Canadian Rockies Daily Snow

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By Bob Ambrose, Forecaster Posted 2 months ago November 29, 2023

Overstayed Ridge Finally Moves Out this Weekend

Summary

We’ll be holding onto the ridge of high-pressure through Friday. Speaking of Friday, the south Rockies gem Castle Mountain along with its neighbor Pass Powderkeg both open Friday. By Saturday night, a trough of low-pressure will begin to spread over the Divide bringing isolated flurries Sunday into Sunday night with 4–8cm possible by Monday. A stronger storm is possible on Tues and Weds next week.

Short Term Forecast

The snowmaking crew at Castle Mountain has been really busy over the last week taking advantage of the cold surface temps. Castle kicks off their 23/24 season this Friday 12/1. 

Here’s an image of the amazing mountains that surround Castle Mountain in the south Alberta Rockies. Besides being an out-of-the-way powder magnet, it can also get quite windy there! 


(images courtesy of Castle Mountain Facebook) 

Wednesday, November 29 – Sunday, December 3 

A weak cold front will move north to south through the region on Wednesday bringing increasing afternoon clouds and some isolated flurries with no accumulations unfortunately. A slight dip in alpine temperatures as daytime highs will only be just below average on Wednesday. Weak ridging returns over the region on Thursday and Friday for another few days of benign but mainly cloudy weather. Mountain temps at 2000m stay cool with highs of right around -11C at 2000m both Thursday and Friday across the Rockies. Light W/SW winds. 

An eastern Pacific trough looks to push our weakening ridge eastward by Friday afternoon bringing increasing cloud cover and a few flurries across the Rockies late Friday into Friday night. Cloudy with isolated afternoon flurries are likely on Saturday. Periods of flurries continue through Saturday night from Banff north to Lake Louise and continue during the day on Sunday. Currently, about a 25% chance of a cumulative 5 - 8cm at Sunshine and Louise by day's end on Sunday. We'll revisit these estimates in a few days. Highs under the unsettled weekend skies look to stay cool at around -10C at 2000m. Light to moderate W/SW winds through the weekend. 

Euro model below with 'Zulu' time in the upper right corner. 'Zulu' is 7 hours ahead of Calgary and Edmonton (Mountain) time. All weather models report in Zulu (that's what the "z" means next to the time)  - or officially called UTC Time presently. 

 

Extended Forecast

A warm front along with the associated remnants from a sub-tropical Atmospheric River (AR) arrive over the Rockies on Sunday night bringing a 20% chance of additional light accumulations of 4 – 8cm through midday next Monday. This is not 'gospel' at this time as models are still trying to figure out this moisture feed. 

An active SW flow aloft is portrayed to keep the storm door open with another few waves of sub-tropical moisture arriving around Tuesday and lasting into Thursday. These waves appear to have a bit more of a punch with moderate to deep accumulations possible in the extended models. It’s about a week out, so we still have several days before the more detailed high-resolution models take over. I’ll have an update on this possible storm, as well as this coming weekend's forecast on Friday morning 12/1.

The European Ensemble below for snowfall from Saturday morning 12/2 through 5 AM Wednesday 12/6 brings some significant snowfall along the Divide by the middle of next week. 

Keep doing those snow dances! 

Powder Out, 

Bob 

Announcements

Alberta Rockies Ski Resorts & Areas with Opening Dates / North & South Regions are solely for Geographic References.

 North Region:  ( * denotes SkiBig3 resorts )

*Mt Norquay  OPEN    

South Region:

Castle Mountain  December 1st

Fortress / KPOW Cat Skiing  OPEN for booking      

Nakiska  OPEN

Pass Powderkeg  December 1 (then weekends only)    

Latest Avalanche Conditions:

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About Our Forecaster

Bob Ambrose

Forecaster

Ever since his early days as a ski racer on the icy slopes of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Bob chased his dreams of deep powder west to Tahoe and finally Montana. A self-proclaimed 'weather junkie', his passion for maps, charts, and forecasts always lead him to the best snow in Montana.

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