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The All New 17/18 Weather Outlook Thread

 Poster: A snowHead
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Second week of October (in fact from next Friday) certainly looking cool in the Alps on this evening's GFS and the unfolding ECM.

Whether that also means snow is too early to tell, but in any case there should be some snow showers at altitude on the glaciers on Tuesday.
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@nozawaonsen, cold enough to get the cannons running high up though
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Bit early for cannons?
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@Handy Turnip, yes though perhaps for Hintertux or Tignes (I think Schladming and Kitzbhel often try to get a slope up and running for end October). Given the costs running cannons you want to avoid building up snow only to see it melt.
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Solden cannons on.
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@Ghost Dog, yes they have a World Cup race there in just over three weeks so certainly worth their investment!
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Cant believe that race on the glacier is nearly here.
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Cool weekend coming up.



Snowfall heaviest in the eastern Alps. 40cm+ for Hintertux at altitude over weekend (25cm+ for Stubai). Snow line dropping to 1200m at times.
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That rain's going to be interesting for the Sickline 'extreme kayak race world champs' in tz this weekend! The Wellebrucke rapids are already towards the top end of flow most want to paddle them, let alone race...
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Woke up to a fair bit of white on the peaks this morning. Sun's out now - but the peaks are already shrouded in more cloud.
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Webcam shows the snowmaking system running in Val Thorens.
http://www.valthorens.com/en/live/livecams--webcams/resort-livecam.550.html

Genuine, or just a test?
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I'd guess a test - it doesn't open for another 7 weeks, so anything put down right now would be at risk of melting surely, unless they know temps will stay low right through until then?!
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beyond a brief lull this weekend high pressure takes over europe...should be warm and dry until at least mid January...edit sorry, meant October

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Current 30 day anomalies (cold September very clear).

Geneva -1.03C

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/global_monitoring/temperature/tn06700_30.gif

Radstadt -0.41C

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/global_monitoring/temperature/tn11147_30.gif
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Lech this morning.

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In Klosters today and they were running the snow cannons on the Totalp blue run. Amazed they are doing it so early on!
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@SkiingQuinHat, possibly testing the system?

Milder weather on the way mid month with high pressure in charge for the time being as @langball suggested a couple of days ago.
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Some long term thoughts from the Met Office Contingency planners. The usual caveats about how much (or not) confidence to have in LRFs apply. Pulling out the main points.

- Overall for Oct to Dec above average temperature (and rainfall) are more probable than below average for the UK.

- Mild westerlies and cyclonic weather likely to have strong influence through the period.

- Though possible developing La Nia and -QBO may lead to -NAO and with increased blocking leave open possibility of lower than average temperatures.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/mohippo/pdf/public-sector/forecast-temp-ond-v2.pdf
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Obergurgl running snow cannons too, prepping for Nov 16 opening according to their social media.

Lots of snow on the mountains around Garmisch yesterday too. Announcements on the radio that winter tyres were required for Arlberg Pass.

Stubai might be good tomorrow...
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Is there any chance of systems like Obergurgl opening earlier than planned if conditions are good?
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@staffsan, opening (and closing) of big resorts is more dictated by long term planning requirements rather than short term weather shifts, so staff contracts, supplies being in place, testing of equipment etc. If you got a really sustained cold and snowy spell I suspect they might be tempted to open a few runs early largely for publicity. But overall I think its not that likely. Its economics rather than weather that dictates the timing.
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@nozawaonsen, I read that La Nina leads to +ve NAO (source Amy Butler / netweather), so an overall neutral signal given the QBO points towards -ve NAO
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nozawaonsen wrote:
@staffsan, opening (and closing) of big resorts is more dictated by long term planning requirements rather than short term weather shifts, so staff contracts, supplies being in place, testing of equipment etc. If you got a really sustained cold and snowy spell I suspect they might be tempted to open a few runs early largely for publicity. But overall I think its not that likely. Its economics rather than weather that dictates the timing.


+1, but especially in the case of Obergurgl as they open so early anyway there wouldn't be much of a PR boost.

I think Kitz have done it in the past, but only a few lifts and only on weekends.
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@langball, I was simply trying to summarise the Met Office piece which says:

La Nia would slightly increase the chance of blocking patterns [ie -NAO] over the North Atlantic and Europe in the outlook period, leading to greater chances of colder-than-average conditions.

Their overall view as I read that piece was that despite the drivers towards a more blocked [-NAO] and colder pattern such as La Nia and -QBO the indicators for a more westerly, cyclonic [+NAO] spell between now and the end of the year are on balance stronger. Hence the greater probability of a mild and wet outlook for the UK at least.

That said its a long term forecast and is taking into account various apparently contradictory indicators. So...
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@nozawaonsen, yep it does seem the met office is saying the opposite to what Butler apparently said. If those two can't agree what La Nia does to NAO it's probably not a useful signal either way.
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@langball, impact may depend on ENSO strength and time of year. All beyond me mind you.

On broader impact of ENSO there were I thought some striking parts of her recent paper.

... the occurrence of a single SSW in a given winter is able to completely alter seasonal climate predictions based solely on ENSO conditions. These findings, corroborating other recent studies, highlight the importance of accurately forecasting SSWs for improved seasonal prediction of North Atlantic and Eurasian climate.

La Nia does not appear to affect the frequency of occurrence SSWs whereas El Nio does enhance it, and the current modeling estimate is that roughly 30% more SSWs occur during El Nio than during ENSO-neutral winters.

Nonetheless, the qualitative conclusion is clearly robust: the majority of SSWs occur irrespective of ENSO.

Basically for Europe SSWs are a bigger driver than ENSO.

Onbviously though as with all long term forecasting one has to recognise the limitations in terms of telling you what the weather will be like as opposed to given you an indication of the likely context in which it takes place.
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@nozawaonsen, thanks for that....this teleconnection stuff is interesting but once it gets to the stage where I have to read each sentence 2 or 3 times, I pour another glass of wine and head back to the sports pages.

GWV update was good today....La Nina signal weakened slightly but he thinks it may re-strengthen. Analogs of -QBO winters confirmed a cold bias and the Siberian snow is well advanced. Meanwhile hedgehogs are very active and tomato rippening index is crashing.
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staffsan wrote:
Is there any chance of systems like Obergurgl opening earlier than planned if conditions are good?


As others have said its not impossible but most likely only partially and on weekends when they can get the staff. Many lifties work in construction and other fair weather jobs in the summer months and therefore won't be available during the week until the long planned official opening dates. Same thing with resorts closing in spring in years when conditions are still fab. It's not that they don't want to stay open and take your money, just that most of the staff have other obligations that they are contracted to start.

There was a run of two or three early starts maybe about 6/7/8 years ago where there was loads of October snow in Austria and a few resorts did open on several weekends at least a month early. I distinctly remember Schladming Planai being one of them. Funnily enough none of them resulted in a particularly long and legendary snow season which I don't think Austria has had nationwide since 2005-06
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Pleasant sunny October weather through to at least the last third of the month.

Good for hiking, but if you happen to be near Hintertux its looking good with more terrain being opened up today bringing it up to 35km.
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@nozawaonsen, also got the Tuxer webcam up and running Smile
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Hurricane Ophelia is heading towards (latest prediction) Portugal, France and UK. I think this hurricane can have major impact on weather patterns in the Alps in October!

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@matejp, yep last third of the month could certainly be more unsettled...
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This mornings GFS keeps high pressure in place sending any unsettled Ophelia reminants well north of the Alps.
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Renry wrote:
Cant believe that race on the glacier is nearly here.


Can't believe I'm not going. Agreed to a BD trp to London on the Friday (kicks himself).
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Apparently Kitzbhel is planning to open this weekend:



Seems a bit of a token gesture though: https://www.facebook.com/kitzski.at/videos/1702964659735938/
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Very accurate output from ECMWF 8 days ago for todays heat (over 20c across much of europe).

Found a handy re-analysis site https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/composites/printpage.pl
Had a look at the past 3 decades (Dec-Mar monthly 500z pressure anomalies) and the current decade appears to have the best pressure set up of the 3 for snow in the alps. Though was colder in the 2000's with easterlies.
1990's..............................2000's.................Current


Digging into individual years we can see how the current decade has evolved (2010 to 2017).


Can easily see how the first half produced some great winters (2010, 2011, 2013) and equally how blocked more recent winters have been (dry and warm).
2017 looked like a repeat of the 90's with high pressure dominant.
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A-Basin, Colorado, became the first ski resort to open in North America on Fri 13 Oct.

A fairly early opening for them.

The season is a rollin'.

http://kdvr.com/2017/10/13/arapahoe-basin-kicks-off-2017-18-ski-and-snowboard-season/

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The BBC has finally noticed that Hurricane orphelia is approaching the Brisltish isles with potentially dangerous winds and a large storm surge.

Their headlines continue to be obsessed by Weinstein however. rolling eyes
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Well, that doesn't look like much fun for the folks in the back of the line!

Mt. Bachelor in Oregon is not open yet, but they have pretty decent conditions right now.
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Whitegold wrote:
A-Basin, Colorado, became the first ski resort to open in North America on Fri 13 Oct.

A fairly early opening for them.

The season is a rollin'.

http://kdvr.com/2017/10/13/arapahoe-basin-kicks-off-2017-18-ski-and-snowboard-season/


Nope, Timberline in Oregon was the first to open.
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