A powerful storm will result in deep snow totals throughout BC on Monday & Tuesday. Northern BC will see its deepest conditions on Mon AM, Coastal Southwest BC on Tue AM, & the Interior & Powder Highway on Wed AM. All three days will be good for most of BC, though. Another storm will impact Northwest BC on Thu-Fri but Southern BC will be just on the fringe. Another storm is possible Feb 12-13.
Short Term Forecast
Recent Snow Totals:
Powder King has received a ridiculous amount of snow since the middle of last week. During the past 6-day period from Wednesday through Monday morning, Powder King has received 183 cm (73 inches) of snow. Incredible!
Here are the latest 48-hour snow totals throughout BC ending early Monday AM:
- 38 cm (15") - Powder King
- 27 cm (11") - Sasquatch Mountain
- 23 cm (9") - Shames Mountain
- 12 cm (5") - Sun Peaks
- 11 cm (4") - Silver Star
- 11 cm (4") - Whitewater
- 11 cm (4") - Mt. Washington
- 10 cm (4") - Manning Park
- 10 cm (4") - Apex
- 10 cm (4") - Big White
- 9 cm (4") - Revelstoke
- 8 cm (3") - Hudson Bay Mountain
- 7 cm (3") - Whistler
- 7 cm (3") - Red Mountain
- 6 cm (2") - Cypress Mountain
- 5 cm (2") - Grouse Mountain
- 2 cm (1") - Mt. Seymour
- 2 cm (1") - Fernie
- 1 cm (0.5") - Panorama
A stronger storm will impact all of Southern BC on Monday and Tuesday (with Northern BC still getting in on the action).
The "storm" will really involve two surface low pressure systems making landfall but with no real break in the action in snowfall. As the second low makes landfall, a cold front will sweep across BC on Tuesday, resulting in more widespread snowfall for the Interior.
Forecast for Monday to Tuesday:
Snowfall will pick up through the morning hours on Monday then will become heavy on Monday afternoon and Monday night.
As the second low makes landfall on Tuesday morning, a cold front will move across Southwest BC with additional heavy snow expected throughout the daytime hours on Tuesday before gradually tapering off on Tuesday night.
Strong southwest winds can be expected across the higher terrain throughout Monday and Monday night as well as Tuesday morning when the front moves through. Winds will then gradually decrease from Tuesday afternoon on.
Snow levels will range from 700-1,100 meters (2.5-3.5k feet) on Monday and Monday night, peaking in the afternoon and evening with a rain/snow mix expected near the bases of most ski resorts.
Vancouver Island and Mt. Washington will see higher snow levels of 1,000-1,400 meters (3.5-4.5k feet) with a rain/snow mix expected across the lower portion as well.
On Tuesday, snow levels will be around 900-1,100 meters (3-3.5k feet) in the morning as the cold front moves through, then will gradually lower to 600-800 meters (2-2.5k feet) by the end of the day. Further snow level lowering can be expected on Tuesday evening as snowfall begins to wind down.
Whistler's mid to upper mountain will be the most favored in this storm with 20-40 cm (8-16") storm total from Monday AM through Wednesday AM. Tuesday will offer the deepest conditions, though Wednesday will also feature improving visibility. Note this will be a fairly dense snow event.
Elsewhere, Manning Park should avoid the rain issues and pick up 12-25 cm (5-10") of snow. The North Shore Mountains will be right on the edge due to the rain/snow line. Sasquatch Mountain will be best-positioned and could pick up anywhere from 10-30 cm (4-12"), while Grouse, Seymour, and Sasquatch will likely end up with anywhere from 5-20 cm (2-8").
On Vancouver Island, Mt. Washington will likely end up in the 5-15 cm (2-6") range.
Snow showers will pick up on Monday and continue into Monday night with a westerly flow expected. This initial snow shower activity will be somewhat weaker ahead of Tuesday's stronger push.
However, I expect upslope favored areas such as Revelstoke, Whitewater, and perhaps Fernie and Big White to pick up some decent accumulations from Monday through Monday night (up to 10 cm or so), while other areas will see lighter amounts.
On Tuesday, snowfall rates will gradually pick up throughout the Interior, becoming heavy at times on Tuesday afternoon. The heaviest and most widespread snowfall is then expected on Tuesday evening as a cold front moves through with snow showers lingering throughout the overnight period behind the front.
Snow levels will start out low but then will rise quite a bit, ranging from 700-1,200 meters (2.5-4k feet) from Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. As a result, some of the lower elevation base areas such as Revelstoke, Red Mountain, and Fernie will see periods of rain while mid to upper slopes will stay all-snow.
Behind the cold front on Tuesday evening, snow levels will quickly plummet to valley bottoms (well below ski resort base areas).
This is shaping up to be a relatively dense snow event, at least before the cold front. Snow that lingers behind the cold front will be much lower density, however, so it will end on a drier and more powdery note by Wednesday AM which is when the best skiing conditions should be expected.
I'm expecting Revelstoke, Whitewater, and Fernie to score the deepest snow totals from this storm, but most areas should pick up some decent totals.
Here is my forecast:
And here is a graphical projection from the Canadian Model:
Winds during this storm will be gusty out of the west/southwest throughout the day on Monday and out of the southwest on Tuesday, before decreasing late Tuesday night behind the cold front.
The Northern Coast Range including Shames Mountain will see its heaviest snow during the day on Monday followed by lighter snow showers on Monday night and Tuesday morning, then another round of heavy snow will arrive on Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.
Powder King and the Northern Rockies/Cariboos will see snow showers on Monday give way to heavier snow on Monday night. Lighter and more intermittent snow showers can be expected again on Tuesday with another uptick on Tuesday evening.
Overall, I am expecting an additional 15-30 cm (6-12") at Shames Mountain and Powder King from Monday AM to Wednesday AM while Hudson Bay Mountain will pick up another 2-8 cm (1-3"). Skiing conditions will continue to be deep on top of recent snowfall.
Forecast for Wednesday to Friday:
Lingering flurries can be expected on Wednesday across the Interior, but otherwise, we will see a break in the pattern. If you're skiing the Interior this week, then plan on heading out Wednesday morning for the deepest conditions.
On Thursday and Friday, a trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere will set up well off the Coast before eventually weakening and diving southward into the Pacific off of the California Coast on Saturday.
A surface low pressure center associated with this feature will make landfall across Northwest BC on Friday with moisture ahead of this feature bringing more snow to the Northern Coast Range on Thursday and Friday. Shames Mountain could score additional deep totals.
This storm will quickly weaken upon landfall however with limited moisture making it into Northeast BC.
Southwest BC will also be a close call. Mt. Washington could potentially score some good snow on Thursday and Friday on the southern fringe of this system (and with low snow levels).
Whistler will be more borderline. Some models are projecting decent snowfall to just barely make it to Whistler, while others are keeping the moisture too far north and west with a dry scenario for Whistler. I wouldn't get my hopes up too much yet until we get closer and start to see better model agreement.
The Interior and Northern Powder Highway Region of BC (Revy, Rogers Pass, Kicking Horse) could potentially see some moisture reach the area for some light snow showers on Friday, but I wouldn't expect much.
We may see some lingering moisture and light snow shower activity from the late week storm for some areas on Saturday (Feb 11). Then, the next real storm is likely to impact BC sometime in the Feb 12th-13th timeframe.
After the 12th-13th storm, it looks like the storm track will dip further south into the U.S. for several days or more with limited snowfall potential for BC. There are some hints the storm track could turn more favorable again by the weekend of Feb 18th-19th, but confidence is low this far out.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Wednesday (Feb 8).