Jackson Hole Daily Snow

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By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 5 months ago September 21, 2023

Snow Blankets the Tetons

Summary

Snow accumulated down to 9,500 feet in the Tetons on Wednesday night and Thursday AM, making for a beautiful scene with snow on the higher peaks and fall colors in the valley. The valleys have also picked up about an inch of rain since Wednesday. Showers will continue through Friday with snow levels falling to 8,000 feet as colder air arrives.

Short Term Forecast

We have seen our first widespread snow of the season in the Tetons as heavy precipitation fell on Wednesday night with snow levels dipping to around 9,500 feet.

This was the approximate elevation of accumulating snowfall, but while checking the webcams earlier, I noticed some wet snowflakes (non-accumulating) reaching the base of Targhee as well.

Check out some webcam photos from Targhee and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on Thursday morning (and that sunrise, wow!).

Views from the Jackson Hole Valley today included fall colors down low with snowcapped peaks in the background.

This has been an impressive system so far with a wide variety of weather, including snow, rain, thunderstorms, and hail since Wednesday afternoon. Winds have not been too bad, though, with gusts ranging from 20-30 mph at the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

While snow over the higher terrain has been the big story, we have also received a lot of rain in the valley. I measured 0.92" of rain in my rain gauge in Jackson between Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday morning, and we're likely over an inch now.

The low pressure system impacting our area is very evident via satellite imagery on Thursday afternoon:

Forecast for Thursday Late Afternoon and Thursday Night:

Cool and showery conditions will prevail for the rest of this period with snow levels of 9,500-10,500 feet in the afternoon falling to 9,000-9,500 feet overnight. We may see some relative lulls in the action late in the night and early Friday morning based on short-range model projections, though conditions will still be wet and cloudy with a chance of showers.

Forecast for Friday to Friday Night:

Shower activity will pick up again over the course of the day as the low pressure system tracks across the Northern Rockies. Also, cooler air will arrive and mid/high elevation temperatures and snow levels will be gradually falling throughout the day.

I'm now expecting snow levels to dip to around 8,000 feet on Friday afternoon and into Friday night. This means snow will be falling at the top of Teton Pass during the Friday PM commute.

Accumulations at pass-level will generally be limited to grass (an inch or two possible), though brief slush on pavement couldn't entirely be ruled out under locally heavy snowfall rates.

On Friday night, precipitation will become less widespread and more terrain-driven with additional snow showers favoring the western slopes and upper eastern slopes. Snow levels will remain around 8,000 feet, occasionally dipping lower (7,500 feet or so).

Here is what I'm generally expecting for additional snowfall from Thursday PM through Saturday AM:

  • TR-2" @ 8,000 feet
  • 2-4" @ 9,000 feet
  • 3-6" @ 10,000+ feet

High temperatures on Friday will only be in the 40s in the valley, with cold, wet, and (depending on elevation) snowy conditions expected in the backcountry. 

Forecast for Saturday:

It now looks like we will start to clear out earlier than previously anticipated. There is a slight chance of lingering showers early Saturday, but overall a drying trend is expected. We may have some stubborn lingering cloud cover but with increasing sunshine by the afternoon.

Temperatures will remain on the chilly side with highs in the mid/upper 50s in the valley.

Forecast for Sunday:

A hard freeze is likely on Sunday morning with lows dipping well into the 20s. However, warmer and drier conditions along with mostly sunny skies can be expected on Sunday afternoon as high pressure builds into the area with highs in the mid 60s in the valleys. 

Extended Forecast

Monday and Tuesday both look like beautiful days with mostly sunny skies and highs in the low 70s.

On Wednesday/Thursday, a cold front is expected to move through but moisture looks limited. Models seem to be split on whether or not we stay completely dry with this front, or if we see some light showers (rain or snow depending on elevation).

A Pacific storm system is then projected to reach our area around the end of next week, resulting in increased odds of precipitation (mountain snow/valley rain) and cooler temperatures in the Sept 29th-Oct 1st timeframe. This unsettled pattern may linger into the first week of October as well.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Monday (September 25).

Alan Smith 

About Our Forecaster

Alan Smith

Meteorologist

Alan Smith received a B.S. in Meteorology from Metropolitan State University of Denver and has been working in the private sector since 2013. When he’s not watching the weather from the office, Alan loves to spend time outdoors skiing, hiking, and mountain biking, and of course keeping an eye on the sky for weather changes while recreating.

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