Thanksgiving Week First Look

11/14/21 Sunday 7:15 am

I thought I’d better check in with everyone during this extremely dreadful boring weather pattern. The ridge has been dominant across the Western States. Moisture rides along the top of the ridge starting from the Pacific Northwest and then across the northern tier of states. This is not an unusual pattern for November, it is more common than not for our area. You may remember seeing this happen a number of times where Jackson Hole and points north get hammered with snow. Occasionally the snow will drop into the Dakotas. Eventually, systems will start sneaking in under the ridge or the ridge will flatten out and our winter will begin.

Snowlovers can’t wait for that to happen! It may take a while. In one of our top recent snowfall winters (2018-2019) it took basically until New Year’s day for the storm track to drop south. I had high confidence we were going to have a big winter that year, and I spent a lot of time answering emails trying to talk people off of the ledge as we waited for winter to kick in.

I am not as confident this year about the winter. I don’t know that I will attempt a Winter Outlook. My current thinking is that this year will have some of the characteristics of the 2008-2009 winter. We had a few big storms that were memorable. Most of the snow fell from late December to late January. It was cold, and spring came early. Another winter that comes up on the analog list is 2007-2008, but it is not as heavily weighted. 2007-2008 was a big snow year so it still keeps things interesting. Analog years are simply past years that experienced similar climatological conditions to the current year.

I am keeping my eyes on the ensemble (multi-model) forecasts. These models look 15 t0 16 days into the future and 30-50 versions of their model family produce the average forecast of all of those model members.

This week, the storm track will again stay to our north. There have been a few outlier model runs showing some late-week flurries, but nothing significant.  One of the best ways to predict the storm track is to look at the upper air projections for low or high-pressure anomalies.

Here are those model runs for the GFS ensemble and Euro ensemble members. The blues and greens are projected troughs of low pressure. The orange and red are the ridges of high pressure. The white and yellow are usually a typical zonal flow pattern.



With the next maps, you will see that the precipitation falls heaviest under the (blue) areas of low pressure.


Euro SW US



So, for now, it does not look like there will be too many local travel concerns. Feel free to hit me up for out-of-state travel concerns beginning Wednesday this week. Make sure you include dates, travel methods, and routes.

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