Monday, February 1, 2010

Extended Outlook February 2010 Update El Nino

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Forecast February early 2010
My forecast on 10-14-2009 was for the West Cascades to have between 80 to 100% of average snowpack and the East Cascades 75 to 85% of average snowpack. Given the current trends and the forecast through at least February 15 I will need to adjust the numbers downward. The map below (18,000 feet is 500 mb) is becoming the pattern with a ridge of high pressure over the Northwest, trough of low pressure off of California coast and finally a trough of low pressure over the Midwest. All this leads is to below average snowfall for the Northwest through at least the middle of February.

Also of note is that Seattle had the warmest January on record (thanks to Meteorologist Nick Eckstein to getting that data. This data covers 117 years of weather records (1894-2010) in Seattle . So these warm temperatures in Western Washington certainly contributed to the current snow on the ground as of 2-1-2010. As of 2-1-2010 here is snow on the ground as a percent of normal: Mt. Baker 85%, Stevens Pass 76%, Snoq Pass 74%, Mission Ridge 92%, Paradise and White Pass 80%. Based on the current forecast I would think snowpack totals as of 3-1-2010 as of percent of normal would be between 70 to 80% of normal. The biggest wild card is what the totals will be in April and May as this is highly dependent on if the storm tracks that is now aimed for California migrates back to the Northwest. If it does our early spring numbers would be in the 70 to 90% of normal. If the storm track does not then the numbers could go down to 70 to 80% of normal.

Custom Forecast
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