Getting Started Guide

OpenSnow is your trusted source for the most accurate weather forecast, snow report, high-resolution weather maps, and ski conditions information.

In this guide to getting started with OpenSnow, we will walk you through the app and website, answer frequently asked questions, and share essential tools so that you always find the best conditions.

Start Free Trial

Get started with a free trial (no credit card or password required) by entering and confirming your email address.

The same email will be used to access your account on the OpenSnow app and website.

Compare Favorite Locations

Choosing which location has the best conditions can feel overwhelming. With OpenSnow, deciding where to go is easy. Compare the latest forecasts, conditions, and cams for your favorite locations in just a few seconds.

The first tab under Favorites is "Locations". This scrolls vertically, with horizontally scrolling chips that provide easy-to-compare Weather, Snow Summary, 10-Day Snow Forecast, 10-Day Snow History, All Cams, Snow Report, and Temperature cards for each location.

The next tab is "Daily Snows". Simply scroll to find the latest update for your favorite mountains from our team of local forecasters. 

The third tab is "Cams". This is available to All-Access subscribers, so if you're looking for the convenience of following your favorite Snow Stake Cams, upgrade to All-Access.

The fourth tab is "Passes". The Top 5-Day Forecast and Top 24-Hour Report will always be updated to quickly give you an idea of where the snow is stacking up on your pass(es).

The fifth and final tab under Favorites is "Trail Maps". Simply favorite any trail map to easily access from your Favorites screen.

Offline trail maps are also available to All-Access subscribers in the OpenSnow app.

Read Expert "Daily Snow" Forecasts

Instead of spending hours sifting through weather data, you can get the inside scoop in just a few minutes. Our local experts write a new "Daily Snow" forecast each day for ski regions around the US, Canada, Europe, and South America.

Filter by All, Continental, Regional, State, Mountain, and Travel.

Sort by A-Z, Closest, Last Updated, and Forecaster.

Want the latest Daily Snow delivered to your email inbox as soon as it's published?

This feature is available to All-Access subscribers by going to ​Settings > Notifications > Daily Snow Forecast Alerts.

View 10-Day Weather & Snow Summary Forecasts

Upon initial load of any location screen, we provide the estimated current conditions in the "Right Now" section under the "Weather" tab, as well as historical hourly weather for the past 5 days and historical daily weather for the past 10 days.

Use this estimated weather data to help plan spring ski tours around the freeze/thaw cycle, view recent precipitation to know if trails might be wet or snow-covered, and much more

The next section under the "Weather" tab is the "10-Day Weather Forecast". Each location includes the hourly chance of precipitation, lightning potential, temperature, wind speed/gust/direction, and cloud cover.

Free users can see 6 hours of the hourly data, while All-Access subscribers can see the next 10 days.

You'll also find the sunrise and sunset times, as well as the moonrise and moonset times.

Upon initial load of any ski resort location, we provide a quick snow forecast summary graph and value for expected snowfall over the next 1-5 days, followed by the next 6-10 days, under the "Snow Summary" tab.

The next section is labeled as "5-Day Hourly Forecast or Coming Up". Free users can see 6 hours of the hourly data, while All-Access subscribers can see the next 5 days.

In the OpenSnow app, click the "Hourly Forecast For 5 Days" button to view the chance of precipitation (including precip type), precipitation, snowfall, temperature, snow level, wind speed, wind gust, and cloud cover.

Use this data to time the next storm and dress appropriately for changing conditions on the mountain.

Further down any location screen under the "Snow Summary" tab, you will find the 1-10 day snow forecast under the section titled "Detailed 10-Day Forecast or Next 10 Days".

In the app, tapping the "Full 10-Day Forecast" button provides access to the latest snow forecast for each day and night for the next 10 days, precipitation, alerts (powder days, mixed precipitation, rain, high winds), temperature, snow level, wind speed, wind gust, and cloud cover %. 

Looking for the latest "Snow Report", "Cams", "Daily Snows", "Trail Maps", "Avalanche Forecast", and "Mountain Info"? Simply tap each tab at the top of the screen and scroll through to find the latest updates.

Base Depth vs. Average graphs can also be found under the "Snow Report" tab.

This data is updated daily on OpenSnow and available to All-Access subscribers.

Save Forecasts Anywhere on Earth

Get the forecast for any location on Earth in OpenSnow.

This means that you can view our proprietary weather forecast data for your favorite backcountry ski location, camping destination, London, Denali, and yes, even for your home neighborhood or current location.

1. Search for any location (on land) using the dedicated "Search" tool...

2. Or, go to the "Maps" screen and tap any location...

3. Or, enter the coordinates (latitude and longitude) to get the forecast, instantly.

Save up to five custom locations to view on your "Favorites" screen for quick and convenient access to the latest snow and weather forecast.

We also provide "estimated" snow reports based on our global weather data to help you get an idea of recent snow conditions.

Just looking for the forecast at your current location? Check out the "Current Location" section at the top of your Favorites list.

Forecast Anywhere is available exclusively for All-Access subscribers.

Track Storms With High-Resolution Maps

We make it easy to see if there is snow heading toward your favorite locations, along with how much snow fell over the past 24 hours, season-to-date, and snow depth. You can also view 2-day forecast animations for precipitation, wildfire smoke, wind gust, cloud cover, and temperature, as well as the latest avalanche forecast and conditions for the past 7 days.

The following high-resolution map overlays are available to All-Access subscribers on any device by clicking the "Maps" tab and selecting the overlay of your choice:

  • Avalanche Forecast
  • Estimated Snow Depth
  • Estimated Snowfall (24 Hours)
  • Estimated Snowfall (Season)
  • Current Radar
  • Forecast Radar
  • Temperature
  • Cloud Cover
  • Wind Gust
  • Lightning Density
  • Air Quality
  • Air Quality Forecast
  • Smoke (surface)
  • Smoke (sky)

Maps > Select Overlay & Base Map

Maps > Avalanche Forecast

Maps > Snow Depth

Maps > Snowfall (24 Hours)

Maps > Snowfall (Season)

Maps > Radar

Maps > Forecast Radar

Maps > Temperature

Maps > Cloud Cover

Maps > Wind Gust

Maps > Lightning Density

Maps > Air Quality

Maps > Air Quality Forecast

Maps > Smoke (surface) & Smoke (sky)

The maps update every hour with the latest available information.

Create Custom Snow Report Alerts

Go to Settings > Notifications > Report & Forecast Alerts to receive an email and/or push notification as soon as the 24-hour snow report is greater than the threshold you set. 

Custom snow forecast alerts are also available to All-Access subscribers, which are sent when the night + day forecast for a single day is greater than the threshold you set.

Explore Top Forecasts & Deepest Reports

Finding the deepest snow at the right time requires data, skill, and a bit of luck. We can’t help with getting lucky, but we can provide everything else, including the top snow forecasts, deepest snow reports, and snow stake cams for countries, states, regions, and season passes.

View → Locations Worldwide

Customize, view, and sort by your preferences.

Watch Ski Videos & Read Industry News

The "News" section can be found under the "Search" tab in the OpenSnow app.

View the latest mountain weather and industry news, including ski videos and podcasts, snow and weather science, snowpack updates, and more.

Filter by All, Company Updates, Videos & Podcasts, Snow & Weather Science, Snowpack Updates, Trip Reports, Resort Guides, and Other.

The "Snow & Weather Science" section is where you'll find our library of nerdy explainer articles that break down a host of weather and climate-related terms, variables, and phrases that you'll encounter on OpenSnow.

Here are just a few of our favorite articles:

Snowmaking - Explained

ENSO, El Niño, & La Niña - Explained

Weather Forecast Models - Explained

Snow Ratios - Explained

Elevation & Temperature - Explained

Reading Radar, Explained

Mountain Orographics - Explained

Perfect Powder - Explained

View the entire library under News > Snow & Weather Science.

Frequently Asked Questions

(Q) What is the difference between a Free and All-Access account?

The following features are available to free accounts:

  • Email Storm Updates
  • Favorite Locations List
  • Daily Snow Summary
  • 1-10 Day Snow Forecast Summary
  • Avalanche Forecasts

With the All-Access subscription for $29.99/year (Single, 1 Person) or $39.99/year (Group, 4 People), you receive:

  • Forecasts Anywhere on Earth
  • 10-Day Snow Forecasts
  • 5-Day Hourly Forecasts
  • Full Daily Snow Forecast
  • Daily Snow Email Delivery
  • Current & Forecast Radar
  • Estimated 24-Hour Snow Reports
  • Estimated 24-Hour Snowfall Map
  • Estimated Season-to-Date Snowfall Map
  • Estimated Snow Depth Map
  • Cloud Cover Map
  • Wind Gust Map
  • Temperature Map
  • Wildfire Smoke Forecast Maps
  • Real-Time Lightning Map
  • Air Quality Map
  • Custom Snow Forecast Alerts
  • Favorite & Offline Trail Maps
  • Favorite & Timelapse Cams
  • Snowpack Graphs & Analysis
  • Historical Snow Reports
  • Offline Satellite & Terrain Maps

The essential weather tools to help you plan your next adventure, all in one app.

(Q) What is the difference between the Single and Group subscription?

All-Access Single

  • 1 Subscription
  • 1 Person
  • $29.99/year

All-Access Group

  • 1 Subscription
  • 4 People
  • $39.99/year (Save 66%)

Once you sign up for the Group plan, invite three friends or family members. They will have their own account and can set up their own list of favorite mountains, custom snow alerts, and more.

(Q) How do you calculate the snow forecast summary?

We calculate the snow forecast summary by taking the snow forecast for the previous night + the current day. The summary calculation is shown this way since this is the snow that you would see/ski on that day.

Example: The snow forecast summary has 12 inches for Friday.

  • Thursday Night = 5-9 inches = 7 inches
  • Friday Day = 3-7 inches = 5 inches

Friday Summary = 12 inches

(Q) How do you make your forecasts?

The forecasts on OpenSnow are updated every hour with a proprietary blend of global data from the GFS (American), GDPS (Canadian), and ICON (German) weather models, along with high-resolution data from the HRRR (American) and HRDPS (Canadian) weather models.

The benefits of this approach include:

  • Proprietary algorithm to improve the snow-to-liquid ratio, precipitation, temperature, and wind speed calculations for cold, mountain environments.
  • Provides the ability to create a forecast for any location (and elevation) to ensure that we are forecasting conditions on the mountain and not for a nearby town.
  • An improved method for calculating the snow level (elevation that separates rain from snow) to provide a more realistic forecast, especially at the beginning of storms and during times of intense snowfall.
  • Blending multiple global and high-resolution models increases accuracy and confidence in the forecast.

This blend of proprietary forecast data is updated every hour on OpenSnow for any location, worldwide.

(Q) What weather forecast data is available on OpenSnow?

The weather data on OpenSnow can be viewed as hourly forecasts for the next 5 days and daily forecasts for the next 10 days. Available forecast data includes:

  • Hourly Precipitation Chance
  • Hourly Precipitation Forecast
  • Hourly Snow Forecast
  • Hourly Temperature
  • Hourly Wind Direction, Speed, & Gust
  • Hourly Cloud Cover
  • Day & Night Snow Forecast
  • Day & Night Precipitation Chance
  • Day & Night Precipitation Forecast
  • Day & Night Snow Level
  • Day & Night Weather Alerts
  • Day & Night Temperature
  • Day & Night Wind Direction, Speed, & Gust
  • Day & Night Cloud Cover

Use the links below to view the 10-day weather forecast for popular ski resorts around the world:




Jackson HoleWyoming

Palisades TahoeCalifornia

RevelstokeBritish Columbia

Niseko, HokkaidoJapan


Verbier, Switzerland

St. Anton, Austria

Cortina, Italy

Portillo, Chile

Las Leñas, Argentina

Perisher, Australia

Coronet Peak, New Zealand

(Q) What do the different colored alerts signal?

Daily alerts are included to signal upcoming powder days, along with the potential for rain, snow/rain, and high winds. Alert breakdown:

  • Orange = Powder (Forecast of 6+ inches from the previous night and current day)
  • Green = Rain (Expect rain on all of the mountain)
  • Purple = Snow/Rain (Expect a transition from snow to rain on the mountain)
  • Yellow = Wind (Wind gusts greater than 45 MPH and possible lift closures)

(Q) What is the difference between the blue and orange snow forecast bars?

Blue bars show snowfall under 6 inches. Orange bars show snowfall over 6 inches. The color change is simply a visual clue to denote the higher snow totals and deeper powder.

(Q) How do you break up the day and night 10-day forecast?

The "day" forecast is from 6 AM to 6 PM, while the "night" forecast is from 6 PM to 6 AM.

Feedback & Support

Your feedback is incredibly important to us so please reach out to [email protected] and we will respond within 1-2 days, often much sooner.

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