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Old 01-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Science Behind the Lack of Snow

I figured I would throw this out there to try and collect some scientific information people have read that correlates with the extreme shit we have been experiencing for snow this season. This will also serve to disprove information and rumors that have spouted that can be refuted by science.

Please keep rumors and speculation out of this thread, as well as inferences from random journalists. I'm looking for factual information, not some BS you heard from a lifty while waiting in line for the one open run at your respective mountains. If you heard a rumor, research it, and let us know what you found!

Pictures, article links and raw data are welcome.

To begin: I have heard more than once that our relative lack of snow could be caused by the fast approaching Solar Maxima, an event that happens once during a roughly 11 year cycle (give or take a year) where the sun has a greater level of radiation output. Scientists previously believed that the current approaching solar maxima would be the largest since the late 1800s. This would seem to coincide with the idea that solar minimum would correlate with colder winter seasons, so with the maximum, we would get a warmer winter season.

Ineson S., Scaife A.A., Knight J.R., Manners J.C., Dunstone N.J., Gray L.J., Haigh J.D. (October 9, 2011). "Solar forcing of winter climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere". Nature Geoscience 4 (11): 753757

HOWEVER, NASA has recently shown ( ) that the current solar maxima will be the one of the smaller events recorded, if the trend they have been observing holds its course. Regardless, if the conclusions by the authors of the above article hold true, after this season we should be experiencing better and better winters... or at least colder and colder ones in the US... however after reading the article, the same does not seem to apply to Canada.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Waiting for Snowolf to see this cause if i remember correctly he is very knowledgeable about this most topics on this forum.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tahoe Weather Discussion - No Hype Lake Tahoe Weather

Lot of good info.
2014/15 -3- Kirkwood days
Arbor A-Frame 158 2009-10
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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NASA picture kinda reminds me of the stock market.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Makes sense, thanks for the update. I read about this maybe 8 years ago.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Our season has been terrible because we didn't sacrifice a human to the Snow Gods this year. Apparently Osama didn't count.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KIRKRIDER View Post
To summarize, there is a ridge in place that is being stubborn. In Tahoe, pretty much every day in the summer is completely sunny and dry... you may not see a cloud for days. Then by fall/winter that ridge moves out and opens the door for storms. It seems like that just isn't happening this year so far. The ridge doesn't want to move out. Supposed to be 60 and sunny today. Apparently it should finally move and open the door to storms and cold air around the 12th or so. This is my limited understanding from reading this blog.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mammoth Weather

Howard Shekter's blog offers similar science based discussion, most of which goes way over my head. Similar to what was stated above, also a good read if you're bored.
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