The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

The Grasshopper – The Latest Snow Forecast

Australian Forecast – Snow Showers and Cooler SW Winds Build This Weekend, Then Heavier Snowfalls Monday

Published early Friday, 12th July 2024

Boy are we hungry for some snow. We’ve had a little snow in Victoria overnight to whet the appetite, so check in with Reggae and the crew for the latest reports. The precip will continue over Victoria throughout Friday, but unfortunately snow levels will lift a little higher than we’d like.

The good news is we shouldn’t have to wait too long for more snow as a cooler southwest flow becomes established this weekend thanks to a low firing up in the southwest of the Tasman Sea. Snow flurries on Saturday will turn into more prolific snow showers on Sunday, of which Mt Baw Baw will make the most out of with 10cm or so expected, then become even more prolific on Monday as winds intensify for the first decent snowfall in a long time.

We can expect moderate snowfall on Monday, but unfortunately, warm air will weasel its way into the system, lifting snow levels to high levels over Victoria, where snow will turn into rain on low to mid-level slopes.

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

Friday July 12th 

Occasional light rain or drizzle over Victoria, falling as snow above 1500-1600m, but snow levels will creep up to 1700m or more before clearing from late afternoon. A deck of high cloud for NSW, and we could see a light flurry or two this afternoon. NW winds gradually ease and turn westerly.

Saturday July 13th 

A mostly clear start to the day, but cloud and snow showers develop over Baw Baw early before spreading elsewhere throughout the day, with only one or a few flurries showing up at the other resorts. S-SW winds will gradually get colder throughout the day.

Sunday July 14th

Brisk, cold SW winds will once again see snow showers about Mt Baw Baw spread elsewhere during the day. Snow levels should stay below base levels and the snow-making crews will be able to do their thing!

Monday July 15th 

Finally, a decent powder day! We’ll see snow falling throughout the day, getting up around moderate intensities. However (there’s always a however!), snow levels will lift up to high altitudes over Victoria during the day. At this stage snow levels should stay low over NSW. Strong, gusty W-SW winds will reach gale force in exposed areas and make for pretty rough conditions.

Extended Forecast

With the low still churning away in the Tasman Sea, a milder S-SE flow will blow over the Aussie Alps on Tuesday, July 16th, with heavy falls of rain and mid- to high-level snow expected. Cooler winds on Wednesday, July 17th, may bring snow showers to lower levels before clearing out Thursday, the 18th, as winds drop off due to the Tasman Low heading off towards New Zealand.

The next snowstorm looks possible from next weekend, the 20th and 21st of July.

That’s all from me today, folks. The next forecast is Monday. See you then, and have a great weekend.

Grasshopper

New Zealand Forecast – Good Bye Big High, Love You Long Time

Published early Friday, 12th July 2024

We kiss goodbye to the big, strong, handsome high that has brought us such lovely, fine weather this week. However, as it sails off into the Pacific, its influence will linger for several more days, keeping the weather mostly fine and settled over the South Island.

At the same time, a low spins up in the Tasman Sea and will send a weakening frontal rain band our way. The rain band crosses the North Island on Monday before reaching the top of the South Island Monday night, bringing rain and high-level snow to resorts along the way.

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

Friday July 12th 

A bluebird day with a light NE breeze for the Southern Lakes and an E-SE breeze for Canterbury.

Saturday July 13th 

Fine again, but NE winds become quite strong in Canterbury where some low cloud may reach the lower ski slopes.

Sunday July 14th 

Clear blue skies for the Southern Lakes with a N-NE breeze.

Partly cloudy for Canterbury. NE winds will be brisk about Mt Hutt and Porters Pass where there could also be spot of drizzle in the afternoon.

Monday July 15th

Fine with building high cloud for the South Island. NE winds will be brisk about Mt Hutt and Porters Pass again but light elsewhere.

At night, light rain and high-level snow spread over Canterbury.

Extended Forecast

The rain band I mentioned in the intro should clear the country on Tuesday, July 16th, with just a small amount of rain and high-level snow also falling over the Southern Lakes. We could see a few more showers spilling over the Main Divide on Wednesday, July 17th, but for the most part, the weather doesn’t look too bad, as there’ll be a slow-moving low hanging out in the western Tasman Sea, directing just a light N-NW flow over New Zealand.

However, from Friday, July 19th, through the weekend of the 20th and 21st of July, the Tasman Low is expected to intensify before crossing the North Island, bringing heavy rain and strong winds there, as well as more moderate winds and precipitation to Canterbury, which could fall as snow to near base levels.

That’s all from me today, folks. The next forecast is Monday. See you then, and have a great weekend.

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 49