A ridge of high-pressure will establish itself over the Alberta Rockies Tuesday through most of the day on Thursday. A Pacific low-pressure system and cold front will push in from the west on Friday bringing chances of accumulating snowfall through Saturday morning. Sunshine and Lake Louise look best positioned for storm totals up to 15cm. Unsettled skies continue through Sunday.
Short Term Forecast
Below: Blue skies abound at Marmot Basin on Tuesday.
Tuesday: A ridge of high-pressure will expand from BC into the Alberta Rockies on Tuesday bringing a pleasant day with mostly sunny skies across the range. Alpine temps at 2200m will be seasonal average with highs -1C to -4C. Generally light NW winds. Freeze levels around 1800m.
Wednesday – Thursday: The ridge of high-pressure will amplify Wednesday bringing another sunny day across the Rockies. On Thursday, a sunny morning will transition to increased cloud cover during the afternoon hours as the next weather system moves towards the Rockies from the west. Daytime alpine temps at 2200m both days will range from -2C at the SkiBig3 resorts to 1C at Nakiska, PPK, and Castle Mountain. Light W/SW winds, with ridgetop gusts to 20 kph at Castle Mountain on Thursday. Freeze levels will range from 1900m to 2100m.
Friday – Saturday: A Pacific low-pressure system will move into the Rockies beginning late on Thursday night spreading cloud cover with widespread flurries into the day on Friday. Light accumulations of 3 – 5cm are possible for much of the range. A stronger wave of moisture appears by the late afternoon/evening hours on Friday that looks to bring most of its energy into the Banff/Lake Louise area with additional amounts of 5 – 10cm at Sunshine and Louise, with 3 – 5cm elsewhere. Cooler Friday with alpine high temps at 2200m of -3C to -5C. Light westerly winds on Friday. Skies remain unsettled on Saturday as a trough of low-pressure brings mainly cloud cover with isolated flurries during the day with trace amounts possible. The exception looks to be the South Rockies where Castle Mountain will see periods of light snow with daytime accumulations up to 5cm. Alpine high temps (2200m) will be -3C south to -5C north (of Banff). Light west winds.
Sunday 3/26 Thursday 3/30
Clouds and flurries linger on Sunday under the influence of a low-pressure trough. Confidence in the weather models for the early part of next week is just not there yet. It’s a wide range of scenarios with 60% of the models favoring a return of high-pressure with the others bringing a cold low-pressure system in Monday night through Tuesday. High-pressure looks likely for Wednesday with chances of snowfall possibly returning on Thursday as an Alaskan low is progged to move into the region. Cooler than seasonal average temps through the period with highs at 2200m -4C to -7C.
Below: Canadian model favors high-pressure building Monday - Wednesday with a storm moving in Thursday 3/30. We'll keep watching and see how this develops.
Thanks for tuning in. Next update, Thursday March 23.
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 booking
Nakiska OPEN daily
Pass Powderkeg OPEN (Weds thru Sun) Closes for the season March 26th with the PPK Slush Cup.
Latest Avalanche Conditions: