The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

Australian Forecast – Light Snow Showers Monday & Thursday, Sunshine Tuesday & Wednesday

Published early Monday 17th June 2024

It was a great weekend that saw a little bit of everything; sunshine, cloud, fog, and a few snow showers. Temperatures were also cold enough for the snow guns add a little more to our fledgling snowpack.

Early season conditions will persist over the next wee while with just a couple of snow showers in store today, Monday, before these persistent, cold southerlies finally start to ease, allowing the sun to shine on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A weak low-pressure system will sneak around the top of the Aussie Alps on Thursday, potentially bringing light snow showers and a dusting of snow.

Latest pressure analysis and satellite image. Source: The BOM (vandalised by the Grasshopper)

Monday 17th June

Brisk and chilly southerly winds will continue to push low-level cloud into the Aussie Alps, bringing low visibility in fog-like conditions at times along with one or two snow showers. Winds gradually ease a little.

Tuesday 18th June

Morning cloud clears to a nice sunny day. A light, chilly southerly breeze should have the snow guns blazing early and late.

Wednesday 19th June

Nice and sunny with a light W-NW breeze developing. Chilly temps early and late will allow more snowmaking.

Thursday 20th June

Cloud will build before snow showers get started in the afternoon, although it’s possible they’ll arrive in the morning, falling to around 1400-1500m. Light NW breezes.

Extended Forecast

We should see a few more snow showers falling on Friday 21st June with a change back to cold southerlies. Snowfall accumulations will be miniscule, but this will lead into another prolonged period of snowmaking as high pressure moves in for a mostly fine, settled weekend.

The next snowfall looks possible through the back half of next week, from about Wednesday 26th June onwards, although models have already chopped and changed the details on this one, so we’ll have to wait and see.

That’s all from me today folks. The next forecast is Wednesday, see you then.

Grasshopper

New Zealand Forecast – Cold Easterlies to Deliver 15-30 cm to Canterbury

Published early Monday 17th June 2024

New Zealand resorts received a couple of dustings over the weekend and the snow guns were up and running for long periods. It was fortunate timing as this allowed Cardrona, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt to scrape over the line and open their gates on Saturday. Coronet Peak is still waiting for a few more centimetres or the chance to make more snow, while Treble Cone, Mt Ruapehu resorts and other club fields will start opening the last weekend of June onwards.

The low that arrived in the Tasman Sea last week Wednesday will continue to hang about there for the rest of this week. It’s got to be some kind of record for the slowest-moving weather system in the Tasman – the slowest I can remember anyway. Part of the low will spilt off and cross the North Island today, Monday, ushering in a cold easterly flow over the South Island for the next four days.

Not only will resorts get the chance to pump out a tonne of the man-made stuff, but Canterbury is in line to score 15-30cm of powder, the bulk of it falling on Tuesday, while the Southern Lakes will also receive a light dusting of up to 2-5cm.

Latest pressure analysis and satellite image. Source: The BOM (vandalised by the Grasshopper)

Monday 17th June

Cloudy, or becoming cloudy over the South Island during the morning, then light snow will start to fall during the afternoon as SE winds pick up. The visibility will drop once the snow kicks in and the snow guns should fire up too.

Tuesday 18th June

The snowfall rate will pick up a bit in Canterbury during the early hours before dawn, then will start to back off from afternoon while snow levels and temperatures also start to drop significantly. Low visibility and cold SE winds, so wrap up warm.

Mostly cloudy for the Southern Lakes where any light flurries reaching the resorts will eventually peter out. Temperatures will also drop significantly during the afternoon and there’ll be stiff E-NE winds.

Wednesday 19th June

A cloudy day for the South Island, with light snow showers and flurries from time to time for Canterbury resorts where reduced visibility is likely. Chilly NE winds

Thursday 20th June

Mostly light snowfall in Canterbury gradually peters out by the end of the day. NE winds and reduced visibility is likely again.

A fairly cloudy day for the Southern Lakes with a N-NW breeze. Light snowfall is possible at night.

Extended Forecast

There’s a lot of uncertainty from Friday 21st June onwards as weather models continue to struggle with this Tasman Low. South Island resorts may see showers of rain and/or snow before the low begins to cross the country from Sunday 23rd onwards. This could usher in another bout of cold easterlies which would bring heavy snowfall to South Island resorts. It’s a very tantalising scenario, but models love to blow things up this far into the future, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

That’s all from me today folks. The next forecast is Wednesday, see you then.

Grasshopper

Weekly Japan Forecast – Quieter after a Massive week, but 15-40cm for Honshu this Weekend

Written Thursday morning 7th of March (Japan Standard Time)

It’s been a massive week in Japan, one of the deepest of the season for many resorts on Honshu, after a couple of storm systems rolled through, bringing consistent and deep refills of powder.

Things will be a little slower over the coming 7-day period, especially on Hokkaido where sunshine will be plentiful and winds mostly light. The main event will take place this weekend, and should result in 15-40cm+ of fresh powder for Honshu, thanks to a low out east dragging in some cold air. Another low from the west will bring snow + rain during Tuesday, before another shot of powder on Wednesday.

This is my last forecast of the 2023-2024 Japanese snow season. It’s been a blast and a real pleasure to have been a part of it all. Hopefully I’ve helped you in some way or another to score the goods while also staying safe. Although I’m heading into hibernation until the southern hemisphere winter arrives, there’s still plenty more skiing to be done here in Japan. With more sunshine and warmer temps, as well as the occasional fresh shot of Japow, spring is still a great time to hit the Japanese slopes.

Snowfall accumulations (cm) over the next 7-days. Note, snow depths are calculated using the Kuchera Ratio, which uses is a linear function of the warmest temperature in the lower half of the atmosphere. Compared to the traditional 10:1 ratio, the Kuchera is generally more accurate. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL 

Thursday 7th & Friday 8th of March

Today, Thursday, an icy cold N-NW flow over Japan will ease as a high drifts over the north. Resorts will primarily see a mix of sun and cloud. However, light snowfalls tucked in close to the Sea of Japan coastline are making contact with some exposed resorts. These will gradually clear Honshu this morning, but will penetrate further inland over Hokkaido for a time this afternoon.

The first half of Friday will bring a period of snowfall to Honshu as a low develops off the Pacific coast. It’ll be just a light dusting for most resorts, although some resorts exposed to the east will see a little more accumulate, and milder temps may have snow levels slightly elevated.

Some blue sky should pop out Friday afternoon, although there’ll still be a light scattering of snow showers, especially over Central Honshu where they’ll become more frequent late in the day as colder westerlies start to arrive there.

Friday on Hokkaido will be mint, as any morning cloud will clear for a sunny and calm afternoon.

 

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Thursday through Saturday. Note: the Kuchera ratio is used here too. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th of March

Central Honshu will cop a decent load of powder of about 15-40cm+ this weekend, thanks to the low out east dragging in colder air as it pulls further away. Winds will initially be coming from the west, then gradually turn northwest. Thus, snowfall rates will peak at different times at different resorts during Saturday into early Sunday, before clearing or easing through the second half of Sunday as pressures start to rise.

Northern Honshu will also see light-moderate snowfall during Saturday and some further light falls Sunday afternoon.

Hokkaido, meanwhile, will remain mostly sunny and calm during Saturday. W-NW winds show up on Sunday, bringing increased cloud cover and some light snow showers.

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Sunday through Wednesday. Note: the old-school ratio of 10:1 is used here. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th of March

Monday will be mostly fine and calm for Central Honshu as a high drifts overhead. Mild W-SW winds further north will bring rain + snow to parts of Northern Honshu, which will also spread to Hokkaido during the second half of the day.

Tuesday will be an unpleasant one for Honshu, as a low from the west spreads rain + dense high-level snow and warm southerlies up the island. Colder N-NW winds arrive during Wednesday, with a period of moderate snowfall for Central Honshu and light snowfall for Northern Honshu. The bulk of it may fall before snow levels actually reach base levels, however, and once they do, snowfalls should quickly clear up.

Up on Hokkaido, skies will clear up Tuesday as a light, cold northerly flow cleans out any muck, and it’ll stay that way through Wednesday.

 

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Sunday through Wednesday. Note: the old-school ratio of 10:1 is used here too. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

Extended Outlook

Warm spring-like westerlies are likely to develop over Japan though the back half of next week, with a period of rain + snow likely during next Thursday, before skies clear next Friday.

Then from next Sunday (17th March) onwards, a low from the west is likely to pass over Japan. Ensemble models are picking it to be a strong one, so after the initial warm, wet spell, conditions are looking ripe for a decent snowfall event, especially for Central Honshu. Fingers crossed!

7-day pressure anomalies, starting Sunday 17th March (JST), showing this period will be dominated by low pressure, centered just east of northern Japan, which bodes particularly well for Central Honshu. Source: ECMWF ensemble mean, WeatherBell

That’s all from me today, and for the season. See you soon in Australia and New Zealand.

Grasshopper

Weekly North America Forecast – Powder for All as Storms Hammer the Northwest

Written Thursday morning 7th March (Pacific Time)

The last 7-days have topped the charts this season, after a major storm impacted the West early in the period. Massive numbers were reported in the Sierras, Cascades and central and northern Rockies, the highest of which was at Sugar Bowl in northern California where a whopping 330cm of snow fell.

Snow depths are now average or above for this time of year over the South, from Oregon, to southern Idaho and Wyoming southwards. It was a welcome perk-up for the North with deep powder on offer, despite snow depths still remaining below average there.

The next 7-days will see the entire West adding another decent layer of powder to the snowpack. After some initial light snowfall in the South, a series of active fronts will hammer the Canadian Coast Mountains before pushing inland and southwards. Each front, about three in total, will extend its reach further into the south, eventually hitting the central and southern Rockies during Tuesday and Wednesday.

This is my last forecast of the 2023-2024 North American snow season. It’s been a blast and a real pleasure to have been a part of it all. Hopefully I’ve helped you in some way or another to score the goods while also staying safe. Although I’m heading into hibernation until the southern hemisphere winter arrives, there’s still plenty more skiing to be done here. Snow depths are still building and some resorts are only just reaching peak season now. So go get amongst I say!

Snowfall accumulations (cm) for the next 7-days. Note, snow depths are calculated using the Kuchera Ratio, which uses is a linear function of the warmest temperature in the lower half of the atmosphere. Compared to the traditional 10:1 ratio, the Kuchera is generally more accurate. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL 

Thursday 7th & Friday 8th of March

Low pressure drifting eastwards over the south today and tomorrow will bring mostly light snowfall to the region, from the Sierras to Wyoming southwards.

However, slightly heavier falls will show up in parts of the Rockies where it’ll also be the most consistent, persisting through Friday while other areas clear. The largest accumulations are expected in southeast Wyoming (e.g. Snowy Range), Colorado, and New Mexico, where up to 15-25cm should fall, although up to 35-40cm could fall at Wolf Creek in the San Juan Mountains, southern Colorado.

A much colder, drier airmass currently sits over the north, but resorts there will undergo a warming trend as winds blow in from the Pacific, ahead of a front that pushes into the Canadian coast today. This front will kick off a couple of days of heavy snowfall in the Coast Mountains, while light to moderate falls make it inland into the northern Canadian Rockies.

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Thursday & Friday (PT). Note: the Kuchera ratio is used here too. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th of March

The tail end of the front pushing into the Canadian Coast will whip over the Cascades, and northern Rockies during Saturday. A second front will follow close behind, passing over these same northern areas on Sunday.

The result will be periods of moderate to heavy snowfall in the Coast Mountains and Cascades throughout the weekend, and in the northern Sierras/Tahoe later on Sunday. Resorts in the northern Rockies, from the Sawtooth Range of Idaho northwards, will see periods of light-moderate snowfall.

Remaining snowfall in Colorado and New Mexico eventually clears up Saturday as high pressure settles in over the Central-Southern Rockies.

 

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Saturday & Sunday (PT). Note: the old-school ratio of 10:1 is used here so values maybe underdone. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th of March

Snowfall continues across the north during Monday, with light falls also showing up as far south as Utah and Colorado, while the Tetons could also see moderate snowfall.

Later on Monday, a new front enters the northwest, with another round of heavy snowfall for the Coast Mountains, Cascades and northern Sierras through to early Tuesday.

This new front also brings another round of snowfall to the northern and central Rockies as it pushes inland during Tuesday. Snowfall will hang on in the central Rockies during Wednesday and spread to the southern Rockies, while they dry up elsewhere in the West as high pressure enters the north.

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Monday through Wednesday (PT). Note: the old-school ratio of 10:1 is used here so values maybe underdone. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL 

Extended Outlook

High pressure is likely to bring a quiet spell to the West from next Thursday (14th March) through the following weekend. The only potential action is at the edges of this high, in the far north and southern Rockies.

High pressure may continue to dominate over the North the following week, starting Monday 18th March, while it wanes over the South, potentially opening the door for more snowfall there.

7-day pressure anomalies starting next Monday 18th of March (PT), showing snowfalls are likely to show up in the South, while high pressure dominating the North will likely keep a lid on things. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

That’s all from me today, and for the season, folks. See you all soon in Australia and New Zealand.

Grasshopper

Latest Outlooks

1 2 3 47