Snowpack Update And Our Next Best Chance Of Snow

2/12/22 Saturday 6:55 am

It could be worse–the snowpack is not great right now. We were off to a great start, then the dreaded ridge took over and the eastern half of the country stole most of our storms. Good for them, I guess. There are areas on the east coast from the Carolinas up through New Jersey that have had record snow this winter. I think we appreciate it more than them, so I wish it were us.

Here are the latest numbers on the snowpack for our forecast area. I think some of you will be surprised to learn that there are a couple of areas that are still above average year to date.

Some of the percentages look pretty far off but in many cases, we are just a couple of storms from getting back on track. I would say any location that is at least in the high 80% percentile range or higher has a chance at finishing up at or near average for the year.

For the last several days I have been looking at the models, waiting and hoping for a clearer signal for a long-term pattern change. The GFS has been the best model this winter. I am hoping that trend will continue because it is showing some snow next week. Most models agree that a storm will reach the Pacific Northwest Coast on Monday and start moving south southeast on Tuesday then split. They show an area of low pressure dropping south and a trough staying to our north. The models then disagree with what happens with that area of low pressure.

The GFS has been pretty consistent from run to run showing that the low will move towards our area in a favorable way to generate some precipitation from Wednesday through Thursday. The other models take a different track resulting in very little precipitation for the majority of the forecast area.

Here is the latest GFS operational run for liquid-equivalent precipitation through late Thursday.

In contrast, here is the Euro showing an unlikely scenario. In other words, the precipitation accumulation pattern makes more sense from the GFS.

I don’t know if the GFS will be correct, but there would have to be a very unusual storm track for the Euro to be right.

After this storm moves out the next best chance of the snow will be the following week around February 23rd. Very early indications from the long-term models show the ridge finally collapsing after that system moves out.

My next update will be Monday morning. Thanks for following and supporting the site!

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