The season has officially begun with the opening of Arapahoe Basin ski area in Colorado. And the forecast models show that a couple feet of snow should fall over western Canada this week, with a storm for the western US as well.
Short Term Forecast
In case you missed it, ski season is officially underway as Arapahoe Basin in Colorado started spinning their lifts on Friday, October 13th (http://opensnow.com/news/post/arapahoe-basin-will-open-for-the-2017-18-season-on-friday-october-13). It's likely that Loveland Ski Area, just down the road from Arapahoe Basin, will open within a week or so.
Looking ahead to the snow forecast for the upcoming week, many mountains in the western US will see 4-8 inches of snow later this week into the upcoming weekend.
However, the deepest snow will fall over British Columbia and Alberta Canada, where the higher elevations could receive 2-3+ feet.
Here is the forecast for the upcoming week at Whistler. The location of Whistler is highlighted by the red arrow in the map above.
That is a LOT of snow at Whistler, but notice that the freezing level is near or above 5,000 feet. This means that most of the snow will accumulate on the upper half of the mountain with rain below. Not to worry, though, as these higher snow levels in western Canada are normal for this time of year. After all, it's only mid-October
The temperature forecast, compared to average, shows the coolest weather over the northwest, co-located with the best chance of snow during the upcoming week.
Forecasts beyond about 7-10 days are rarely accurate, especially in the details, so it's best to look for more general trends, like temperatures compared to average.
For next week, October 23-28, we see a trend toward warmer weather over the west coast with cooler-than-average weather over the midwest and heading toward the east.
This could mean that a few flakes will get the northeast toward the end of October, and that little snow, or at least higher-elevation snow levels, will be the rule over the west. But again, not to worry if you're eyeing the snowpack in the western US and Canada. It's only October and there is plenty of time to build a base as we head into November.
Thanks for reading!
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