British Columbia Daily Snow

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By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 1 month ago February 29, 2024

More Snow and Colder Temps Thursday-Saturday

Summary

Deep snow totals are coming in throughout BC over the past 36 hours. A strong storm will continue to impact southern and eastern portions of the Interior on Thursday as a cold front works its way across the region with more intermittent snow showers and falling snow levels behind the front. Additional refills are expected Friday-Saturday with a colder airmass in place along with lighter winds.

Short Term Forecast

Snow Totals:

A massive storm is producing deep snow totals throughout Southern BC. Sasquatch Mountain is reporting an amazing 92 cm (37") in 24 hours and 122 cm in 36 hours. Fernie, Revelstoke, and Kicking Horse are also reporting deep totals. 

Whitewater and Red Mountain have come up a little short of the high amounts in the forecast so far, but they still have plenty of fresh and deep snow (skiing conditions will be excellent) and are likely to see a heavy round on Thursday as well.

Coast Range Storm Snow Totals as of Thursday AM:

  • 122 cm (49") - Sasquatch Mountain
  • 77 cm (31") - Whistler
  • 65 cm (26") - Cypress Mountain
  • 64 cm (26") - Manning Park
  • 61 cm (24") - Grouse Mountain
  • 60 cm (24") - Mt. Seymour
  • 46 cm (18") - Mt. Washington
  • 33 cm (13") - Mt. Cain

Interior Storm Snow Totals as of Thursday AM:

  • 48 cm (19") - Fernie
  • 46 cm (18") - Revelstoke
  • 34 cm (14") - Kicking Horse
  • 32 cm (13") - Whitewater
  • 30 cm (12") - Silver Star
  • 25 cm (10") - Kimberley
  • 24 cm (10") - Red Mountain
  • 22 cm (9") - Panorama
  • 22 cm (9") - Big White
  • 16 cm (6") - Apex
  • 13 cm (5") - Sun Peaks

Here are a couple of storm skiing shots from Wednesday:



Forecast for Thursday to Saturday:

The tail end of a powerful storm will continue to impact Southern BC on Thursday, then a series of follow-up weaker (but colder storms) from Thursday night through Saturday will keep conditions fresh through the weekend.

Northern BC (Shames, Hudson Bay, Powder King, etc.) will dry out with very cold temperatures across the Interior ranges, which could impact ski resort operations with temperatures of -20ºC to -25ºC expected.

Coastal Range & Whistler:

Thursday – Onshore flow snow showers will continue in an unstable atmosphere in the wake of Wednesday night's cold front (steep decrease in temperature with altitude). Winds will be lighter but still brisk with gusts of 40-60 km/hour in Whistler's alpine terrain.

Snow levels will be low, ranging from 150-450 meters (500-1,500 ft.), and winds will also be lighter, setting the stage for a beautiful powder day.

Thursday Night – The next storm will arrive from the south/southwest with snow picking back up. Snow levels will lower to near or just above sea level overnight.

Snow forecast from Thursday AM to Friday AM:

  • 15-30 cm (6-12") - Cypress, Grouse, Seymour
  • 10-20 cm (4-8") - Whistler, Manning Park, Sasquatch
  • 7-15 cm (3-6") - Mt. Washington, Mt. Cain

Friday – Periods of snow can be expected throughout the day and night with winds aloft out of the SSW initially, becoming SSE overnight. Snow levels will range from sea level to 300 meters (1k feet) and winds will also be relatively light. Skiing conditions will be outstanding.

Most areas will pick up another 10-25 cm (4-10") from Friday AM to Saturday AM with the North Shore resorts and Mt. Washington favored for the highest totals. Snow quality will be blower. 

Saturday – Snow will continue through the day, becoming lighter and more intermittent on Saturday night. This will be another excellent day to ski powder with light winds and low snow levels (less than 300 meters).

Additional snowfall will range from 5-15 cm (2-6") in most areas with the North Shore resorts favored for the highest totals.

3-Day Snow Totals (Thursday AM to Saturday AM):

  • 35-70 cm (14-28") - Cypress, Grouse, Seymour
  • 25-50 cm (10-20") - Whistler, Mt. Washington
  • 17-35 cm (7-14") - Sasquatch, Manning Park
  • 12-25 cm (5-10") - Mt. Cain

Skiing Conditions – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will all be amazing powder days, and conditions will remain excellent through at least the early part of next week as well. Keep in mind that some areas were closed or had limited terrain prior to this storm, so beware of thin coverage with obstacles lurking underneath.

Travel – Low snow levels and consistent snowfall mean that valley roads (including around Whistler Village) will be snowpacked throughout this period and driving times to/from the resorts will be slow at times. Winds will be gusty with areas of blowing snow on Thursday, then will become lighter in the days to follow.

Interior & Powder Highway:

Thursday – Snow will continue on Thursday with the focus of the heaviest snowfall rates expected across southern and eastern BC as a cold front works its way across the Interior from NW to SE. The front will eventually reach Fernie by mid-afternoon.

Snow levels will drop below most ski resort base areas behind the front during the daytime hours on Thursday, but Fernie and Southeast BC will see snow levels around 1200-1350 meters (4-4.5k feet) before the front finally arrives toward the end of the day.

A band of heavy snow is expected along the front, then snow will become more intermittent behind the front. However, there is potential for some localized bands of heavy snow to develop behind the front, which could lead to somewhat random snow totals, but will generally favor eastern and southern portions of the Interior (Red, WW, Pano, KH).

Snow will also trend lower-density and more powdery behind the cold front. Winds will not be as strong on Thursday compared to Wednesday, but will still be quite gusty even behind the front with alpine gusts of 50-70 km/hour out of the west to west/southwest.

Thursday Night – Snow showers will favor Southern and Southeast BC (Red to WW to Fernie especially) overnight, both in the wake of the previous storm and in response to another weaker storm approaching from the south/southwest. Snow levels will drop to valley bottoms throughout the Interior overnight.

Here is my snow forecast from Thursday AM to Friday AM. Isolated higher totals are also possible in southern/eastern portions of the Interior depending on where any narrow localized bands of heavy snow could set up behind the cold front. 

Here is a projection from the high-res Canadian Model. 

Friday – Periods of snow can be expected throughout the day as the next storm arrives with winds aloft out of the SW. We will likely see some lulls on Friday evening, then snow will gradually pick up again overnight as another storm arrives with winds out of the south.

Snow levels will be at valley bottoms with a cold airmass in place, and snow quality will be blower as a result. Winds will also be much lighter compared to prior days and skiing conditions will be outstanding.

Snowfall with this round will favor Red Mountain, Whitewater, and Fernie with totals ranging from 7-15 cm (3-6") from Friday AM to Saturday AM, and Revelstoke will also pick up 5-13 cm (2-5").

Saturday – Snow will pick back up from the south on Saturday morning with periods of snow continuing through Saturday night, favoring southern and western portions of the Interior. This will be another excellent day to ski powder across the board with cold temperatures, light/moderate refills, and light winds.

Favored areas will pick up another 7-15 cm (3-6") of snow, which includes Red Mountain, Whitewater, Silver Star, Big White, and Apex.

3-Day Snow Totals (Thursday AM to Saturday AM):

Here is my total snow forecast for this period:

Here is a daily breakdown:

Here is a projection from a blend of weather models:

Skiing Conditions – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will all be amazing powder days, and conditions will remain excellent through at least the early part of next week as well. 

Travel – Kootenay Pass and Rogers Pass will continue to see high-impact conditions early on Thursday, and Kootenay Pass will remain high-impact through Thursday night/Friday morning. Valley roads will also turn snowpacked and icy on Thursday night/Friday morning as temperatures drop behind the cold front.

Standard winter conditions can be expected from Friday on with snowpacked roads common over the passes, while valley roads will turn wet during the afternoons but could become slick at times in the nighttime and morning hours. 

Extended Forecast

Light snow showers will remain possible on Sunday, especially across the Interior, but overall a relative lull in the pattern is expected compared to prior days.

The next storm will then arrive from the south/southwest on Monday (March 4th) and could possibly linger into Tuesday (March 5th). We may see a break around mid-week based on the latest model trends though temperatures will remain colder than average for early March.

A more active pattern is possible heading into the weekend of March 9th-10th with temperatures possibly moderating some but still remaining on the cooler side of average.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Friday (March 1).

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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