Snow lingers across New Mexico and Colorado on Friday, with snow in the Upper Midwest and rain in the East. A cold air mass moves into the Great Lakes this weekend, which will activate the lake effect snow machine. An active storm track begins for California and the West on Sunday and Monday with signs of big snow totals next week.
Short Term Forecast
A week of snow to admire
This week has seen heavy snow throughout North America, which is something we have not seen a whole lot this season. There have been multiple feet of snow from California to Maine with mostly everywhere in between seeing spring snow magic. The Northeast has made up for the lackluster season with this week's Nor’Easter. The west continues to topple snow records, with no end in sight through the rest of March.
Forecast for Fri, Mar 17 – Sat, Mar 18:
Snow lingers across New Mexico and Southern Colorado on Friday with a few areas of light snow on Saturday. Other areas of the West remain quiet with active weather on the horizon. Alaska sees a large storm with big snow totals throughout the coast.
A strong storm system moves through the Upper Midwest and moves a sub-artic air mass into the Great Lakes region Friday night, developing widespread lake effect snow on Saturday. The UP of Michigan will see the heaviest snow. The storm will bring mostly rain to the East but backside lake effect snow and snow squalls will extend into the northern Mid-Atlantic and northern New England on Saturday.
Forecast for Sun, Mar 19 – Mon, Mar 20:
Lake effect snow will continue around the Great Lakes on Sunday and for part of Monday with warming and drying conditions for other areas of the East.
Models finally agree on an atmospheric river affecting California and the Pacific Northwest on Sunday with a majority of the moisture arriving on Tuesday. Snow will make it to the intermountain west for added accumulations if anyone is taking a long weekend.
Forecast for Tue, Mar 21 – Wed, Mar 22:
Another round of atmospheric river moisture will come off the Pacific Ocean with model consistency making this a high possibility of heavy snow in the Sierra. This moisture will extend through the intermountain west into Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Snow will extend into areas of the southwest as well with Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado having the potential for big powder.
The moisture extending into Idaho and Montana remains a big question mark. This will affect another storm that will develop in the Midwest. Model inconsistency makes it difficult to determine where a narrow area of snow could fall.
Outlook for Thu, Mar 23 – Mon, Feb 27:
The active storm track will continue through the West as we near the end of March. A round of two storms will bring heavy snow to many areas with cold temperatures, allowing lower snow levels than typical for late March. Record snow is already being toppled with the possibility of more records falling next week.
Storms will make it to the Upper Midwest with snow for the northern areas and maybe some in the Northeast. Springtime dust on crust (initial rain and backside cold air with snow) looks to come to an East Coast resort near you.
Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Monday (March 20).
Zach Butler, OpenSnow Meteorologist