Snowy Future ?

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Friday February 10
Is lots of snow in our long-range outlook?  Though remote, there is that chance.  Let’s get there first, shall we?
Showers today will continue as a Low spins south off the OR coast towards CA (where it will slide all the way to San Diego by Sunday).  Mild temps.  This weekend is looking fairly dry and on the mild side.  Super Bowl Sunday will be a decent ‘game day’ here in the PNW, so those not interested in viewing the game can get outside for commercial-free space.  The change towards the chance for “White Heart’ SNOW begins on Monday Feb 13.
Overnight Sunday, a cold front will slip over Vancouver Is. / NW WA.  By daybreak, the system will have pushed south into OR & east of the Cascades.   Early on, it will produce rain / Cascade snow, but as Monday evening arrives, temperatures will have dropped enough for rain/snow mixed quite near the surface, then potentially all snow before Tue morning.  As is the case when we get this type of pattern - the amount of moisture that remains once the colder air is in place ends up quite limited.  However, we will stick with the chance that most Patrons west of the Cascades are likely to see snowfall on Valentine’s Day, as the 'White Heart’ storm draws cold air into the region.  Accumulations are iffy, so don’t expect to make snowmen at sea level.  There is an outside chance for a secondary shot of moisture to develop over southern OR, opening the door for a bit more snow across areas south of Salem.  Just say’n.  
The cold front will drape across CA, so as the sky clears afterwards, FROST possible in California’s Big Valley.  The PNW could also be a bit ICY on Wed morning, if the sky clears in your area.  School delays should not be ruled out.  Dry & chilly during the break in precip on Wed, with very weak system modeled to bring a return to valley RAIN or showers & mountain snow late Thu into Fri, Feb 16,17.  Widely scattered showers possible Sat, with snow showers in the mountains, and over the eastern basins.  
Ponder Point.  Dare we write this portion? (Ah shucks, go for it.)  Long-range model scenarios hint at a MAJOR snow event for the PNW sometime in the Feb 21 through Feb 28 period.  Yes, of course, this is so far out there, but it has happened in the past, so read on.  Cold air is modeled to flow out over the eastern Pacific and then be turned onshore by a series of Low pressure systems spinning plenty of moisture - as SNOW - into the PNW.  Southern BC could literally be hammered with The White.  The cold cycle, snow threat could begin as early as Tue Feb 21, with snow levels dropping during that first cold front.  Surface snow looks iffy, as southerly winds should hold up the freezing level just a bit, esp the farther south one is in the PNW.  However, by late Wed Feb 22 & Thu Feb 23, all bets are off.  A STRONG system is charting to move into play, with plenty of ’snow-cold’ moisture expected.  WINDY to start, then as the center Low tracks south, models hint at plenty of surface snow across the entire PNW, with the coast also possibly in play.  High pressure Dome pooling Arctic air to the interior of BC, could set off cold winds from the Fraser Gap.  The snowy period may run a few days, Feb 22-26.  
The other, likely scenario is for the Pacific High to push in, keeping the PNW dry and mild during the period discussed above.  That said, models have repeated the colder solutions enough for us to present valley snow as a ‘Ponder Point’ while you sip that morn’n beverage.  We’ll update again in a few days.
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