December has been showing us many faces of weather so far. We started with a warm and wet pattern, followed by a dry and sunny pattern, and now a cold and snowy pattern is setting in for the next week or longer. Skiers and riders up and down the West Coast are dreaming of the snow that is going to be blanketing the slopes before the Holidays.
In the short term through this weekend, we will see some weak to moderate-sized systems that will be splitting and weakening as they approach the West Coast. On Friday, the first system will bring a few inches of snow followed by a storm Saturday night into Sunday that will lay down several more inches from Washington to California.
Next week, the high-pressure ridge in the Pacific backs up a bit more, opening the door to some bigger storms. Monday into Tuesday, we will have a cold storm that could drop anywhere from one to two feet of additional powder in the Sierra, two to three feet for the Cascades of Oregon and three to four feet for Washington. That will be followed by yet another storm by next Thursday that could bring even more snow.
You can see on the image that by next Thursday the forecast models have at least two to four feet of new snow for everyone. The good news is that looking long-range into Christmas week there are no signs of anything that would stop the storms from continuing. What a difference a year makes.
Bryan Allegretto is a Weather Forecaster for OpenSnow.com.