The highest mountains in the western US and Canada enjoyed an early taste of winter last week as a storm coated the highest peaks with a couple inches of snow. Following a quick break this past weekend, another storm will bring snow to most of the west during the middle and end of this week. After that, temperatures should begin a warming trend through early October. This early-season snow is fun to see, but it can't tell us much about how this season's snowfall will shake out.
Short Term Forecast
Let's take a quick look at gorgeous photos from this past weekend.
It is not rare for these higher mountains to receive snow during September. Also, this early-season snow cannot tell us anything about snowfall during the upcoming of the season.
Those caveats aside, it sure is nice to see snow, eh?
And there is another early-season storm about to bring more snow to the western US and Canada.
Here is the forecast for Big Sky, Montana over the coming week. That's a pretty good looking forecast, especially for mid-September!
For the upcoming week, September 18-22, we can see that temperatures across the western US and Canada will be about 5-15F degrees below normal.
A slow-moving storm is responsible for this cold air. In addition to the cold air, this storm will also bring plenty of moisture, which will fall as snow over the higher elevations.
Here is the snow forecast for September 18-22:
If this forecast pans out, I'll be back next week with another series of snowy photos. Also, the fall colors are getting closer to peak across the west, and it's quite a sight to see snow-capped mountains alongside golden Aspen leaves. I hope you have a chance to see this view in person!
The longer range 5-15 day forecast shows that initially, the western US will say cool. Here is the temperature compared to average for September 22-26:
However, as we reach the last few days of September, the weather pattern will change as the cooler air heads east while the west warms up.
Again, the September snow does not tell us anything useful about how the rest of the season will unfold. I am excited to see an active pattern setting up this early in the season, but I can't let that excitement translate into unreasonably high expectations for the season.
Thanks for reading, and see you next week with another national update. In the meantime, our forecasts are updated daily, so feel free check a forecast for your favorite western mountain to see if they are going to get snow this week:-)
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