After a December to remember with well over 100 inches for many of the ski resorts along the West Coast, January will bring in the New Year with a new weather pattern.
As of midnight on January 1, over 66 percent of the U.S. was covered in snow which is more than any year in well over a decade. But a large ridge of high pressure has now parked itself over the Western U.S. and off the West Coast, and it is currently blocking most of the country from big winter storms.
We’ll have a split flow pattern over the U.S. during the next week. The jet stream will be going up and over the ridge off the West Coast. The good news is that it will be far enough South for snow to continue over the Northern Cascades. Over the Southern Cascades and the Sierra Nevada, the sun will reign throughout the next week, although it will remain fairly cold with temperatures at or below the seasonal averages. That will keep the snow that did fall in December in good condition.
For the Northern Cascades, we will see a storm on Friday and another on Sunday that will drop several inches each. Then next week we could see a continuous stream of moisture Monday through Thursday that could bring another foot or two. Snow levels are expected to be above 3,000 feet until falling by the middle of next week. Total snowfall could be two to three feet by next Wednesday for the Cascades of Washington with several inches down into Oregon. There is a chance that even the Northern Sierra gets a few inches next Thursday, if the storm is able to drop far enough South.
Bryan Allegretto is a Weather Forecaster for OpenSnow.com.