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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Negative AO means a strong early December start

Fundamentally, there are few allies more dependable than a negative Arctic Oscilation. Send the cold down to the mid-lattitudes and keep the relative warmth near the poles. A whole winter consisting of such a pattern and there would be no need for a single chair weather blog since every other day would be a powder day. It is encouraging to see the '07-'08 winter begin as the '06-'07 winter ended but the deck remains stacked against us unlike it was last year.

Not only do we have some cold courtesy of the AO index, but we also have a storm. One which should begin as snow late Sunday, change to a period of sleet for a time early Monday and then go back to a longer period of snow later Monday into Tuesday. Much of the snow later Monday into Tuesday will be of the terrain induced variety and I will refer to this as TIS (Terrain induced snow) for the sake of concision. It is a fairly good set-up for TIS actually and I would not be surprised to see MRG tally 10-20 inches in the period beginning late Sunday and ending early Wednesday. No sense in getting more specific with the mountain closed but if new snow totals do indeed fall in this range it could be enough to induce an opening day announcement from the powers that be.

The AO is expected to remain on the negative side of zero for the next 10 days although models are showing a dreaded strengthening of the southeast ridge by next weekend. This is going to be a tough animal to tame this winter as the prevelance of the southeast ridge is correlated to the La Nina. It will be a bullet we will need to dodge next weekend or else its mild weather and perhaps even some rain. I will check back early next week to see if MRG plans an opening and will update the blog accordingly.

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