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2015-2016 Pacific Northwest discussion weather, news and information (also inclusive of "stoke")  

post #1 of 487
Thread Starter 

No new snow yet to mark the beginning of the ski season.  Instead we've got heat, one of the warmest and driest summers on record in the Pacific Northwest (that's PNW to everyone who lives here).  

 

But that won't stop most of us (and by that I mean myself) from obsessing about skiing, weather (as it relates to skiing), amusing anecdotes (as it relates to skiing) or travel plans within BC, AB, WA, Oregon, Idaho and Montana (again, as it relates to skiing) and any other activities to get through the summer while we wait for skiing.

 

Let the games begin.

 

I'll start.  Anyone try stand-up paddle boarding? Does that work on the core and balance, in order to be prepared for skiing?  Is it fun (like skiing)?

post #2 of 487
We use to call it the Pacific Northwet. Not so much these days.
post #3 of 487

Mod note:  discussion of 2015-16 started in the 2014-15 thread with this post on 6/24:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe strummer View Post

Driest May on record in Vancouver. Same will apply for Junuary.

I'm already getting worried about the 15/16 season.

 

Not too many posts after that before this thread was started.  Go here if you really want to see them:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/129247/2014-2015-pacific-northwest-weather-discussion-thread/660#post_1893336

 

If they were moved, would show up before Post #1.

post #4 of 487

I am concerned; does the coming season have the potential to be worse than the previous season in the PNW, which was already terrible.  El Nino typically brings milder winters to the PNW and they are now forecasting a "Super El Nino" Plus the Pacific Ocean is still in a positive mode, much warmer then it should be and it doesn't appear that it's going to change any time soon.  Last winter we got almost as much rain as we got snow up to 2000m (6500ft) in elevation throughout the season due to most of our storm events coming out of the tropics "pineapple express" followed by long cold and dry high pressure ridges.  And this was in the presence of a very weak El Nino + warm pacific mode blob.

post #5 of 487
Last year's September forecast for Dec-Jan-Feb, precipitation:


This year's (most recent):



Last year's September forecast for Dec-Jan-Feb, temperature:


This year's (most recent):



Wish I had last July's first for that winter, but apparently wasn't that foresighted.

While I wouldn't rely on exact points for things, the darker browns aren't good.
post #6 of 487
Thread Starter 

Hmmm....well there are signs that a strong El Nino is forming. There's even some meteorologists observing that the warm "blob" is being slowly broken up by the growing El Nino pattern.

 

What does this mean?  The last strong El Nino year that I recall (2009-2010) there was pretty good snow coverage in California, and less-than-normal around the PNW, however still plenty of snow for skiing, pretty much the whole season, with a lot of snow falling in March.   Also I don't recall any pineapple express atmospheric rivers that year, whereas the following year (2010-2011) was a La Nina year, with a lot of snowfall but also three big pineapple express systems in January and February, then a ton of snow in March and April.

 

Most forecasters are calling this past year an anomaly and unlikely to repeat for another 10 years.   I'm cautiously hopeful.

post #7 of 487

We'll have to wait and see I guess; I ski a lot in BC and the problem we face on warmer years is many of our lift service mountains don't go exceed 2000m in elevation; so while last winter we did get quite a bit of precip in a number of places it often came as rain to the top of the lifts.  While other places didn't receive much of anything all winter; bone dry conditions.  Hopefully that blob dissipates.  It's been present that past 2 winters and for BC they've both been poor seasons, this just past winter especially... The 3 seasons prior we're all amazing however; though I believe 1-2 of em were La Nina.

post #8 of 487

BC is already sounding the alarm bells about potentially an even worse ski season in the Pacific Northwest than last winter... and last winter was brutal.

post #9 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 

There's even some meteorologists observing that the warm "blob" is being slowly broken up by the growing El Nino pattern.

 

 

If that actually happens, that's just about the best possible outcome at this point.  The blob has been *much* worse for us than a typical El Nino is, even a very strong El Nino.  If the blob breaks up and we get a typical "bad" winter, I'll be ecstatic.

post #10 of 487

I am worried of the combination of the two warm water masses creating an even worse blob?  In the PNW, we did receive a decent amount or precipitation in the interior, but it was too warm and often falling as rain on the tops of mountains... granted a lot of this systems were rolling in from the tropics and sub tropics.  Very few systems coming in from any other direction.  

post #11 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kulharin View Post
 

I am worried of the combination of the two warm water masses creating an even worse blob?  In the PNW, we did receive a decent amount or precipitation in the interior, but it was too warm and often falling as rain on the tops of mountains... granted a lot of this systems were rolling in from the tropics and sub tropics.  Very few systems coming in from any other direction.  


According to Cliff Mast (on the radio this afternoon) the Blob will dissipate when El Nino comes calling.

post #12 of 487
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post

If that actually happens, that's just about the best possible outcome at this point.  The blob has been *much* worse for us than a typical El Nino is, even a very strong El Nino.  If the blob breaks up and we get a typical "bad" winter, I'll be ecstatic.
Here's hoping for a "bad" winter!!
post #13 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post

If that actually happens, that's just about the best possible outcome at this point.  The blob has been *much* worse for us than a typical El Nino is, even a very strong El Nino.  If the blob breaks up and we get a typical "bad" winter, I'll be ecstatic.
Here's hoping for a "bad" winter!!


Is this the stoke part?

post #14 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 


Is this the stoke part?


Such is the state of our expectations of late. In the meantime, I hope there's something left East of the Cascades that isn't burnt to the ground come winter. 

post #15 of 487

I'm at Sun Peaks right now (north and east of the Cascades) for next week's free Colin James concert and it rained all day yesterday, so hopefully Washington got some of that precipitation.

 

Rumour has it that it was snowing at the top of the mountain. Possible as it was 10*C at my 5th wheel trailer/ski chalet at approx. 3000ft ASL and the top of the mountain is just over 6800ft ASL. Also raining harder at the mountain, 18km away.:snowfall

post #16 of 487

I've been watching the radar lately and have noticed that interior BC has had some rain.  Nothing down here, though.  Dry as toast.

post #17 of 487

Wonder if Palmer will melt completely this season?  Looking rough up there.

 

post #18 of 487
Looks dry through Sept.
post #19 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

I've been watching the radar lately and have noticed that interior BC has had some rain.  Nothing down here, though.  Dry as toast.

 

We had rain in the Kamloops-Sun Peaks area Friday, beautiful sunny day Saturday, and Sunday the smoke from the big Washington fire arrived. It is about 150 to 200 miles to the BC-WA border from here yet the smoke was pretty thick.

post #20 of 487
Smokey most of the day in Seattle as well. 2015, the summer from hell.
post #21 of 487
It's been smoking from Weed to Bend for 2 weeks. You can read anything you want into that.
post #22 of 487

The jet stream has been depositing it down here, too. We have had 4 or 5 days of air advisories, and visibility stinks. 

 

post #23 of 487

Cliff Mass's latest blog post on El Nino vs. The Blob: http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/09/godzilla-el-nino-versus-blob-who-will.html

 

Straight to the conclusion for the impatient:

 

Quote:
 The BLOB is vulnerable.  And I believe that Godzilla El Nino will destroy it.  Nature is cruel.
 
What does that mean for our weather?  A strong  El Nino bring modestly warmer than normal temperatures, with a snowpack about 20% below normal.  Much better than last winter.  The correlation with Northwest precipitation is weak.  Less lowland snow and fewer major storms.  Enhanced precipitation over southern/central California.

 

Crossing my fingers that he's correct.

post #24 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post
 

Wonder if Palmer will melt completely this season?  Looking rough up there.

 

I just spoke with a researcher on glacial retreat at Mt. Hood. He says not likely, but if there's another warm winter, Palmer is in serious trouble. 

post #25 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by paigeblank View Post
 

I just spoke with a researcher on glacial retreat at Mt. Hood. He says not likely, but if there's another warm winter, Palmer is in serious trouble. 

 

Yeah I am worried about it.  I cancelled a trip up there this summer but I'm still hopeful for next year. The photo below was when I skied on 9/1/12.  Talk about a contrast to this year.

 

post #26 of 487

on a more positive note, not that it matters much; Whistler just had its first snowfall. 

post #27 of 487
Hood got a dusting and weather patterns are looking favorable for the start of Fall.
post #28 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Hood got a dusting and weather patterns are looking favorable for the start of Fall.

 

Yeah, looking much better up there today.

 

post #29 of 487
A few inches are forecast for Thurs./Fri. in the Cascades.
post #30 of 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

A few inches are forecast for Thurs./Fri. in the Cascades.

Well, that means we might match last season by Monday rolleyes.gif
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › 2015-2016 Pacific Northwest discussion weather, news and information (also inclusive of "stoke")