Heading off to Ohakune NZ for twenty odd days of skiing at Mt Ruapehu with the +1 and telejoeys from this weekend (21 Sept). For a bit of a laugh, and having watched how it's done this winter by the gurus here, I thought I'd have a crack at the snow forecasting schtick for my upcoming trip. Only got access to the freely available web products of GFS and ECMWF (I gather the gurus have paid subscriptions to other websites providing additional products). What I've found seems to work for me is the GFS graphical output at wxmaps.org and the yr.no site output. A couple of basic parameters for those interested. Main ski fields are Turoa and Whakapapa. Both have base elevations of 1600 metres and highest lifted point of roughly 2300m each. Whaka faces west, Turoa south. Either can be closed depending on prevailing conditions. So here goes. Predictions: 23 to 27 Sept - Freshies for Aussies GFS has been gunning for a pineapple express starting late Monday next week (23rd Sept) for a few days now, with moderate rain through Tues, followed by a colder SW airflow. Latest model runs have spun up a tight little low south west of the north island for Tuesday, but with a big whack of colder 540 dam air to the south west. That's what we'll be waiting for to push through. EC also has this big pool of colder air sitting in the wings (nice to see model agreement) with snow forecast Wed-Thu-Fri. Should be sufficient to top up the boilerplate that seems to have developed in the last week or so. The rain should soften the boilerplate and allow the new stuff to stick without too much avy risk. Gut feeling is the EC/yr.no precip total for Tuesday of 9mm is going to be a bit on the light side. Looks to be a solid tropical feed there, so I'd be expecting a bit more on the precip front, assuming the models can capture the local topographic effects of the moutain. So plan will be ski Monday, probably chillax Tuesday depending on what the resort reports are like. Action stations from Wednesday onwards, hoping Turoa and/or Whaka are open for business.