Snow will continue across the Interior on Friday, especially the Powder Highway, while the Coast Range will begin to dry out. An arctic cold front will work its way across the Interior from NE to SW on Friday night with a band of heavy snow developing somewhere over Southeast BC. I would keep an eye on Fernie, Kimberley, Pano, & WW. The (weakening) band could reach Red, Big White, & Apex on Sat.
Short Term Forecast
Preliminary Snow Totals:
Snow fell on Thursday night across the western portions of the Interior (mainly the Okanagan Region) and eastern portions of the Coast Range. The Powder Highway has seen little to no snow so far, but that will change over the next 24 hours.
Here are the snow totals so far as of early Friday morning:
- 17 cm (7") - Silver Star
- 15 cm (6") - Sun Peaks
- 14 cm (6") - Apex
- 10 cm (4") - Manning Park
- 5 cm (2") - Revelstoke
- 5 cm (2") - Sasquatch Mountain
- 4 cm (1.5") - Red Mountain
- 2 cm (1") - Big White
- 1 cm (0.5") - Whitewater
- 1 cm (0.5") - Grouse Mountain
- 1 cm (0.5") - Mt. Seymour
Forecast for Friday to Saturday:
We will see a drying trend across the Coast Range as well as the Okanagan region on Friday as the action shifts into Eastern BC across the Powder Highway region. Snow will continue at moderate rates throughout the day for most areas with snow levels ranging from 600-900 meters (2,000-3,000 feet).
On Friday evening, an arctic cold front will work its way into Eastern BC and a band of locally heavy snow associated with the front is projected to set up "somewhere" over Southeast BC. These bands are always tricky to nail down as slight changes in the position can make a big difference in snowfall.
The band is most likely to set up for an extended period somewhere in the Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama, Kootenay Pass, Whitewater vicinity on Friday night, but it likely won't hit all of these areas equally (or at all). Even so, I would keep an eye on these mentioned resorts for possible deep totals on Saturday AM.
This particular model has the band favoring Kimberley the most, but other models are projecting the band to set up for the longest a little further east toward Fernie or west toward Whitewater.
I'm going with a forecast of 10-30 cm (4-12") for Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama, and Whitewater with boom and bust potential for each of these areas. Further north, Revy will pick up another 5-15 cm (2-6") and Kicking Horse 2-10 cm (1-4"). Further west, Big White could pick up another 2-5 cm (1-2") with light dustings at most elsewhere.
On Saturday, the band of snow is expected to extend further west and will weaken over time, but could potentially lead to an uptick in snowfall from approximately Red Mountain to Big White to Apex. These areas could pick up 5-15 cm (2-6") during the day on Saturday while all other areas begin to dry out.
Here is my snow forecast for Friday-Saturday combined:
Winds will be gusty out of the northwest on Friday but will become lighter on Saturday. Friday will offer good storm skiing around Revelstoke in particular, while Southeast and South Central BC will see its deepest conditions on Saturday morning.
Temperatures will be colder on Saturday behind the arctic front but not as cold compared to Sunday once the arctic airmass really takes hold.
Cold and generally dry conditions can be expected from Sunday (Jan 29) to Wednesday (Feb 1). A couple of weak disturbances could bring light snow showers/flurries from time to time on Jan 31-Feb 1, at least across Southern BC, while the Northern Coast Range around Shames Mountain could see more meaningful snow around Feb 1st.
The next storm is expected to impact Southern BC around Feb 2nd-3rd. Another storm is possible over the weekend of Feb 4th-5th, though not all models are on board with this idea so confidence is low. Additional storms are then possible heading into the week of Feb 6th with a generally active pattern expected.
Temperatures should gradually warm up from February 1st on but are generally expected to remain below average or near average through the first 10 days of the month.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Sunday (Jan 27).