British Columbia Daily Snow

Heads up, there may be fresher snow! Read the latest British Columbia Daily Snow

By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 1 month ago February 26, 2024

Colder with Flurries Monday, Major Storm Tuesday PM-Thursday

Summary

The weekend storm produced the highest snow totals over the Northern Powder Hwy with Kicking Horse picking up 53 cm storm total! Colder air has arrived Mon & we'll see light snow showers re-develop. An even stronger storm is on track for Tue PM to Thursday with deep totals expected for both the Coast Range & the Interior. Additional refreshes on the way Fri-Sat with outstanding conditions.

Short Term Forecast

Storm Snow Totals as of Monday AM:

The weekend storm delivered deep snow totals to parts of the Interior. The focus of the heavy snow was a little more biased toward Northern BC than expected though most of the Powder Highway region received good snow totals and will enjoy powder on Monday.

The Okanagan region came in lighter than expected (Silver Star being the exception) Totals were pedestrian as anticipated across most of the Coast Range, but Manning Park scored deep snow totals on the east side of the Coast Range, and northern portions of Vancouver Island (i.e. Mt. Cain) also did well. 

Northern BC also picked up heavy totals over the weekend following an extended dry spell.

Here are the latest storm totals since Friday night:

  • 53 cm (21") - Kicking Horse
  • 45 cm (18") - Manning Park
  • 39 cm (16") - Shames Mountain
  • 37 cm (15") - Revelstoke
  • 37 cm (15") - Mt. Cain
  • 34 cm (14") - Powder King
  • 23 cm (9") - Whitewater
  • 21 cm (8") - Fernie
  • 20 cm (8") - Silver Star
  • 16 cm (6") - Panorama
  • 16 cm (6") - Cypress Mountain
  • 13 cm (5") - Hudson Bay Mountain
  • 10 cm (4") - Kimberley
  • 10 cm (4") - Grouse Mountain
  • 9 cm (4") - Red Mountain
  • 9 cm (4") - Mt. Seymour
  • 8 cm (3") - Whistler
  • 6 cm (2") - Big White
  • 4 cm (1.5") - Apex
  • 3 cm (1") - Sun Peaks

Forecast for Monday to Thursday:

A relative lull in the pattern will occur on Monday with colder temperatures and scattered snow showers. A powerful storm will then arrive late Tuesday and continue through Thursday.

This storm will be slower-moving than the last one with strong jet stream support across Southern BC. This will also be a classic frontal system (which supports strong dynamics/heavy snowfall rates) with a warm front arriving from the south on Wednesday and a cold front moving through from the west/northwest on Wednesday night and Thursday. 

Details by region...

Coast Range & Whistler:

Monday – Partly to mostly cloudy skies, cold temperatures, and light/moderate winds will keep newly fallen snow fresh, though with lighter totals there will likely still be a crust felt underneath in most areas (Manning Park aside). Freezing levels will stay well below ski resort base areas.

Tuesday-Tuesday Night – Dry and breezy conditions with cold temps will prevail for most of the day with increasing clouds in the afternoon. Winds will pick up out of the WSW with alpine wind gusts of 50-70 km/hour late in the day. Snow will begin over Vancouver Island during the day with light snow possible at Whistler by the end of the day.

Snowfall will pick up overnight with snow levels starting near sea level before increasing to 300 meters (1k feet) by Wednesday AM as the warm front arrives. Overnight snowfall will range from 7-15 cm (3-6") in most areas and the snow will be low-density powder.

Wednesday-Wednesday Night – Heavy snow and gusty SSW winds can be expected throughout this period with gusts to 80-100 km/hour in Whistler's alpine terrain.

Snow levels will start near 300 meters (1k feet) and will peak at 750-900 meters (2.5-3k feet) on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in rain mixing at the base of Whistler and the North Shore resorts.

A cold front will move through on Wednesday evening, with snow continuing behind the front as snow levels fall to 150-300 meters (500-1,000 ft.) overnight.

Snow totals will range from 12-23 cm (5-9") ahead of the cold front on Wednesday and 5-12 cm (2-5") behind the cold front on Wednesday night.

Snow will transition to medium-density at Whistler on Wednesday afternoon (high density for the North Shore) then will become low-density in all areas again on Wednesday night.

Thursday – A secondary disturbance will arrive from the southwest and the atmosphere will also become unstable in the wake of Wednesday night's cold front (steep decrease in temperature with altitude).

This will result in snow showers picking back up with most areas receiving another 7-20 cm (3-8") of accumulation from Thursday morning through Thursday evening. Snow levels will range from 150-450 meters (500-1,500 ft.) resulting in low-density powder, and winds will also be much lighter.

Thursday is my call for the best and deepest powder conditions across the Coast Range resorts, so get out there and enjoy.

Snow Totals – Total snowfall from Tuesday PM through Friday AM will be as follows:

  • 37-75 cm (15-30") - Manning Park
  • 37-75 cm (15-30") - Sasquatch
  • 35-70 cm (14-28") - Cypress, Grouse, Seymour
  • 30-60 cm (12-24") - Whistler
  • 20-40 cm (8-16") - Mt. Cain
  • 15-30 cm (6-12") - Mt. Washington

Skiing Conditions – Wednesday morning and all-day Thursday will offer the best conditions. I would pick Thursday over Wednesday, due to high winds on Wednesday as well as a density change on Wednesday afternoon, but both days will be great outside of alpine terrain. Prime conditions will carry over into the weekend as well.

Travel – High-impact travel conditions can be expected from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning, and to a lesser extent through Friday morning with accumulating snow on the roads along with blowing snow. Wednesday afternoon may offer some reprieve in the valleys as temperatures rise briefly.

Interior & Powder Highway:

Monday – Mostly cloudy skies and cold temperatures will prevail along with lighter winds, setting the stage for a nice powder day, especially at Kicking Horse and Revy.

Lingering moisture and an unstable atmosphere behind Sunday night's cold front will result in scattered snow showers re-developing. Snowfall will be more random in nature with this activity, and snow totals will generally range from trace-5 cm (trace-2").

Tuesday-Tuesday Night – We will see a lull in the pattern during the day with cold temperatures and mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies early (increasing clouds late in the day). Winds will be light to moderate up high, but temps will be quite chilly ranging from -17º to -12ºC at mid to upper elevations.

The storm will arrive late Tuesday night with snowfall favoring western areas initially. Most areas will pick up 2-10 cm (1-4") of low-density snow overnight, except for Pano, Kimberly, and Fernie where overnight snowfall will be minimal.

Wednesday-Wednesday Night – Snowfall will become widespread and heavy throughout the Interior and winds will also become strong with alpine gusts of 60-80 km/hour out of the SW.

Snow levels start at valley bottoms on Wednesday with low-density snow quality, but a warm front will arrive from the south and snow will become denser by Wednesday afternoon. By the time lifts close, snow levels will rise to 1200 meters (4k feet) at Red Mountain, 1050 meters (3.5k feet) at Fernie, and 900 meters (3k feet) at Revelstoke.

The heaviest snowfall rates with this storm in most areas will occur on Wednesday night, and snow will be denser with snow levels ranging from 900-1200 meters (3-4k feet), highest in the south near the US border.

Thursday – A cold front will move through from the northwest, reaching the Okanagan resorts and Revelstoke early in the morning, and finally clearing through Fernie by late in the afternoon. Snow levels will fall from west to east behind the front, lowering to valley bottoms.

Heavy/widespread snow will continue across Southern and Southeast BC (Whitewater to Fernie and up to Panorama) on Thursday morning ahead of the front. Behind the front, robust snow showers are expected to develop in a more unstable atmosphere, and these backside snow showers will be lower density in nature.

Winds will also be lighter on Thursday behind the front, though moderate gusts will still be possible in alpine terrain. Southeast BC will also hang onto stronger winds early in the day.

Snow Totals – This is shaping up to be a deep cycle. Here is my storm total snow forecast:

Here is a projection from a blend of weather models:

Skiing Conditions – It's going to be good throughout the week with minor day-to-day variations. Tuesday snow conditions will stay soft in between storms. Wednesday AM storm skiing looks great with lower-density snow early in the day, but it starts to turn upside down by late in the afternoon.

Snow quality will improve from northwest to southeast across the Interior during the day on Thursday with additional refills throughout the day. I'm not sure we see much after dark on Thursday night, but Friday morning will feature colder temps and continued soft conditions. Additional refills are also likely heading into the weekend.

Travel – Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass (and other high passes especially near the BC/AB border) will see their highest impact conditions from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning, with additional moderate impacts from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.

Lower valley roads will see impacts on Wednesday morning, and again on Thursday night/Friday morning once temperatures drop again.

Northern BC:

Most of the snow will fall across the northern ranges on Tuesday-Tuesday night with snow tapering off to light snow showers Wednesday as the bulk of the action shifts southward.

This will be a lighter event compared to Southern BC with snow totals of 10-20 cm (4-8") at Shames Mountain and 7-15 cm (3-6") at Powder King, while the Cariboo Range to the south will see deeper totals.

Cold air in place will result in very good snow quality with this round despite the comparatively lighter totals.

 

Extended Forecast

Two more weaker storms are expected to move through Southern BC from the south/southwest on Friday (March 1) and Saturday (March 2). These storms should provide nice re-freshes. Temperatures will be cold and snow levels low, resulting in excellent conditions.

A lull in the action is expected on Sunday (March 3), then a weak storm may clip southern BC on Monday (March 4). After that, the pattern should trend more unsettled heading into the middle of next week with the potential for a couple of decent storms, while temperatures will also remain on the colder side of average for early March.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Tuesday (Feb 27).

Alan Smith 

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Alan Smith

Meteorologist

Alan Smith received a B.S. in Meteorology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and has been working in the private sector since 2013. When he’s not watching the weather from the office, Alan loves to spend time outdoors skiing, hiking, and mountain biking, and of course keeping an eye on the sky for weather changes while recreating.

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