NW flow aloft will transport a weak disturbance across the Alberta Rockies on Tues. Isolated flurries from Sunshine north to Marmot with trace amounts possible along with breezy westerlies with a moderation of temps. Another weak system Tues night into Weds could bring in a little more snow up to 5cm to west facing slopes north of Banff. A ridge builds in Thurs before light snow returns on Fri.
Short Term Forecast
Below: The European model animation Tuesday through 2300 local time Saturday night 2/4. An active NW flow keeps bringing weak disturbances into the Alberta Rockies through this Saturday.
Below: Lake Louise looking due west to the Continental Divide on Tuesday morning. The clouds will be on the increase during the day with isolated flurries likely carrying on into Wednesday morning.
Tuesday: Widespread isolated flurries mainly from Sunshine north to Marmot Basin as a weak system passes just the north of Jasper. Marmot might add another few cm’s to the 2cm’s they received Monday night. For Norquay and the resorts south of Banff, skies generally will be a mix of sun and clouds. It will be breezy across the alpine areas as moderate and gusty west winds develop for most resorts. Upper-mountain high temps (2200m) across the Rockies warming to -11C to -14C on Tuesday.
Wednesday: Periods of isolated flurries continue overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday, mainly for the resorts Sunshine north to Marmot Basin as a trough of low-pressure persists. Trace accumulations up to 5cm possible at Sunshine, Louise, and Marmot. South of Banff, mainly cloudy with some sunny spells. Predominant light to moderate west winds will aide in snowfall amounts on west facing slopes. Warming trend continues with highs at 2200m of -8C to -11C.
Thursday: Transient high-pressure builds across the Rockies on Thursday bringing a mix of sun and cloud to most resort locations. SW winds light to moderate will keep the warming trend going with alpine highs at 2200m ranging from -2C at Castle, to -7C at Louise.
Friday & Saturday: This week’s NW flow continues as a shortwave low is favored to move north to south Friday along the leeside of the Alberta Rockies bringing back, you guessed it, light accumulations for resorts Banff north to Jasper. This system will have a warm component to it with freeze levels rising as high at 1200 to 1400m across the range. Strong W/SW winds are likely Friday on wind exposed passes and ridgetops. Unsettled skies continue for Sunshine, Louise, and Marmot on Saturday with a mix of cloud, isolated flurries, and an afternoon sunny spell possible as well. For Banff south to Castle Mountain, a mix of sun and cloud with decreasing W/SW winds to the light/moderate range. Continued mild with alpine high temps (2200m) of -2C to -6C.
Below: High resolution Canadian model for snowfall across BC and AB. While most of the energy of this NW flow aloft brings the heaviest snowfall to NE British Columbia, some spillover snowfall into the Alberta side of the Continental Divide (north of Banff) is most likely Tues PM into Weds and again on Friday.
All three models are indicating a change from a NW flow aloft to a zonal flow (direct west to east) directing mild Pacific moisture into the Rockies on Sunday/Monday 2/5 & 6. How much of this moisture makes it over the Continental Divide is the main question. Temps will stay slightly above seasonal norms under this zonal flow on Sunday and Monday. For the period Tuesday 2/7 through Thursday 2/9, another more organized Pacific disturbance looks to bring chances of accumulating snowfall in the Tuesday night into Wednesday time frame. This is followed by a building ridge on Thursday into Friday 2/10.
Below: The Canadian GEM model for the period Sunday 2/5 through Thursday 2/9. I'm watching the storm system depicted to cross the Rockies on Tuesday 2/7 PM through Wednesday 2/8 for chances of significant snowfall.
Thanks for tuning in. Next update, Thursday 2/2.
Alberta Rockies Ski Resorts & Areas / North & South “Regions” are solely for Geographic References in my forecasts…
North Region: ( * denotes SkiBig3 resorts )
*Banff/Sunshine Village OPEN daily
*Lake Louise Ski Resort OPEN daily
*Mt Norquay OPEN daily
Marmot Basin OPEN daily
Castle Mountain OPEN daily
Fortress / KPOW Cat Skiing OPEN see link for info
Nakiska OPEN daily
Pass Powderkeg OPEN (Weds thru Sun only)