It’s been a rough start to the season along the west coast with most mountain ranges sitting at 30-40 percent of average snowfall for this time of year.
I do see a pretty strong storm that will hit Oregon and Washington on Friday into Saturday and another storm that will bring more snow to Washington from Sunday through early next week. What I don’t see is a change in the overall weather pattern and storm track that will bring more consistent snow to the entire coastal region.
A large area of high pressure is anchored off the west coast and is acting like a bouncer at a bar—providing a valuable service by keeping unruly patrons out of the establishment. This high pressure, however, is providing an unwanted service by keeping storms away form the west coast.
I’ve looked at every long-range model that I can find, and I just don’t see any solid evidence of this situation changing any time soon. The good news, though, is that long-range weather forecasts are terrible, so if they are showing a continuation of the pattern, perhaps real life will be different than the forecast, and the pattern will actually change.
The one area that is seeing good snow is British Columbia as the storms are being directed to the north of the U.S. west coast and up to the Canadian west coast. Snowfall in British Columbia is right around average for this time of year, so if you’re looking for the best powder, head north!
Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.