Quick Mountain Snow Update

 Right now, the latest run of the Canadian global model is suggesting a strong surface low approaching northern Vancouver Island late Friday night or early Saturday Morning

 Right now, the latest run of the Canadian global model is suggesting a strong surface low approaching northern Vancouver Island late Friday night or early Saturday Morning

If you want good news first, continue reading.

If you want some bad news, scroll down past the hefty snowfall accumulation forecasts. 

The frontal systems are still on track for the remainder of the week bringing widespread showers/rain to lower elevations but much needed, significant accumulations to the alpine above 1200 metres. 

There's been some talk about the freezing level being too high and widespread rain will be present in the alpine. This simply isn't the case, and judging by the Canadian GEM ensemble control member, 850 hPa mean temperatures will be slightly below normal. These at 850 hPa pressure level normally represent roughly 1500 metres above sea-level. 

 850 Canadian GEM Ensemble Control 850hPa Mean temperature anomaly

 850 Canadian GEM Ensemble Control 850hPa Mean temperature anomaly

If you've been checking mountain temperatures today, you would have noticed an inversion present with above freezing temperatures, but this will quickly disappear tonight with the arrival of our first weak front.

An inversion is when temperatures increase with height, going against the typical intuition that alpine regions are typically cooler than sea level locations.

Below, there's some first guess accumulations for select regions in the alpine through until the weekend. Although these numbers WILL change, as there's some (by some I mean a lot of) uncertainty to the strength and path of a potentially potent low pressure system later on the day for Friday (~990 mb).

This system in question has the potential to dump 50+ cm of snow to higher elevations so it bears watching, along with a lowland wind event.   

Whistler: 50-75 cm 

Mt. Washington: 60-75 cm 

North Shore mountains: 50-60 cm 

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Now... the bad news.

Unfortunately a key indicator I rely on for medium range forecasting is hinting at the return of the quasi-stationary ridge that has been present over the eastern Pacific for most of the fall and early winter. 

Here's it is, but I'll warn you, if you're squeamish, don't look. It's UGLY.

The fat ridge returns next week. 

500za_week2_bg_na1.png

 Maybe Ullr can somehow deflect the ridge and keep the storm train rolling. We'll see.

#50shadesofVan