Another storm impacted the Tetons on Friday with widespread snow across the region. A robust NW flow developed on Fri night, favoring Targhee who is reporting 22" on Sat AM! The NW flow pattern will continue thru Sat, favoring Targhee & the upper slopes of Jackson Hole. Lighter snow showers can be expected Sun, followed by a break Mon-Tue. Two more storms are possible March 29-30 & April 1-2.
Short Term Forecast
What a cycle this has been! Widespread snow fell throughout the region on both sides of the range during the day on Friday. A robust northwest flow developed on the backside of the storm on Friday night with the northwest winds aloft favoring the west side of the Tetons.
Grand Targhee is reporting 22 inches of new snow on Saturday morning with 12 inches occurring overnight. This new snow was also very dry and powdery with a snow-liquid ratio of 17:1. Jackson Hole is reporting 4-9 inches at its mid to upper mountain plots, which most of that happening during the daytime hours on Friday.
Here are the latest 24-hour snow reports on Saturday AM:
- 22" - Grand Targhee Chief Joseph Bowl
- 9" - Jackson Hole Rendezvous Bowl
- 8" - Surprise Lake (GTNP)
- 7" - Driggs
- 6" - Jackson Hole Mid-Mountain
- 5" - Togwotee Pass
- 4" - Jackson Hole Raymer Plot
- 4" - Jackson Hole Base
- 4" - Snow King
It's still dumping at Targhee on Saturday morning as well. Check out the base area webcam from earlier on Saturday morning prior to lifts spinning:
The snow stake cam at the base was also looking deep overnight (top of the stake is 16 inches) before both the snow stake and the webcam became completely buried and went offline.
This past week has been incredible, especially for this late in the season, with consistent moderate to heavy snow. Conditions right now are about as good as they get for late March.
Check out the snow totals over the past 5 days:
- 48" - Grand Targhee Chief Joseph Bowl
- 35" - Jackson Hole Rendezvous Bowl
- 31" - Surprise Lake (GTNP)
- 28" - Jackson Hole Raymer Plot
- 23" - Jackson Hole Mid-Mountain
- 16" - Snow King
- 15" - Togwotee Pass
- 11" - Jackson Hole Base
For the month of March, both Targhee and Jackson Hole's upper mountain have received over 100 inches of snow.
Targhee's Chief Joseph Bowl is approaching 500 inches for the season, while the Rendezvous Bowl at Jackson Hole is now up to 546 inches for the season, which currently ranks #4 for snowiest seasons by April 1st, dating back to 1975. The all-time record is 576 inches, set in 1997.
Forecast for Saturday to Saturday Night:
A moist northwest flow aloft remains over the Tetons on Saturday morning, which is a favorable pattern for orographic (terrain-enhanced lift) on the west side of the Tetons. This will continue to result in heavy snow at Targhee and the western side of the range, while the upper east side of the range including Jackson Hole's upper mountain should also do well.
Snowfall rates will be heaviest during the daytime hours on Saturday, before gradually tapering off on Saturday night with a lull in the action expected by Sunday morning.
Here is my snow forecast for Saturday morning through Sunday morning:
- 6-12" - Grand Targhee
- 4-8" - Jackson Hole above 8,000 feet
- 2-5" - Teton Valley
- 1-2" - Snow King
- TR-1" - Jackson Hole Valley
Snow quality will remain dry and powdery (15:1 snow-liquid ratios) with an unseasonably cold airmass in place. Highs on Saturday will be near 10 at 9,000 feet and in the mid to upper 20s in the valleys. Lows on Saturday night will be in the single digits at 9,000 feet and teens in the valleys.
Ridgetop winds will be out of the west/northwest at 10-20 mph with gusts to 25-30 mph while valley winds will also gust up to 20 mph at times.
Forecast for Sunday:
We will slowly start to transition out of our deep pattern. The morning will start out quiet with just some isolated flurries, but lingering moisture combined with an unstable atmosphere (which will further destabilize as the sun heats up the lower atmosphere) will result in snow showers developing, especially in the afternoon before tapering off on Sunday night.
New snow totals from Sunday through Sunday night will range from 1-3 inches in the Tetons, a trace to an inch at Snow King (closing day at the King by the way), and a trace to a half-inch in the valleys.
Snow quality will remain dry and powdery on Sunday (15:1 snow-liquid ratios) as a cold airmass remains in place. Highs will be near 10 at 9,000 feet and in the mid 20s in the valley. Winds will also be lighter on Sunday, and will range from southwest to west.
Forecast for Monday to Tuesday:
We will see a relative break in the pattern during this period with a mix of sun and clouds expected. Cold air aloft will linger over the area on Monday with enough moisture remaining for a few snow showers to develop in the afternoon as the sun heats up the lower atmosphere and the airmass becomes unstable.
Snowfall on Monday afternoon will be lighter and more spotty compared to Sunday, however, with any accumulations expected to be light.
Temperatures will remain well below average for this late in the year with highs in the low teens at 9,000 feet an upper 20s in the valleys. Winds will also be light out of the west to northwest.
On Tuesday, we will likely stay dry through the daytime hours as the next storm has trended a bit slower. Temperatures should warm up a bit as southerly winds increase ahead of the next storm with highs reaching the 20s at 9,000 feet and 30s in the valleys.
Outlook for Wednesday (March 29) to Thursday (March 30):
The next storm will feature a large area of low pressure that will move into California and eventually the Southern Rockies. We will see a south/southwest flow develop and transport moisture in the Tetons, though it's uncertain just how much moisture will reach our area.
South/southwest flow patterns such as this tend to be more favorable for the Southern Tetons including Teton Pass and Jackson Hole, as well as the Southern JH Valley and Snow King, while Targhee and the northern/western portions of the range are less favored.
This storm has trended toward a later arrival, but there are still some question marks as models seem to be split between most of the action happening on Tuesday night/Wednesday or on Wednesday night/Thursday. The answer may very well lie somewhere in between.
Temperatures are also projected to be milder with this storm compared to the last one as some warmer air arrives from the south, but we should still stay cold enough for snow levels to remain on the valley floor with freezing levels rising a little above the valley at times.
Outlook for Friday (March 31) to Sunday (April 2) and Beyond:
We will likely be in-between storms on Friday but could still see some snow depending on when the last storm ends and the next one arrives. A storm is currently projected to move into the PNW from the northwest and then reach the Tetons next weekend, April 1st-2nd.
Looking further out, an active pattern is expected to continue through the first week of April with temperatures remaining colder than average.
Thanks so much for reading and have a great weekend! Next update on Monday (March 27).
Ski Resort Closing Dates:
Snow King - March 26
Jackson Hole - April 9
Grand Targhee - April 16