The western US and Canada will see weak storms this week, and then a stronger storm will likely hit the central and southwestern US during the first few days of December. After that, the coldest air should shift east into the central an eastern US and Canada.
Short Term Forecast
That atmosphere was not very kind to skiers during the past week. Especially in the northwest, where the early season snowpack had reached record levels, temperatures warmed and most mountains saw rain. While rain is not something that we celebrate here at OpenSnow, it actually is not as detrimental to the snowpack as you'd expect, and the upper elevations of many mountains still have a strong snowpack.
Here is the current webcam image from mid-mountain at Revelstoke in British Columbia, showing the typical low clouds that envelope the mountains of British Columbia.
Revelstoke's snowpack on the upper half of the mountain is around average, despite the last week of warmer weather. The official resort base depth is 42 inches, and our 'base depth vs average' graphic, which relies on nearby automated weather stations, shows that the snowpack is at 99% of average for this date.
Looking ahead to temperatures this week, readings for most of the US and Canada will be above average. That's a bummer.
But, temperatures will be cold enough for snow in some spots. Specifically, the western US and Canada will see a storm early in the week with significant snow along the coast and a few inches through the central and northern Rockies.
Later in the week, the storm track will retreat to the north with only the far northwest seeing any snowfall.
Heading into early December, the temperature forecast clearly shows cooler air in the central and southwestern US.
This temperature pattern signals a storm in the area, and sure enough, the snow forecast shows significant accumulations.
As I write this, we are still 7-10 days away from the storm in the southwest, so it's too soon to have any confidence in exact snow amounts. However, I do have confidence in a significant snowstorm for some areas of the west-central and the southwestern US and am hopeful that this storm will deliver the season's first big snowfall to Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah, and southern Colorado.
Heading into December 6-10 and beyond, some of the longer-range models show below average temperatures for the central and eastern US and Canada, which would be good news for snowmaking in the northeast, and may even allow for some snow and cool air in parts of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Thanks for reading!
Did you know that you can get more from OpenSnow?
If you’re looking for a way to support OpenSnow and get access to more data, consider signing up for the All-Access Pass.
- 10-day forecasts
- Custom alerts to know about upcoming powder days
- Time-lapse webcams for tracking exactly when fresh snow has fallen
- Email delivery of the US and Canada Daily Snow as soon as it’s published
All of this costs just $19 for one full year (365 days) and helps to support OpenSnow so that we can spend money and time to further improve our website and mobile apps.
I’d love to count you as an All-Access member!