Snow is picking up across the area on Monday AM and a series of storms will bring daily rounds of snow through at least Friday with lingering snow showers likely this weekend as well. Temps will also remain well below average for the foreseeable future.
Short Term Forecast
Forecast for Monday to Tuesday:
A storm is moving into the Tetons from the southwest on Monday morning with snow beginning across the area. Periods of snow can be expected throughout the daytime hours on Monday and into Monday night, with lingering snow showers on Tuesday morning tapering off by Tuesday afternoon with partial clearing expected.
Snow totals through Tuesday afternoon will range from 5-10 inches in the Tetons above 8,000 feet with the highest totals likely at Jackson Hole's upper mountain and around Teton Pass.
Across the lower elevations, snow totals will range from 1-3 inches in the valleys (favoring the JH Valley) with melting expected during the afternoons. Snow King will pick up 3-6 inches.
Snow Quality Temperature Trends:
This will be a medium-density snow event with snow-liquid ratios likely averaging out in the 11:1 to 12:1 range, with fluctuations in density occurring between the overnight/morning hours and the afternoon hours.
Temperatures at 9,000 feet are starting out in the mid teens on Monday morning and will rise into the mid 20s on Monday afternoon. Temps on Monday night/Tuesday AM will fall into the low teens before rising into the low 20s on Tuesday afternoon.
Valley temperatures are starting out in the low 20s on Monday morning and will rise into the mid 30s on Monday afternoon. Temps on Monday night/Tuesday AM will fall into the low 20s before rising into the mid 30s again on Tuesday afternoon.
Ridgetop winds will generally be out of the southwest during this event at 10-20 mph with gusts to 20-25 mph, occasionally becoming south/southwest or west/southwest.
Snow will be accumulating over the course of the day on Monday, but I would target Tuesday morning for the deepest conditions. Keep in mind that this snowfall will probably not be enough to bury old crusts from our recent dry weather unless we receive way more snow than forecasted.
A mix of snowpacked, slushy, and icy roads can be expected over the pass throughout this event, with Tuesday morning featuring the worst conditions. Valley roads may have some areas of slush and ice in the mornings with wet roads in the afternoons and evenings. Blowing snow shouldn't be a major factor with this storm.
Forecast for Wednesday to Friday:
Following a brief lull in the pattern on Tuesday afternoon/evening, two more storms will impact the Tetons during the second half of the week.
The first storm will be ejecting northward from a trough of low pressure over the Southwest U.S. and will reach the Tetons by early Wednesday. Winds will start out due southerly with this storm, before transitioning to westerly by later Wednesday and into Thursday.
Snow showers from Wednesday's storm will linger into Thursday, and we really won't see much of a break as the next storm arrives from the west/northwest with additional periods of snow expected from Thursday into Friday.
For now, I'm expecting the Tetons to pick up another 3-6 inches of snow each day from Wednesday through Friday (so about 9-18 inches total over 3 days), while the valleys will pick up anywhere from a half-inch to 2 inches each day, mainly during the overnight and morning hours.
Temperatures will remain on the cold side for late March and snow quality will also be trending lower-density during this period.
A strong cold front is also expected to move through sometime on Friday with stronger winds expected compared to prior days. Unseasonably cold air will also settle in behind this front.
Temperatures are going to be very cold this weekend (March 25th-26th) for so late in the year with highs only projected to reach the low teens at 9,000 feet and 20s in the valleys with overnight lows falling near to below zero.
However, it does look like we will see enough lingering moisture along with daytime instability (stronger March sun heating the surface while temps aloft will be very cold) which should contribute to additional snow showers developing on both Saturday and Sunday, mainly during the afternoon hours.
Heading into the final days of March (27th-31st), we should see a gradual moderation in temperatures though it will still be colder than average. The storm door will remain open out West, but most of the moisture/energy is expected to stay confined to the maritime regions such as the Cascades and Sierra, with limited amounts of moisture for the Rockies.
In other words, we could see some occasional snow during this pattern, but it will probably be lighter and more intermittent compared to the previous week.
Heading into early April, temperatures are expected to remain colder than average and there are some hints we could see a more active pattern return with storms reaching the Cascades and then approaching the Tetons from the west/northwest.
Confidence is inherently low this far out, but given the way things have played out this winter, would it really be a surprise to see additional frequent shots of snow heading into early April?
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Tuesday (March 21).