NOAA’s Official Outlook for May in the USA:

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Above average precipitation forecast for all over ski country including CA, NV, OR, ID, UT, AZ, UT, CO, WY in May.

NOAA just released their official outlook for the month of May in the USA yesterday.  They continue to follow an El Nino influenced pattern of above average precipitation in the southern half of the USA and above average temperatures in the northern half of the USA.

As of right now the places with the most snowfall this season in North America are all on the West Coast:

  1. Alyeska, AK = 824″ (closed for season)
  2. Mt. Baker, WA = 619″ 
  3. Alpental, WA = 610″ (as of April 5th)
  4. Sugar Bowl, CA = 557″
  5. Timberline Lodge, OR = 525″

32 Ski Resorts Are STILL OPEN in North America:

This May Outlook Looks Good for:

  • CA, NV, UT, WY, CO, WY, AZ, NM & southern ID.  The only issue is going to be snow levels, but that isn’t abnormal, especially now that it’s Spring.  CO & NM have above average snowfall forecast and below average temperatures forecast which could be great.

This May Outlook Looks Bad for:

  • WA, northern OR, MT, & northern ID where below average precipitation is forecast along with above average temperatures.  That said, Baker in WA continues to get dumped on and has the 2nd most snow in North America and the 2nd deepest snowpack in North America.  East Coast ski country has above average temps forecast along with equal chances for precipitation for most ski areas.

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Below average temperatures forecast for CO & NM this May.  Above average temperatures forecast for CA, NV, OR, WA, ID, MT in May.

Above Average Precipitation is Forecast in April for:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Southern Idaho
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico

Below Average Precipitation is Forecast in April for:

  • Northern Oregon
  • Washington
  • Northern Idaho
  • Montana
Good times at closing day at Kirkwood last Sunday.  photo:  snowbrains
Good times at closing day at Kirkwood last Sunday. photo: snowbrains

FULL MAY BREAKDOWN FROM NOAA:

ROGNOSTIC DISCUSSION FOR MONTHLY OUTLOOK 
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD 
830 AM EDT THU APR 21 2016 
 
30-DAY OUTLOOK DISCUSSION FOR MAY 2016 
 
THE MAY 2016 OUTLOOK IS CONSTRUCTED BASED ON THE LOW-FREQUENCY CLIMATE SIGNALS 
MANIFEST IN THE DYNAMICAL AND STATISTICAL GUIDANCE. MOST GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD 
AGREEMENT ON THE GENERAL STRUCTURE OF FORECAST PROBABILITIES, AND SHORTER TERM 
OUTLOOKS ARE CONSULTED TO REFINE THE FORECAST. THERE IS LITTLE IN THE WAY OF 
COHERENT MJO ACTIVITY TO INFLUENCE THE OUTLOOK; THE MJO'S INFLUENCE IS 
DIMINISHED IN THE WARM SEASON, AND PLAYS NO ROLE HERE IN INFORMING THE MONTHLY 
FORECAST. SOIL MOISTURE, HOWEVER, IS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, AS INCREASING INCIDENT 
SOLAR RADIATION ALLOWS IT TO EXERT MORE INFLUENCE ON LOCAL TEMPERATURES. 
 
THE CALIBRATED NMME TEMPERATURE PROBABILITIES INDICATE A FAIRLY WEAK TILT 
TOWARD WARMER-THAN-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF THE CONUS, 
ALASKA, AND PARTS OF THE EASTERN CONUS. A NOTABLE WEAKNESS IS FORECAST OVER THE 
SOUTH-CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN U.S. THIS IS GENERALLY CONSISTENT WITH LAGGED 
ENSO REGRESSIONS (USING LATE WINTER NINO 3.4 VALUES), OBJECTIVE COMPOSITE 
ANALOGS BASED ON THE RECENTLY OBSERVED SSTS IN THE TROPICAL AND NORTHERN 
PACIFIC AND ATLANTIC BASINS, AS WELL AS STATISTICALLY DERIVED LOCAL SOIL 
MOISTURE IMPACTS. THE SECULAR TREND EXPLAINS LESS VARIANCE ON MONTHLY 
TIMESCALES THAN ON SEASONAL TIMESCALES, BUT GENERALLY SUPPORTS THE SPATIAL 
STRUCTURE OF FORECAST TEMPERATURE PROBABILITIES. 
 
ENHANCED PROBABILITIES OF ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE INDICATED FOR MUCH OF 
THE WESTERN, NORTHERN, AND EASTERN CONUS, BASED ON THE ABOVE FACTORS. THE 
LOWEST PROBABILITIES ARE FORECAST OVER NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND AND THE NORTHERN 
PLAINS. THE FORMER IS DUE TO HIGHER-FREQUENCY PATTERNS THAT FAVOR ANOMALOUS 
NORTHERLY FLOW INTO EARLY MAY FOR THAT REGION, WHILE THE LATTER IS DUE TO 
TRENDS AND SOIL MOISTURE TOOLS. THE LATEST CFS FORECASTS, WEEK 3/4 GUIDANCE 
FROM BOTH THE CFS AND ECMWF, SOIL MOISTURE CONSIDERATIONS, AND LAGGED ENSO 
REGRESSIONS FAVOR ENHANCED PROBABILITIES OF BELOW-NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS A 
PORTION OF THE SOUTHWESTERN AND SOUTH-CENTRAL CONUS. 
 
ALL OF THE AFOREMENTIONED OBJECTIVE GUIDANCE IS IN FAIRLY GOOD AGREEMENT ON THE 
FORECAST PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK AS WELL. MODEST PROBABILITIES FAVORING 
ABOVE-MEDIAN PRECIPITATION ARE DEPICTED FOR MUCH OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN 
CONUS, EXTENDING WESTWARD TO PARTS OF CALIFORNIA AND THE GREAT BASIN. 

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