They’re digging out at Red Lodge where 42” have fallen since Friday night and it’s still dumping on Sunday morning with another foot on the way. A list of storm totals is provided below. Wrap around snowfall from a closed low-pressure circulation over southern Idaho will bring another 5-10” across SW Montana’s areas/resorts Sun before clearing out Sun night. A bit of a dry out Mon & Tues.
Short Term Forecast
Before we start the forecasts, let’s look at the past 48-hour (Friday – Sun AM) storm totals:
• 42” – Red Lodge Mountain
• 24” – Ski Discovery
• 23” – Bridger Bowl
• 21” – Big Sky Resort
• 15” – Montana Snowbowl
• 11” – Showdown
• 10” – Lost Trail Ski Area
• 8” – Maverick Mountain
• 7” – Great Divide
• 6” – Lookout Pass
• 4” – Teton Pass Ski Area
• 3” – Whitefish Mountain Resort
• 3” – Blacktail Mountain
Below: Projected snowfall through 6AM Monday (MTN time). The southern tier of Montana just keeps raking in accumulating snowfall.
West of the Continental Divide:
Below: Hard to keep up clearing the snow stake at Discovery where 24" have fallen in the last 48-hours.
Sunday: Webcams Sunday morning indicate moderate snow falling at Discovery, Lookout Pass and Lost Trail Pass. A second punch of wrap around snowfall from a closed low over southeastern Idaho will be adding another 3 – 5” through Sunday night for Disco, Lost Trail, Lookout, and Snowbowl. To the north, Blacktail and Whitefish will see a mix of sun and clouds. Mountain top high temps in the upper 20’s across the region. Light west winds.
Monday & Tuesday: While still under a trough of low-pressure look for a couple of mainly dry but partly cloudy days with chances of afternoon graupel showers. Some light accumulations are possible under these hit and miss convective snow showers. Temps continue to be below late March averages with upper mountain highs in the upper 20’s to low 30’s.
East of the Continental Divide:
Below: The scene at Red Lodge where they are digging out from over 3 feet of snow.
Sunday: Red Lodge will have a delayed opening on Sunday of 11AM due to digging out from the massive amount of snow they have received. Winter Storm Warnings continue through Sunday evening across SW Montana and parts of North Central Montana. A closed low over southeastern Idaho will continue to pump wrap around snowfall into the region on Sunday through Sunday evening. Add another 6 – 12” at Red Lodge, with 4 – 8” at Big Sky and Bridger Bowl. Lesser amounts ranging from 1 – 3” are likely at Maverick, Great Divide, Teton Pass, and Showdown. Continued chilly with highs at 8000’ in the upper teens. Light north winds.
Monday & Tuesday: The trough of low-pressure that’s been draped across the PNW and Northern Rockies over the weekend will weaken on Monday bringing a mostly cloudy couple of days with daily chances of an isolated snow showers. Continued cold on Monday with 8000’ high temps in the mid to upper teens. Slightly warmer on Tuesday under sporadic sunny spells with highs reaching into the low 20’s at 8000’.
Wednesday, March 29th through Sunday, April 2nd
A deep Pacific low-pressure trough will ride down the West Coast during the Monday through Wednesday time frame. What this large circulation will do is create a moist SW flow aloft that could transport moisture up and into the Northern Rockies late Wednesday into Thursday. SW Montana looks to be in this storm track as well but only light amounts of a few inches look likely at this time. Continued below seasonal temps look likely through Wednesday, moderating to around seasonal average Thursday and Friday under the SW flow. Now, we are watching a potential Gulf of Alaska storm system that could bring significant snowfall to NW and West Central Montana next weekend. Stay tuned.
Below: The Euro model extended forecast map shows the deep trough riding south along the West Coast. The incoming Gulf of Alaska storm system coming out of the NW is one we will be watching for another weekend storm next weekend.
Thanks for tuning in. Next update on Tuesday 3/28.
Powder Out –
Montana Ski Areas & Resorts / Geographical References
WEST of the Divide:
Whitefish Mountain Resort – OPEN daily
Blacktail Mountain –OPEN Weds - Sun
Turner Mountain – OPEN Fri - Sun
Lookout Pass (MT/ID) - OPEN daily
Montana Snowbowl – Open Wednesday – Monday (closed Tues)
Discovery Basin – OPEN daily
Lost Trail Powder Mountain – OPEN Thurs - Sun
EAST of the Divide:
Big Sky Resort – OPEN daily
Bridger Bowl – OPEN daily
Red Lodge Mountain – OPEN daily
Great Divide – OPEN Weds - Sun
Showdown – OPEN Weds - Sun
Teton Pass Ski Area –OPEN Fri - Sun
Maverick Mountain – OPEN Thurs – Sun
Backcountry Avalanche Reports:
West Central Montana Avalanche Center
Flathead Avalanche Center
Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center: