Jackson Hole Daily Snow

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By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 20 days ago April 3, 2024

Significant Late Season Snow Event Possible this Weekend

Summary

Warm and dry conditions will prevail Wed-Thu though we will see an increase in clouds & winds on Thu. A slow-moving storm remains on track for the weekend with multiple waves of snow expected to add up to deep totals over time. Showers on Friday will give way to more widespread snow Fri night as a cold front moves thru. Heavier snow is expected Sat night to Sun night along with colder temps.

Short Term Forecast

Forecast for Wednesday:

High pressure will result in dry and sunny conditions along with warm temperatures. Highs will reach the low 40s at 9,000 feet and mid 50s in the valleys, making for a beautiful spring skiing day with snow conditions softening up as the day progresses. 

Forecast for Thursday:

It will be another mild day, including morning low temps with only a weak freeze expected in the mountains. Keep a close eye on low temps at weather stations in the mountains if you head out into the backcountry on Thursday morning. 

High temps will reach the low 40s (9,000 feet) to mid 50s (mountains) again in the afternoon, but we will see an increase in high-level cloud cover. Also, winds will become stronger out of the south with gusts to 30-40 mph at 10,000 feet from late morning through the afternoon.

Despite the uptick in high-level clouds, it will still be a spring skiing day with snow conditions softening up as the day progresses (softening earliest on east and south-facing slopes).

Forecast for Friday to Monday:

A strong and slow-moving low pressure system will impact our area this weekend, resulting in a transition back to winter conditions with the potential for significant snow totals to add up over time.

Changes will gradually begin to take hold on Friday as the first bit of moisture reaches our area from the south, downstream of the low pressure trough

Scattered showers and gusty south winds can be expected during the day on Friday, though widespread activity is not anticipated during the earlier stage at this time. Temperatures will be warm during the day on Friday, with snow levels as high as 8,000 feet on Friday afternoon, meaning that precipitation will start as rain showers across the lower elevations.

A cold front will arrive late afternoon or early evening on Friday, and this front will trigger a round of more widespread precipitation heading into the evening hours. Snow levels will eventually lower to the valley floor on Friday night as colder air filters in, with additional showers possible late into the night.

This first round on Friday-Friday night will result in light to moderate snow totals across the Tetons, and Saturday will likely feature dust-on-crust conditions with colder temperatures causing the old snow (underneath the new light snow) to stay firm. 

We will likely see a break during the day on Saturday with cloudy skies, moderate west winds, and only occasional light snow showers.

By late Saturday, the low pressure center will move into Eastern Wyoming. Winds wrapping around the low pressure center (aided by another low pressure system moving from N to S along the West Coast) will be out of the west/northwest and this will help to transport additional moisture into the Tetons from Saturday night through Monday morning.

This second longer-duration wave is when I'm expecting the heaviest snow to fall across the Tetons. Snow could start to pick up as early as mid/late Saturday afternoon, then it's looking like we will see our heaviest snowfall on Saturday night with continued moderate/heavy snow from Sunday through Monday morning.

Lighter snow showers could potentially linger into Monday afternoon before eventually tapering off on Monday evening.

A colder airmass will be in place by this point, so snowfall will be on the lower-density/more powdery side by April standards after the first round on Friday night comes in higher density (i.e. right-side-up snow quality).

Snow Totals – I'll go with an early forecast of 1 to 2 feet in the Tetons above 8,000 feet from Friday through Monday. With west/northwest winds favored for much of the event, I would lean Targhee for seeing the deepest totals, though JHMR's upper mountain will also do well.

Beyond the Tetons, this looks like a significant snow event for much of Wyoming with northwest winds further east of our area favoring the Bighorns and the Beartooths. The Laramie and Snowy Ranges of South/Central Wyoming also will see heavy snow, with moderate totals for the Salt, Wyoming, and Wind River Ranges.

Skiing Conditions – Saturday will be dust-on-crust, then Sunday and Monday will offer the deepest conditions. These could be legit powder days (despite what the calendar says) and likely the last such days of the season inbounds for JHMR at least (Targhee is open a week later than JHMR).

Keep in mind, we are still a few days away from the onset of this event, so look for an updated forecast in my next post on Friday, and keep an eye on our point-specific forecasts to see how they change over the coming days.

Extended Forecast

From Tuesday (April 9) through the end of next week (April 14), high pressure will build over the Western U.S. and we will transition into a drier pattern. Temperatures will start out chilly initially but will warm up over time with a return to spring skiing conditions expected. 

Currently, the pattern looks to favor warm/sunny spring skiing for JHMR's closing weekend on April 13-14.

Heading into the week of April 15th, the pattern may turn more unsettled but confidence is low at this time.

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Friday (April 5).

Alan Smith 

Announcements

Important Dates:

Snow King – CLOSED for the season (but open for uphill access)

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – Closing Day April 14

Grand Targhee – Closing Day April 21

Grand Teton Park Road – Open for bike and foot traffic, closed to cars until May 1

Static Peak and Other Winter Wildlife Closures – in effect until May 1

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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