Jackson Hole Daily Snow

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Next storm on Sunday-Monday


Dry and inverted conditions will continue on Friday, then a weak disturbance will pass to the north Friday night/Saturday AM, just brushing the Tetons with a few light snow showers possible. The next real storm will bring snow to the area from Sunday afternoon through Monday with moderate amounts expected. After that, we could see some snow around Wed-Thu (Feb 8-9) but confidence is low.

Short Term Forecast

Forecast for Friday to Saturday:

We're starting out with a strong inversion on Friday morning with temperatures in the low 20s above 8,000 feet while temperatures are well below zero in the JH Valley (-11ºF in the Town of Jackson). Temperatures are a bit milder on the Teton Valley side where it's 9ºF in Driggs.

Skies will be mostly sunny to partly cloudy through Friday afternoon and it will be warm above the inversion layer with highs topping out near 30ºF at 8,000-9,000 feet. Snow conditions on sun-exposed aspects may start to be affected by these warmer temps. 

Will the inversion mix out in the valley on Friday? It will on the Teton Valley side with highs in the 30s, but I'm not so sure on the Jackson side. A disturbance expected on Friday night has trended a bit weaker and further north, and while we can expect some cooler air aloft arriving across the higher elevations by late in the day, it may not be enough allow the inversion to completely erode. 

If the inversion holds, then highs will struggle to reach the upper teens to low 20s in the JH Valley on Friday afternoon. However, if the inversion mixes out, then highs could soar into the 30s. It's also possible the inversion could erode in the evening or overnight with high temps in the valley occurring after dark.

We will be just on the southern fringe of this weak disturbance on Friday night. It's not a given we will see any snow, but the best chance of snow showers looks to be from late Friday evening through about midday Saturday.

Any accumulations will be very light, probably just a trace to an inch up high. Maybe up to a couple of inches if we're lucky. It's also possible we miss out completely. 

On Saturday, we will see more cloud cover compared to Friday (mix of clouds and sun, limited visibility possible at times) with highs in the low 20s at 9,000 feet. I also expect the inversion to mix out on Saturday if it doesn't happen sooner with highs reaching the low 30s in the valleys on Saturday afternoon.

Winds will pick up a bit across the higher terrain on both Friday and Saturday as this disturbance passes to the north. Winds on Friday will be out of the southwest at 15-25 mph with gusts to 30-40 mph above 9,000 feet. Winds on Saturday will be out of the west at 15-20 mph with gusts to 25-35 mph above 9,000 feet.

Forecast for Sunday to Monday:

Sunday will start out dry, then a storm will arrive on Sunday afternoon. My overall thinking on this storm hasn't changed much and I'm expecting a moderate event. However, it looks like our best chance of picking up any decent snowfall over the next 10-12 days, so we'll take what we can get. 

Snow should begin on Sunday afternoon with winds out of the west/southwest initially before becoming more widespread on Sunday night after lifts close. 

Winds will eventually transition to west/northwest later Sunday night with snow continuing into Monday morning. The most widespread accumulations can be expected prior to Monday morning's snow reports.

I'm expecting snow totals from Sunday through Sunday night to range from 2-5 inches in the Tetons and 1-2 inches in the valleys. 

During the day on Monday, winds will shift to northwest and we will see enough lingering moisture for some snow shower activity to continue. This activity will largely be orographic (terrain-enhanced) in nature and I expect most areas to pick up an additional 1-2 inches above 8,000 feet for a storm total of 3-7 inches.

However, I will put Grand Targhee on notice for upside surprise potential on Monday as they can often do very well in northwest flow orographic setups. The challenge is that models often do not do a good job of resolving precipitation/snowfall when it is purely orographic in nature (without any other help from storm dynamics).

It can really go either way in these types of setups, but the moist northwest flow projected for Monday has my attention at least. 

At any rate, Monday morning will offer the best chance to catch some freshies in the Tetons, and keep an eye on Targhee where backside snow shower activity on Monday could be more robust compared to the southern and eastern side of the Tetons.

As far as temperatures go, we will start out relatively mild on Sunday afternoon and trend colder throughout the event. Highs on Sunday will reach the 20s at 9,000 feet and will only be in the teens on Monday.

Sunday night's snowfall will be medium density overall (starting high-density and trending lower density), while Monday's backside snow showers will be low-density powder with colder air in place.

Winds will be gusty out of the southwest (gusts up to 40 mph) on Sunday, and light to moderate out of the northwest and eventually veering to north/northwest on Monday.

Extended Forecast

Outlook for Tuesday (Feb 7) to Thursday (Feb 9):

Confidence is increasing that we will see a break in the action on Tuesday. After that, models are in poor agreement regarding a possible storm on Wednesday-Thursday, and I really don't know what to expect at this point.

I do think it's possible we see snow at some point on Wednesday-Thursday, but my expectations are low for anything more than light snow.

Some models have the storm passing too far north and keeping us on the southern fringe. Other models are now projecting the storm to split apart and weaken as it approaches with perhaps some fringe-level moisture for the Tetons, though also with a risk of it passing too far south.

Outlook for February 10th-17th:

This period is likely going to start out dry with high pressure building in around Feb 10th-11th. After that, a storm is projected to move into the Western U.S. around Feb 12-13th and will likely split apart from the main flow and miss us well to the south.

I'm starting to see some hints that we could get into a more favorable pattern by mid-month (toward the end of this period), but we're getting close to two weeks out so I don't have much confidence yet.

Thanks so much for reading! I'll post my next update for Sunday-Monday's storm at some point over the weekend, likely on Saturday evening.


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