British Columbia and Washington were hit with another good storm on Thursday. Heavy snow will continue to fall across the Cascades on Friday, while Idaho and the Tetons in Wyoming will also score deep snow totals. The storm track will remain favorable for the Northwest heading into early next week, and eventually by late next week, the Sierras & Tahoe may get in on the action as well.
Short Term Forecast
Deep pattern for Western Canada & Northwest U.S.
The storm track retreated north this week and the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and Northern U.S. Rockies have scored multiple powder days with more snow ahead this weekend. The latest storm brought heavy snow to Washington and British Columbia on Thursday along with cold temperatures and low snow levels.
To illustrate the heavy snowfall rates experienced on Thursday – Fernie reported no new snow on its Thursday morning report, but by the end of the day Thursday, Fernie's snow stake cam indicated that nearly 30 centimeters (12 inches) had fallen since their morning report within a 12-hour window.
Forecast for Fri, Feb 26 – Sat, Feb 27
The late-week storm will shift south of the border into early Friday with snow showers tapering off in British Columbia and Alberta. Heavy snow will fall across the WA/OR Cascades and Idaho on Friday as well as the Tetons in Wyoming, while Montana, Utah, and Colorado will see light to moderate snow. A storm will impact the East on Friday night and Saturday, but most areas will see snow changing over to rain.
Forecast for Sun, Feb 28 – Mon, Mar 1
The next storm will bring more snow to British Columbia on Sunday and Monday with especially heavy totals expected across Northern BC. On Monday, snow will begin to push south into Washington and Oregon. The next storm for the East on Sunday is looking like mostly a rain event, though parts of New England should see some backside snow showers on Monday.
Forecast for Tue, Mar 2 – Wed, Mar 3
Confidence is low in how the pattern will evolve as weather models are in poor agreement. British Columbia and Western Alberta are the best bets for getting hit with another storm. However, what happens in the Western U.S. is uncertain, with solutions ranging from a weak system for the Northern Rockies to a cut-off low-pressure system tracking farther south and impacting California.
Another storm will be possible in the East around the middle of next week, but once again, it looks like there will be rain issues.
Outlook for Thu, Mar 4 – Mon, Mar 8
The storm track will favor the Far West during this period. As a result, the BC Coast Range, Cascades, and to some extent the Sierras are expected to see the heaviest snow. Storms will struggle to hold together moving inland, and as a result, the Rockies will be less favored in this pattern with fewer/weaker storms expected. The East could see additional storms during this period but will likely continue to deal with warm air and rain issues.
Thanks so much for reading! Check back for my next post on Monday, March 1st.
NEW: Estimated Snowfall Maps
In addition to the Current & Forecast Radar, Estimated Snow Depth, Wind Gust Forecast, and Avalanche Forecast maps, we now have Estimated 24-Hour Snowfall and Estimated Season-to-Date Snowfall map layers on OpenSnow!
The data will update daily, around 20z (1 PM Mountain), with the latest available information. The delay in updating to the early afternoon is due to the accuracy of the data being improved each hour after it’s initially available at 14z (7 AM Mountain).
NOAA continues to update the data each hour with the latest available data from SNOTEL sites and local observations and we’ve found that the quality/accuracy improves significantly after about 6 hours.
And to clarify one more time, these new maps are estimates and they will not always match what is reported on OpenSnow, directly from the ski resorts.
For the OpenSnow iOS app, make sure you’re updated to v3.5.5
For the OpenSnow Android app, make sure you’re updated to v3.5.6
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