That moment when we gave up on the ski season

R.I.P ridge. Our stationary ridge the past several weeks will finally break down and bring with it the usual normal wintertime jet stream pattern, aimed at Washington State

R.I.P ridge. Our stationary ridge the past several weeks will finally break down and bring with it the usual normal wintertime jet stream pattern, aimed at Washington State

After the 3rd driest December on record at YVR airport, if you asked the general public on the street it was clear there wasn't going to be a ski season, and even a week ago things weren't looking very promising

Many people turned to social media to demand season pass and lift ticket refunds, and this put resort management in a very awkward situation.

Surely it's too early to write off an entire season?

According to climatology...it will snow. 

Well, pop the champagne resort staff, management, owners and most off all skiers and snowboarders because I suspect all local ski hills on Vancouver Island and the North Shore will slowly return to operational normals over the next 7 days

Here are the simplified facts:

The upper ridge over the Pacific Ocean will break down over the next few days, finally allowing the jet stream to deliver surface low pressure systems and associated frontal systems to the coast.

Often a resort such as Mt. Washington only needs a couple significant snowfalls to open, and according to the European medium range deterministic models, we can anticipate these kind of snowfall figures over the next week:

Total snowfall by the ECMWF model through January 12th (units in inches). Maximum value 136 cm or 53.6 inches

Total snowfall by the ECMWF model through January 12th (units in inches). Maximum value 136 cm or 53.6 inches

No, this isn't a joke.

Most elevations above 1000 metres will receive over 60-80 cm of snow over the next week, with localized higher amounts. Some resorts may resort to tallying their snowfall over the next two weeks in metres, not centimetres.  

What about the freezing level?

GFS weather model freezing level for Vancouver, BC next 7 days

GFS weather model freezing level for Vancouver, BC next 7 days

Smooth sailing. 

The ensemble forecasts also look VERY good with a greater than 90 percent chance of more than 50 mm of precipitation falling over the next 7 days, with more likely. 

Excellent, excellent news

Long overdue. 

I just want to briefly mention a historic cold snap poised to engulf most of Canada east of the Rockies, including most of the 48 lower states. If you're under the age of 35 and live in the lower 48 states you probably won't have the memory of such a brutal cold snap before. The NFL playoff games on tap for tomorrow will feature very dangerous conditions, especially in Green Bay and will be one of the coldest NFL games of all time, according to NOAA. Bundle up and take precautions if you're attending:

Wind chill for tomorrow morning courtesy of WeatherBell: 

High Resolution Rapid Refresh model is a cutting edge model that runs hourly by NCEP. Note the widespread -50C wind chill in the southern Prairies

High Resolution Rapid Refresh model is a cutting edge model that runs hourly by NCEP. Note the widespread -50C wind chill in the southern Prairies

One of my favourite websites lately has been this one, an animated map that shows global wind conditions where the graphic below was taken from. It currently shows the massive polar vortex moving down from Canada into the United States. 

In fact, temperatures in New Orleans Tuesday morning will be several degrees below 0, and cooler than Vancouver, BC. 

Astounding! 

#50shadesofVan