Snow totals as of 5am Monday include 12" at JHMR, 6" at Targhee, and 5" at Snow King and it's continued to snow heavily since then. Widespread snow will continue through midday Monday followed by snow showers Monday afternoon. Additional snow showers can be expected Tue-Wed, followed by a stronger storm on Thu-Fri with yet another storm possible Sat-Mon. What a great start to the season!
Short Term Forecast
Preliminary Snow Totals:
Snow totals as of 5am include 12" at JHMR's Rendezvous Bowl Plot, 9" at the Raymer Plot, and 8" at the mid-mountain plot. A heavy and relatively narrow band of snowfall associated with the jet stream has favored the southern end of the Teton Range, and totals have been lighter so far around Targhee where 6" of new snow was reported on Monday AM.
In the Jackson Hole Valley, Snow King reported 5" early this morning while I measured 6.5" at my home in Jackson around 6am and it's continued to snow heavily since then.
Teton Pass closed early on Monday morning due to avalanche control, but has reopened as of this writing and it looks like backcountry skiers have filled up the parking lot already.
Forecast for Monday - Monday Night:
Widespread snow is expected to continue through about midday Monday, then snowfall will become more scattered in nature on Monday afternoon and evening on the backside of the storm. I'm expecting another 4-8 inches of snow in the Tetons and another 1-3 inches in the valley.
While terrain is limited this early in the season and coverage is thin, Monday will certainly be a fun day to get out and enjoy some fresh turns.
Forecast for Tuesday - Tuesday Night:
Arctic air will settle into the area on Tuesday, resulting in a very cold day at all elevations with daytime temperatures hovering around zero on the upper mountains of JHMR and Targhee, while the valley will struggle to get out of the single digits on Tuesday afternoon.
Despite the arrival of arctic air, a disturbance containing a little bit of moisture will arrive from the northwest, resulting in cloudy skies and off-and-on periods of snow showers and flurries. I would expect another 1-3 inches of low-density powder in the Tetons, but keep an eye on Targhee who can occasionally overperform in these set-ups.
Snowfall will be much lighter in the Jackson Hole Valley on Tuesday, ranging from a trace to a half-inch.
Forecast for Wednesday - Wednesday Night:
A stronger storm will impact the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday, but recent model runs are trending toward a leading-edge disturbance reaching the Tetons, resulting in a better chance of snow showers than previously expected.
I'm not totally sold on this solution yet as we may be right on the fringe of the moisture/energy associated with this disturbance. But for now, I'll go with another 1-3 inches of snow in the Tetons on Wednesday (trace-1" in the valley).
Temperatures will also warm up a bit on Wednesday as arctic air retreats to the north and a milder southwest flow develops. Highs will warm up into the teens at 9,000-10,000 feet and 20s in the valley.
Forecast for Thursday - Friday:
A stronger storm is likely to impact the area during this period. There are still some model discrepancies in terms of timing, but there is relatively good agreement that we will see respectable snowfall from this storm.
For now, the main window of snowfall looks to be sometime in the Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon timeframe with the heaviest snow expected on Thursday night. Therefore, I would target Friday for skiing on fresh snow, but keep in mind that the timing is subject to change in either direction.
Temperatures may also be a little warmer with this storm compared to our current storm, but for now, I'm expecting this to be a medium-density snowfall (not super wet, but not super dry either).
Since we're within 5 days, I'll go with an early snow forecast of 6-12 inches in the Tetons above 8,000 feet on Thursday-Friday, but this is certainly subject to change. Also, with winds out of the southwest, JHMR will likely be favored more than Targhee though both areas could do well.
Outlook for Saturday (12/2) to Monday (12/4):
Another storm is likely to impact the Tetons during this timeframe. Confidence is low with regard to timing, but most models are honing in on Sunday-Monday as the most likely window for snow, while a smaller minority of models are projecting an early snow event in the Saturday-Sunday window.
For weekend warriors, I would circle Sunday as the most likely of the two weekend days to ski on fresh snow.
Outlook for December 5th-11th:
The pattern may relax somewhat next week at least compared to this week, but I still expect the door to remain open for additional storms from time to time. Temperatures should also remain colder than average throughout this period.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Tuesday (11/29).