as far as the forecast had them 3 weeks ago and we get skimmed.

Not that 3 week out forecasts are accurate but I try hard at this game and I’m my own worst critic. Week 4 still has a chance for a big storm or two next weekend or the beginning of the following week, and the stormy start to March still looks like it’s on the table. First we have to deal with these pesky storms this weekend.

We should see some light snow showers move in by tomorrow afternoon and into Saturday night. Wouldn’t expect more than a dusting in the Basin once the sun goes down. Then an inch or two for the mountains with maybe someone scoring 3 inches. A lot of you may be blacked out so you aren’t watching this week anyway but if you’re coming on vacation this could add a nice fresh coating.

The system for Sunday night still looks like it will stay offshore. The one interesting change today is the track of the Tuesday storm. The GFS and Euro have tracked it a bit further South with another dusting on tap. But the Japanese and especially the Canadian bring down a decent little shot of moisture with up to 6 inches of snow. No one is forecasting for this storm but it caught my eye this evening especially on the Canadian. Maybe we will get a little surprise here of a few more inches Tuesday.

The ridge keeps us dry after Tuesday but it finally begins to move and will shift North towards the Gulf of Alaska. The forecast models are in great agreement putting the ridge up near 50n by next Saturday. It’s alway interesting seeing the teleconnections like the MJO and PNA forecasts showing them in a phase that would support the ridge retrograding, and then watching the models everyday until they start to catch on.

With the ridge in that location next weekend it would allow a cold trough to drop down into the West. This can be a snowy pattern if the trough is far enough West to pull in some good moisture off of the Pacific. I always remember a storm, I think it was 3 Winters ago, where the forecast was for a cold trough like this with light snow. We ended up getting 2 feet as the cold created heavy orographic snow that would just not stop. Not saying that will happen but when I see this cold troughs digging down the coast I think of that.

Then if the PNA forecast to negative holds and the MJO forecast to phase 2 & 3 we should see the ridge position retrograde further West for week 2. The forecast models are showing that now with increased chances of some bigger storms making it into CA for the end of the month and into the first week of March. The snow needs to hurry up because we are getting close to going below the driest season of 76-77 for snowpack. This upcoming week is when we started to see some more snow that season. BA

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