Western US Daily Snow

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

By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 27 days ago May 24, 2024

Showers on Friday-Saturday, Drying Trend Sunday-Monday

Summary

A storm system will bring more rain to the Northwest on Friday and Saturday with scattered showers and thunderstorms developing across the Rockies initially on Friday followed by more widespread activity on Saturday. Most areas will see a drying trend on Sunday and Monday while the far Northwest will see more rain.

Short Term Forecast

Big Picture Weather Pattern:

A trough of low pressure will move into the Northwest on Friday where more rain is expected, while the trough will become somewhat disorganized as it moves inland toward the Rockies with lighter rain and snow compared to Thursday's storm.

To the south, a strong subtropical jet stream will move into the Four Corners region and will interact with moisture arriving from the northwest to result in narrow bands of heavier showers on Saturday from Central Utah into Northwest Colorado.

Further south, dry and breezy conditions will prevail across Arizona and New Mexico where fire danger will remain elevated.

7-Day Precipitation Forecast:

In addition to the Friday-Saturday storm system, additional weaker storms will track across the Northwest and Northern Rockies next week, resulting in occasional showers though there will be some drying periods in between storms.

The heaviest rain (and high-elevation snow) totals over the next week can be expected across British Columbia while the Washington Cascades and Olympics will also see heavy totals. 

Forecast for Fri (May 24) to Sat (May 25):

The most widespread rain from this next storm will be across Western Canada, the Washington Cascades, Idaho Panhandle, and Glacier National Park region of Montana. Also, narrow bands of heavier precipitation are likely across portions of Utah and Colorado on Friday night and Saturday. 

Higher peaks and passes will pick up more snow from this system, but snow levels will be higher compared to Thursday – ranging from 7,000-8,000 feet in Glacier to 9,000-11,000 feet across Utah and Colorado. 

Let's take a closer look at the Central Rockies. Most mountain ranges in Central and Northern Utah will pick up moisture from this system on Friday night and Saturday with thunderstorms also possible Saturday afternoon, while Southern Utah will stay mostly dry. Northeast Utah has the best chance of seeing heavier precipitation bands.

In Colorado, the northwest part of the state will be favored for the heaviest and most widespread precipitation (including Dinosaur National Monument, the Flattops, Steamboat, and Park Range) with drier conditions across the southern ranges and eastern plains. 

Below are hourly forecasts on Saturday for the town of Park City and the town of Steamboat Springs. Park City will see a good chance of showers during the morning and afternoon hours on Saturday with a total of 0.44 inches of rain expected. Steamboat Springs will see lower chances in the morning and higher chances in the afternoon with a total of 0.47 inches of rain expected. 

Forecast for Sun (May 26) to Mon (May 27):

The storm system will begin to exit the West on Sunday with only some isolated lingering shower chances for some areas. The exception will be the far Pacific Northwest where another storm will bring rain to the Olympic Peninsula and Northern Cascades, with heavier totals north of the border in BC.

Monday looks like the nicest day of the holiday weekend across most of the West with dry conditions and warmer temperatures. Even Western Washington will see decreasing shower activity compared to prior days.

Forecast for Tue (May 28) to Wed (May 29):

Another system will move into the Northwest during this period with the potential for significant precipitation across the Cascades, Olympics, and Western Canada ranges. The Northern Rockies will see some showers and thunderstorms as well. 

To the south, some moisture may reach the Front Range of Colorado, resulting in a chance of thunderstorms favoring areas along and east of the Continental Divide. 

Extended Forecast

Outlook for Thu (May 30) to Mon (Jun 3):

Near to above-average warmth is expected for most of the West as we head into June. Dry conditions will prevail across the Southwest, while the Northwest and Northern Rockies could see occasional showers as weaker disturbances move through. The east side of the Continental Divide in Colorado and Wyoming could also see some thunderstorm activity due to periodic moisture intrusions from the east. 

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day holiday weekend! Next update on Wednesday (May 29).

Alan Smith 

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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