14 October 2009

Another Good North American Ski Season

On Friday, up to 1 foot of snow fell at higher elevations in Wyoming, mainly due to upslope flow from a surface low which moved across the Plains. This same system produced up to 1 1/2 feet of snow to mainly Nebraska Friday and Saturday. Lighter amounts – up to 1/2 foot – fell across the southern Dakotas. On Monday, another system produced light snow across the Upper Midwest and western Great Lakes. _WUWT
In the freezing foothills of Montana, a distinctly bitter blast of revolution hangs in the air...And while the residents of the icy city of Missoula can stave off the -10C chill with thermals and fires, there may be no easy remedy for the wintry snap’s repercussions.

The temperature has shattered a 36-year record. Further into the heartlands of America, the city of Billings registered -12C on Sunday, breaking the 1959 barrier of -5C. _DailyMail_via_WattsUpWithThat??!!
The NOAA image above (courtesy of Wattsupwiththat) reveals the very early start to winter being experienced by the mountain and plains states of North America.
...we have a significant portion of the northern Midwest plains and northern Rockies are snow covered and it is not quickly dissipating, in fact it is increasing. Since October 10th the coverage has increased from 13.2% of the USA covered by snow. _WUWT

You can see the year by year snow depth for October 13 over the past several years:
  • 2003- 38.2 in
  • 2004-322.6 in
  • 2005-456.9 in
  • 2006-223.2 in
  • 2007-458.1 in
  • 2008-600.6 in
  • 2009-728.8 in
This year may very well be the best ski year for mountain resorts ever! Go ahead and get your skis waxed and ready to go. If you can still get in on pre-season lift ticket sales for your favourite resort, hurry up!
Much of the Western snowpack is cold and stable due due to unseasonably cold air temperatures in those areas. Along the southern edge of the snowpack – from southeastern Idaho to southern Wyoming and from southern Nebraska through southern Iowa, warm and melting conditions were present.

A deep, strong offshore system off the West Coast with potent onshore flow will cause widespread heavy rainfall across the northern two-thirds of California. Up to a foot of snow is possible in the high-elevation central Sierra Nevada, but it will be mixed with rain. _WUWT


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