Jackson Hole Daily Snow

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Mid-week Targhee surprise, late week storm remains on track


Tuesday's weak storm produced 7" of new snow at Targhee with lighter amounts on the eastern side of the Tetons. A strong storm remains on track for late this week with heavy snow expected from Thursday PM to Sunday. This will also be a good quality snow event with low-density powder. Next week is trending drier & colder, but we may see some storms in the Feb 3-7 period (low confidence).

Short Term Forecast

Recent Snowfall

We ended up with a solid northwest flow on Tuesday rather than north/northwest with Targhee picking up 7 inches of new snow on the west side of the Tetons. Snow totals were much lighter elsewhere with 2 inches at JHMR's upper mountain, 1 inch at mid-mountain, and a half-inch at the base. Snow King also picked up an inch.

The snow stake cam at Targhee looks good on Wednesday AM and is roughly in line with their reports, as 24-hour snow reports are taken from 5am-5am and the snow stake is cleared at 9am each morning (and snow likely accumulated between 5am-9am on Tuesday).

Forecast for Wednesday

A relatively quiet day is expected but skies will remain mostly cloudy with occasional light snow showers or flurries, favoring the west side of the Tetons. 

High-res models are very low on precipitation amounts on Wednesday & Wednesday night and would indicate a trace to an inch at the most. But Targhee can occasionally surprise in these patterns with a moist northwest flow.

High temperatures on Wednesday will struggle to get out of the single digits at 9,000 feet and will reach the upper teens in the valley.

Forecast for Thursday to Sunday

A storm remains on track to impact the Tetons during this period. The most notable changes involve the timing with an earlier start to the action expected by late Thursday afternoon, while backside snowfall on Sunday has trended weaker with conditions now likely to dry out by Monday.

Prevailing winds at mountain-top level will be out of the west/northwest for much of this event, which will favor Targhee the most, though I expect both Targhee and JHMR to do well. 

Snow will begin on Thursday afternoon and will pick up during the overnight hours on Thursday night with the heaviest snowfall rates of the entire event expected during the daytime hours on Friday. Snow will then continue throughout Friday night, Saturday, and during the daytime period on Sunday before eventually tapering off on Sunday night.

Snow Totals

I'm going with an early storm total snow forecast of 14-28 inches for the Tetons above 8,000 feet from Thursday through Sunday with Targhee being the most favored.

For the valleys, I'll go with 7-14 inches storm total in Teton Valley and 4-8 inches for the Jackson Hole Valley and Snow King, though totals could run higher in some spots north and west of the JH Airport.

Snow Density and Temperature

Cold air in place will result in a dry and powdery snow event with snow-liquid ratios likely to be around 15 to 1 for most of the event (5% density). Just how we like it.

Temperatures at 9,000 feet will be in the low/mid teens from Thurdsay afternoon through Friday evening during the heaviest part of the event, then will trend lower into the upper single digits on Saturday and mid single digits on Sunday.

Valley temperatures will start in the teens on Thursday, peak in the upper 20s on Friday, then gradually trend downward on Saturday and Sunday with day/night fluctuations. Driggs will likely stay a few degrees cooler than Jackson for most of this event.


Winds above 9,000 feet will be out of the west/northwest on Thursday and Friday at 15-25 mph with gusts to 30-40 mph. On Friday night and Saturday, winds will be westerly and will decrease to 10-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. Similar wind speeds are expected on Sunday but with a shift to southwest winds.

Skiing Conditions

Friday is going to be a deep storm skiing day with new snow from Thursday night and heavy snow falling throughout the daytime hours. Saturday morning may offer some of the deepest conditions of all and winds will be lighter as well.

Additional refills can be expected on Sunday to cap off what should be a great powder weekend.

Travel Conditions

Travel will be rough throughout this event due to heavy snowfall rates and the dry/powdery nature of the snow making it susceptible to blow and drift over open roads, leading to reduced visibility. The worst travel can be expected during the Friday morning and Friday evening commutes, but slow travel conditions will also continue throughout the weekend. 

Extended Forecast

Outlook for January 30th to February 7th:

I'm expecting a cold and dry pattern to take hold behind this storm from approximately Monday (Jan 30) through Thursday (Feb 2) as arctic air from the east side of the Continental Divide begins to spill into Jackson Hole.

We could see some occasional light snow showers during this period, but moisture looks limited for the most part.

From February 3rd through 7th, my confidence in the pattern has decreased as we're now seeing signs of high pressure building in from the south from time to time, more so than previously expected. We will be far enough north that we could still see some storms make it to the Tetons but it's a borderline-looking pattern for now.

In previous days, we were seeing a signal toward above-average precipitation during the first week of February, but now we're seeing a neutral signal. That means we will probably see some snow, but the strength and frequency of storms is highly uncertain.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Thursday (Jan 26).