Sven and family from UnofficialMtRose.com catch the first chair of the year on Pondo today. Photo courtesy of SkiRose.com
We’ve been avoiding posting anything about the weather lately, mostly because it’s been quite fickle. Honestly it gets depressing to see the parade of weak storms continue to roll in. But yesterday’s storm was a little bit under-rated. This morning we woke up to reports of as much as 9 inches of snow falling near the crest. As the sun rose over Truckee, it suddenly looked like winter. Today also marked the opening of more resorts, more lifts and more terrain.
We’re not super excited about the storm for tonight and tomorrow. As of this evening, we can’t even get a snow advisory for the area. We do have a High Wind Advisory for tonight through tomorrow, with winds expected to gust as high as 75 mph at the upper elevations Saturday. Snow amount are supposed to be limited to a few inches, mostly above 8,000 feet. Although Saturday may offer some interesting conditions, things look good for Sunday and early next week. No significant weather systems are currently in the models until shortly after Thanksgiving…more on that later.
There’s now 4 places to enjoy a bit of early season skiing and riding in Tahoe. Here’s the round up for the weekend:
• Boreal has expanded operations to include a second chair and a second run this week. The Nugget chair will offer a small slope primarily intended for lessons and beginners. While that news in itself may not seem exciting, it pulls a lot of that slower traffic off of the Castle Peak Quad, resulting in fewer obstacles on the slope, and fewer stops on the lift. Boreal will be offering skiing and riding 9am until 9pm daily. Lift tickets are $49 for adults and $29 for children.
• Mount Rose also expanded operations today, with the Ponderosa Chair opening serving low angle terrain and some small park features. The Pondo chair is serving a long gentle WROD on Lower Galena and the Enchanted Forest Trail. Currently 6 park features are offered on Show Off, served by the Flying Jenny magic carpet. For this weekend, lift tickets are $29 for adults and $19 for children.
• Northstar and Heavenly Valley also opened for business today. Both resorts have some of the biggest snowmaking systems in the area, so it’s not surprising that both have covered a lot of terrain over the last week. While it seems like they have a lot open in the way of lifts, in both cases lifts are required to get you to the part of the mountain where snowmaking has happened. KCRA reported this evening that Heavenly lift tickets were priced at $90 today, and that is often the price for early season tickets at Northstar. We would love to verify that, but both the Northstar and Heavenly web sites are down at the moment. If you like the park far away then slog through a village routine, all so you can ride a gondola to begin skiing and riding, you can now have that experience.
While none of the skiing and riding this weekend is going to be absolutely amazing, it’s always fun to get out there and start using those muscles again. More importantly, it’s important that we reward the resorts that open before Thanksgiving with our business, even if it means just stopping by for a few hot laps at Rose or Boreal before you go out shopping. I am hoping to do one day at Boreal and one day at Rose this weekend.
Looking ahead to the future, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend will offer similar conditions, except that more resorts will offer those conditions. Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Squaw Valley are excepted to offer their own WROD beginning on the 26th as well. If snowmaking conditions are favorable during the week, you would expect that either Boreal or Rose will open to the top by next weekend. Hopefully we get a good cold air mix instead of inversions this week.
In the department of weather, the overall weather pattern has been locked into to place for the last three weeks due to the pattern set up by Typhoon Nuri. The cold polar jet sunk into the eastern US, bringing cold temperatures and huge amounts of snow to the east. The west was parked under a large ridge of high pressure pushed up by the movement of the typhoon. This ridge was atypically farther north than usual, which allowed a weak jet to undercut. This has allowed the series of weak and warm storms to bring up limited amounts of snow and rain. That should be changing soon. Forecasters have said that the Buffalo, NY area, which received 70 inches of snow this week, is expected to see spring-like temperatures in the mid-50’s next week. While this may lead to some flooding in upstate New York, it’s a sign that a significant change is nearing. The models are getting into agreement on a very deep low off the coast of California during the first week of December. It’s still pretty far out there, but its a good reminder that this is not last season. Things will be different, eventually.
Gallery Of Weather Possibilities
The PNA flips back to negative, indicating that ridge is moving out.
One of several storms showing on the GFS for early December.
The Euro is also showing a very large trough developing shortly after Thanksgiving.
The CFS is looking wet as we get into December as well.
Forecasters suggest that the MJO moving to Phase three will result in a more active jet in the upcoming weeks.