Our recent storm cycle from Thursday-Saturday set a new 48-hour snowfall record at Jackson Hole's Rendezvous Bowl plot! Arctic air spilled into the area behind the storm on Sunday and we are experiencing a frigid start to the week with temps well below zero. Dry conditions will prevail thru Thursday with a strengthening inversion, then two storms are expected Fri (Feb 3) to Mon (Feb 7).
Short Term Forecast
Sorry for the late post today. Sunday's power and internet outage in East Jackson caused me to get way behind on all of my work to start the week so I am playing catch-up.
January 26th-29th Storm Cycle Recap:
Our recent storm cycle was one for the record books with the Rendezvous Bowl Plot at Jackson Hole's upper mountain receiving 41 inches of snow in 48 hours, and 46 inches of snow in 72 hours. Total snowfall above 8,000 feet in the Tetons ranged from approximately 3-4 feet. Just incredible numbers.
Here are the final storm total snowfall numbers across the area from Thursday AM (Jan 26th) to Sunday AM (Jan 29th):
- 46" - Jackson Hole Rendezvous Bowl
- 45" - Surprise Lake (GTNP)
- 43" - Jackson Hole Raymer Plot
- 36" - Jackson Hole Mid-Mountain
- 34" - Grand Targhee
- 21" - Victor Outskirts (base of Pine Creek Pass)
- 19" - Teton Village
- 18" - Wilson
- 16" - Jackson Hole Base
- 15" - Togwotee Pass
- 14" - Snow King
- 12" - Jackson Lake
- 7" - Town of Jackson
As you can imagine, ski conditions were epic at both Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee this weekend, and I also hear that Snow King was skiing very well.
I did some data digging into this storm today and as it turns out, the 41 inches of snow received at the Rendezvous Bowl Plot from Thursday AM to Saturday AM was the highest 2-day total ever recorded at this location dating back to 1974-1975!
The Rendezvous Bowl Plot also reported 27 inches of snow in 24 hours on Friday morning, which is the second-highest 24-hour total ever recorded at this location. The record is 30 inches in November 1988 (ironically just a couple of months after the historic Yellowstone fires), but that happened before ski season. So technically, this was the highest 24-hour total recorded at this location during ski season.
I still need to go back into the data to see how this stacks up in terms of 72-hour snow totals. I'd also like to evaluate snow totals at the mid-mountain plot. Grand Targhee only has data going back to 2007-2008, but I can recall instances when they have received over 30 inches in 24 hours, so while impressive, this storm was not a record-setter there.
Following a dry spell during the second half of January, this latest storm has us above-average in terms of snowfall for the month of January and for the season as a whole. Snowfall numbers have been above average each month in November, December, and January.
Forecast for Monday to Thursday:
An arctic cold front moved into the Teton region on Sunday, and we are experiencing a brutally cold day on Monday.
Low temperatures on Monday morning fell into the -20s and -30s in the valleys and into the -10s in the mountains. The Town of Jackson got down to -24ºF for a low, while the Jackson Hole Airport got down to -27ºF and Driggs got down to -31ºF!
Check out some of the low temperatures recorded across the region:
The sun is out on Monday afternoon but temperatures are still frigid! Most areas in the mountains and the valley are struggling to break the zero mark. It's right around zero at mid to upper elevations in the Tetons as well as the JH Airport, while the Town of Jackson is still 8 below zero as of 2pm Monday. Most areas in Teton Valley have risen into the single digits above zero as of early/mid Monday afternoon.
Tuesday morning will be frigid again in the valleys with lows falling into the -20s. However, a strengthening inversion will result in comparatively warmer temperatures in the mountains, likely close to zero at most locations.
Highs on Tuesday afternoon will reach the upper single digits at 9,000 feet and mid-single digits in the valley, so it will still be plenty cold even if a little warmer than Monday.
A weak disturbance will move into the area on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, resulting in more cloud cover and milder overnight low temperatures as a result. Light snow showers/flurries will also be possible, but any accumulations will be minimal, generally an inch or less in the Tetons.
An inversion will then re-strengthen from Wednesday and into Thursday as warmer air aloft arrives while colder air remains trapped in the valley.
Highs at 9,000 feet will reach the low 20s on Wednesday and mid 20s on Thursday, so be sure to hit the slopes if you're looking for a break from the cold. Valley high temperatures will be in the teens on both Wednesday and Thursday with overnight lows below zero.
Outlook for Friday (Feb 3) to Monday (Feb 6):
We will head into a more active pattern late in the week as a storm arrives sometime in the Friday afternoon to Saturday morning timeframe. This looks like a weak storm, but it should be enough to scour out the inversion while also bringing a round of light snow – most of which will likely fall during the overnight hours on Friday night.
We should see a break in the action on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, and possibly much of Sunday as well. Then, another storm is expected during the Sunday afternoon to Monday timeframe. This storm looks a bit stronger than Friday's storm, and while confidence is inherently low this far out, there is a chance that next Monday morning (Feb 6) could offer some freshies.
Outlook for February 7th-13th:
The storm door should remain open to some extent during this pattern. My overall sense is that the pattern will favor weaker storms, while the frequency of storms is uncertain.
If we end up with frequent weaker storms, that can end up being a pretty good pattern for the Tetons (consistency over quantity). We are also far enough out that I wouldn't rule out a stronger storm at some point either depending on how the storm track shakes out.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Tuesday (Jan 31).