A storm will continue to impact Southern BC on Sat with more snow along with low snow levels. Sun to Tue will remain cold & unsettled with snow showers developing each day, though snow amounts will be variable in nature. A significant warm-up will occur late in the week, resulting in spring-like conditions. The storm track will favor Northern BC with occasional rain/snow showers for Southern BC.
Short Term Forecast
Preliminary Snow Totals:
Snowfall so far has favored Southwest BC and the Western Interior, while eastern portions of the Interior will see their heaviest snow during the day on Saturday.
Here are the latest snow totals by region as of early Saturday AM:
Coastal BC 24-Hour Snow Totals:
- 37 cm (15") - Grouse Mountain
- 31 cm (12") - Mt. Seymour
- 25 cm (10") - Cypress Mountain
- 15 cm (6") - Whistler
- 4 cm (1.5") - Mt. Washington
- 2 cm (1") - Sasquatch Mountain
- 2 cm (1") - Manning Park
Interior BC 24-Hour Snow Totals:
- 15 cm (6") - Red Mountain
- 13 cm (5") - Whitewater
- 10 cm (4") - Big White
- 9 cm (4") - Sun Peaks
- 8 cm (3") - Revelstoke
- 7 cm (3") - Silver Star
- 5 cm (2") - Apex
- 3 cm (1") - Kimberley
- 2 cm (1") - Kicking Horse
- 1 cm (0.5") - Fernie
Northern BC 24-Hour Snow Totals:
- 21 cm (8") - Powder King
- 3 cm (1") - Shames Mountain
- 3 cm (1") - Hudson Bay Mountain
Forecast for Saturday to Saturday Night:
A cold front moved through early on Saturday and some areas are seeing some breaks in the cloud cover behind the front. Lingering moisture and an unstable atmosphere will result in snow showers re-developing as the day progresses and continuing into Saturday night.
Additional snow totals will range from 5-15 cm (2-6") for most areas while Sasquatch Mountain should do a little better with 10-20 cm (4-8"). Keep in mind, snow totals could be somewhat variable given the showery/convective nature of snow shower activity.
Snow levels will be quite low on Saturday, ranging from 300-600 meters (1,000-2,000 feet) during the daytime hours and 150-450 meters (500-1,500 feet) on Saturday night. Winds will be brisk out of the west/southwest throughout the day as well.
Widespread snow can be expected throughout the day with the focus of the heaviest snow shifting from western areas (Okanagan and Revy, Red, Whitewater) to eastern areas as the day progresses. A cold front will also move across the Interior from west to east on Saturday afternoon.
Snowfall will then taper off to flurries on Saturday night, with heavier snow possibly lingering later into the evening around Fernie.
Here is my forecast for additional snowfall on Saturday-Saturday night, including what has already fallen since 5am snow reports.
And here is a graphical projection from the high-res Canadian Model:
Snow levels will range from 600-750 meters (2,000-2,500 feet) across most of the Interior during the day on Saturday, but will be a bit higher around Kimberley and Fernie, ranging from 900-1050 meters (3,000-3,500 feet). Snow levels will quickly fall to valley bottoms on Saturday evening behind the cold front.
Winds will also be quite strong at times, starting out southwesterly on Saturday morning before turning westerly behind the cold front on Saturday afternoon. The strongest winds are expected during the afternoon hours, with the highest gusts across the Southern Interior.
Light snow showers will continue across the north on Saturday and into Saturday evening with additional snow amounts ranging from 5-10 cm (2-4") at Shames Mountain and Powder King and a trace to 5 cm (trace-2") at Hudson Bay Mountain. Winds will be light to moderate and snow levels will be low.
Forecast for Sunday to Tuesday:
A cold and unsettled period can be expected throughout BC as we see some lingering moisture behind Saturday's storm, and also a little bit of moisture arriving from a weak disturbance on Monday and Tuesday.
Cold air aloft will also result in an unstable airmass each afternoon as the sun heats up the lower atmosphere, causing air parcels to become buoyant as they rise into the surrounding colder air aloft. This pattern will favor hit-or-miss convective snow showers each day that will be fairly random in nature throughout BC.
Snow totals each day will most likely range from 0 to 5 cm (0-2") but I wouldn't rule out isolated higher amounts of 10 cm (4") at any given location should heavier bands of snow develop and set up over an area for an extended period.
Snow levels will remain low during this period, below the bases of most ski areas. Winds will also be lighter compared to prior days.
Despite the cold airmass by early April standards, there will still be enough sun peeking through to impact snow conditions on many aspects. Target north-facing shaded and/or high elevation terrain for soft snow, and/or wait until the snow softens up a little bit each afternoon on south-facing aspects and lower elevation terrain.
A significant pattern change will occur during the second half of next week as we see a transition from a winter-like pattern to a spring-like pattern.
Wednesday (April 5) will be an in-between day with dry and mostly sunny conditions expected. Temperatures will still be on the chilly side with highs just below freezing at mid-mountain Interior resorts and just above freezing at mid-mountain Coast Range resorts. Still, the sunshine will give it a spring feel.
Starting on Thursday, April 6th and continuing into the week of April 10th, a ridge of high pressure will build over the Western U.S. and extend northward into BC. This will usher in much warmer air with temperatures trending progressively warmer over time.
However, this looks like a "dirty ridge" type of pattern as storm systems tracking across the norther periphery of the ridge will likely impact Northern BC (as well as Vancouver Island) on a frequent basis. The warmer air will support a mix of rain and snow across Northern BC with snow levels reaching mid-mountain elevations or higher, even up north.
Southern BC will be right on the fringe of this pattern and will likely see less moisture compared to Northern BC. However, we could still see storms extending far enough south to bring periods of rain and snow to Southern BC at times, especially the Coast Range in Southwest BC.
Across the Interior, northern areas such as Revelstoke and Kicking Horse will have the best chance of seeing occasional shots of rain and snow, while southern areas of the Interior will likely see a drier pattern with fewer/lighter precipitation opportunities.
Snow levels will generally be trending upward over time with snow levels creeping up to mid-mountain or higher at most areas by the weekend of April 8th-9th – depending on when/where/if precipitation falls of course. Snow conditions will generally become more slushy during this period as well with mild overnight temperatures also expected.
Thanks so much for reading and have a great weekend! Next update on Tuesday (April 4).
I am transitioning over to "spring hours" as the season slowly starts to wind down over the next couple of weeks. I will be posting forecasts on Tuesdays-Thursdays-Saturdays moving forward with my final post of the season on Saturday, April 15th.
Projected Ski Resort Closing Dates:
Hudson Bay Mountain