High pressure will result in spring conditions this weekend with scattered high-level clouds & temps rising above freezing at mid-mtn elevations both afternoons. A weak disturbance will arrive from the south on Mon with snow & rain showers expected. Tue-Wed look unsettled with light snow showers possible as well, then we could see 2 potentially stronger storms ~March 23-26.
Short Term Forecast
Forecast for Saturday to Sunday:
A ridge of high pressure will remain over Western Canada which will keep conditions dry throughout the region. However, a little bit of moisture arriving in the upper atmosphere will result in scattered high-level cloud cover on both days
Temperatures will remain mild with highs at mid-mountain locations of 1 to 3ºC across the Interior and 5 to 7ºC on both Friday and Saturday. As a result, spring skiing conditions can be expected with firm snow in the mornings and softening snow in the afternoons.
Forecast for Sunday Night to Monday Night:
A trough of low pressure will reach the California coast while back-to-back weaker disturbances will eject ahead and north of this main trough and approach Southern BC from the south.
As a result, snow shower chances will increase across both the Coast Range and the Interior from late Sunday night through Monday night.
Unfortunately, models have been in terrible agreement regarding these disturbances and just how much moisture will make it into Southern BC.
The Canadian and American GFS Models are the most favorable with widespread snow shower activity and widespread accumulations projected across both the Coast Range and the Interior, along with flurries making it into Northern BC.
On the other end of the spectrum, the European and German models are projecting very little moisture to make it into BC with lighter and more spotty accumulations projected.
At this point, I think the most likely scenario is for most ski areas in Southern BC to pick up anywhere from 1-10 cm (0.5 to 4 inches) of snow from Sunday night through Monday night. However, be aware there is both boom and bust potential.
Snow levels are projected to range from 1050-1350 meters (3.5-4.5k feet) throughout Southern BC on Monday, resulting in periods of rain for lower portions of many ski areas, especially across the Coast Range.
Forecast for Tuesday to Wednesday:
Winds will shift to east/southeast during this period with lingering moisture resulting in a chance of snow showers both days, mainly across Southern BC. Snow chances look better on Tuesday compared to Wednesday, but overall, snow amounts are looking light and spotty at this time.
Snow levels will trend lower compared to Monday as cooler air arrives.
The pattern will turn more active late in the week as two potentially stronger storms are projected to arrive from the Gulf of Alaska – the first around Thursday-Friday (March 23-24) and the second around Saturday-Sunday (March 25-26). Snow levels are also projected to be fairly low for this late in the year.
Looking further out, an active pattern is expected to continue through the end of March with temperatures running below average.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Monday (March 20).