Montana Daily Snow

Heads up, there may be fresher snow! Read the latest Montana Daily Snow

By Bob Ambrose, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago February 26, 2024

Deep Pattern This Week

Summary

A snowy and colder pattern will advance across the Northern Rockies through Tuesday morning as a potent upper-level trough and Canadian cold front move through the region. NW and West Central mountains have already started (snow totals below), with the North Central and SW mountains about to get their own wallop of moderate to deep accumulations. Snow continues to pile up through the work week.

Short Term Forecast

Monday, February 26 – Tuesday, February 27

7 AM Monday reported 24-hour snow totals:

•    Lookout Pass 16”
•    Ski Discovery 6”
•    Whitefish 4”
•    Montana Snowbowl 3”
•    Lost Trail Pass 3”

A ‘modified’ arctic cold front (cold, but not frigid) is moving through the Northern Rockies on Monday and is interacting with a moist westerly flow of Pacific moisture. This cold front will move in a southeasterly direction spreading periods of moderate to heavy snowfall into areas along and generally south of the I-90 corridor. Winter Storm Warnings across Central and SW Montana continue through midnight Monday. 

With the jet stream overhead, upslope westerly winds (gusts 25 – 45+ mph on ridgetops) will enhance deep accumulations on west facing slopes. Some wind holds may be likely across the alpine or upper mountain terrain. 

The mountains across SW Montana, where Big Sky and Bridger Bowl reside look best positioned for storm totals of 5 – 10” through Tuesday morning. 

And don’t forget Lost Trail Pass is open on Mondays, where another 4 – 8” likely to fall through the day. Their full name is ‘Lost Trail Powder Mountain’ and it’s for a reason.    

Elsewhere, flurries and periods of light snow continue Monday through Monday night at Lookout Pass and Whitefish, adding another possible 2 – 4”.  Snowbowl and Disco also could add similar amounts. 

I saved the best for last, as Red Lodge Mountain, currently under a Winter Storm Warning through Tuesday morning is setting up nicely to see heavy snowfall from late Monday, intensifying overnight into Tuesday morning. Red Lodge is always epic with their rather selective hyper-deep storms, with Cole Creek and the upper mountain likely going off on Tuesday with 8 – 16” fresh possible. Cold smoke. Get there early! 

Elsewhere, Tuesday will deliver a short lived drying trend under an advancing Canadian airmass.

Temps will also do an about-face starting Tuesday dipping well below seasonal average as this modified arctic air front infiltrates into all regions of the Northern Rockies. Morning lows in the single digits, above zero, will be common. Upper mountain (alpine) highs Tuesday will be chilly (for late Feb), generally in the low to middle teens.  

The NBM 2.5 km animation for snowfall from Monday morning 2/26 through noon Tuesday PM 2/27 below. 


Wednesday, February 28 – Thursday, February 29 

From Wednesday into Thursday, NW Montana looks best situated to continue to see daily light to moderate accumulations. Lookout Pass in the crosshairs for the heaviest snow totals, with projected 48-hour accumulations in the 6 – 12” range may earn their nickname of ‘The Powder Place’. Thursday could be yet another epic pow day. 

Whitefish, continuing with the recently familiar unsettled ‘lite’ pattern of off and on snow showers, could likely add a refresh of 2 – 4” through Thursday. 

This all under a W/SW flow with temps across most of the Northern Rockies quickly moderating by Wednesday and rise to slightly above average by Thursday. Snow levels across NW Montana will be around 4500’. 

Besides NW Montana, the rest of the mountains of the Treasure State look to be in for a slight break in the action on Wednesday and Thursday.  

Extended Forecast

Weather models are starting to play déjà vu on us starting next Friday as another deep trough of Gulf of Alaskan low-pressure looks to bring a repeat of the storm pattern from earlier in the week. 

Pacific moisture generated by a deep Pacific trough is portrayed to meet up with yet another Canadian cold front beginning late on Thursday night and likely bringing decent chances of light to moderate daily accumulations continuing through this weekend. Colder temps and snowpack building look to continue. 

The European model below. Notice the impressive deep trough of low pressure moving across the Western States, overlapping into the Northern Rockies. Positive signs. All good.  

 


Thanks for reading. The next update will be posted on Wednesday morning. 

Powder Out. 

Bob

Announcements

Montana Ski Areas & Resorts Geographical References 

WEST of the Divide: 

Blacktail Mountain  - OPEN Weds – Sun

Turner Mountain  - OPEN  Fri – Sun

Lookout Pass – OPEN   

Ski Discovery  -  OPEN

Lost Trail Powder Mountain  - OPEN  Thurs – Mon

EAST of the Divide:

Big Sky Resort – OPEN

Bridger Bowl  - OPEN

Great Divide  - OPEN

Showdown  - OPEN

Teton Pass Ski Area  -  CLOSED for the Season.  

Maverick Mountain  - OPEN  Thurs – Sun

 

Backcountry Avalanche Reports:

West Central Montana Avalanche Center

 Flathead Avalanche Center

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center:

http://www.mtavalanche.com

 

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About Our Forecaster

Bob Ambrose

Forecaster

Ever since his early days as a ski racer on the icy slopes of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Bob chased his dreams of deep powder west to Tahoe and finally Montana. A self-proclaimed 'weather junkie', his passion for maps, charts, and forecasts always lead him to the best snow in Montana.

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