Two back-to-back storms will impact Northern BC on Tue-Wed with heavy snow for Shames Mtn & Powder King, while northern portions of the Powder Hwy and Okanagan will pick up decent snowfall as well, especially Revy. A stronger storm will impact Southwest BC including Whistler Thu night-Fri with moderate snow for the Interior. Another storm is likely Sat night-Sun with an active pattern to follow.
Short Term Forecast
January Snowfall and Season-to-Date Snowfall:
This winter has been below average for most of BC so far. Southernmost portions of the BC Powder Highway did well in December, but January has been pretty dry for a larger portion of BC.
Across the Interior, Powder King (which granted is much further north than the other resorts listed here) is leading the way with 363 cm on the season. December was fairly dry at Powder King while January was more active.
The opposite is true across the Powder Highway where snowfall in January was much lighter compared to December. The Okanagan resorts saw a more even distribution in snowfall between December and January.
Note: Estimates were used at Whitewater during the first 10 days of December since they weren't reporting snowfall yet.
Across the Coast Range, Whistler has been off and on for snowfall with a pretty good December and first half of January, followed by a dry second half of January. Snowfall totals have been more variable but not particularly impressive across the North Shore Mountains and Manning Park.
Similar to Whistler, Mt. Washington had a deep first half of January and a much drier second half of January.
The good news is that the pattern is looking more favorable heading into February. Let's take a look...
Forecast for Tuesday to Wednesday:
New snow totals from Monday night ranged from 0 to 3 cm for most areas, except for Revelstoke who is reporting 9 cm (4") of new snow.
Two storms will impact Northern BC and to a lesser extent Southern BC with periods of off-and-on snow expected from Tuesday morning through Thursday morning.
Northern ski resorts will be the winners of this storm. Shames Mountain will receive 25-45 cm (10-18") over the next two days, while Powder King will receive 15-35 cm (6-14"). In between these areas, Hudson Bay Mountain will receive 5-15 cm (2-6").
Across Southern BC, northern portions of the Okanagan region and Powder Highway will see the most snowfall with this storm cycle, with snow becoming lighter and more spotty heading further south. Moderate to occasionally gusty west/northwest winds can be expected on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Revelstoke will be most favored in this pattern and should pick up another 10-20 cm (4-8") of snow over the next 2 days, with lighter amounts elsewhere. Snow levels will also be below base areas and snow quality will be dry and powdery due to the arctic airmass in place (which is gradually relenting after a few cold days).
Southwest BC will see a glancing blow from this storm with heavier totals further north around Bella Coola. Whistler typically doesn't do well in west/northwest flows and will only receive a trace to 5 cm (trace-2"). Ditto for Mt. Washington.
However, the North Shore Mountains and Manning Park can often see sneaky totals in these patterns with west/northwest winds. I'm expecting 5-10 cm (2-4") of snow for these areas over the next 2 days, and I wouldn't rule out isolated higher totals either. Snow levels will also remain well below base areas.
Forecast for Thursday to Saturday:
On Thursday, Southern BC will be in between storms with mostly dry conditions expected along with milder temperatures. Revelstoke and Powder King may see some lingering snow showers/flurries with drier conditions further south.
The next storm will begin to take aim at the Northern Coast Range during the day on Thursday with heavy snow for Shames Mountain. Vancouver Island and Mt. Washington will start to see some snow during the daytime hours as well.
On Thursday night and Friday morning, the storm will push eastward with heavy snow developing across the Coast Range of Southwest BC, including Whistler and the North Shore.
Snow levels are projected to rise to 700-900 meters (2.5-3k), meaning lower portions of Whistler and the North Shore resorts could see rain mix in at times with all-snow up high. Still, the bears watching as we get closer to the event.
The Coast Range will see the heaviest snowfall from this storm, but the Interior should also pick up moderate snow totals with most of the action happening on Friday afternoon and Friday night.
Snow could potentially linger across the Interior during the day on Saturday as well, but confidence is low. Snow levels will stay low across the Interior during this storm, though the base of Revelstoke could potentially see rain mix in at times.
Another storm is likely to impact Southern BC on Saturday night to Sunday (Feb 5). This storm is projected to track a bit further south than Friday's storm, so I suspect most areas will see lighter snowfall.
The good news is that an active pattern is expected to continue during the week of February 6th-13th. In fact, most models are now trending toward an above-average precipitation signal across BC during this period.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Thursday (Feb 2).