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Getting Started Guide

OpenSnow is your trusted source for the most advanced snow forecast, snow report, high-resolution map overlays, 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 catch the best ski conditions.


Create Free Account

This is not required, though creating a free account will be the first of two steps to provide you with a convenient rundown of your favorite ski resorts and backcountry locations.

The same email and password will be used to access your account on both the OpenSnow app and website, as well as our summer service, OpenSummit.

Pick Favorite Mountains & Season Passes

After you create a free account, you will be presented with the option to customize your OpenSnow account with favorite mountains, season passes, and local forecasters to follow via our "Daily Snows".

Create Custom Snow Report Alerts

The third and final step to getting the most out of your free account will be creating custom snow report alerts.

Go to Settings > Your Snow 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 night + day forecast for a single day is greater than the threshold you set.

Favorites

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

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

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.

Ski Resort & Backcountry Locations

Upon initial load of any individual ski resort or backcountry location screen, we provide a quick snow forecast summary graph and value for expected snowfall over the next 5 days, followed by the next 6-10 days, under the 'Forecast' 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 'Full Hourly Forecast' button to view the chance of precipitation (including precip type), temperature, 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 'Forecast' 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, 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 members for nearly every mountain location in the western US.

High-Resolution Maps

We make it easy (and beautiful) to see if there is snow heading toward your favorite ski resorts, along with how much snow fell over the past 24 hours, season-to-date, and snow depth. You can also take a peek into the future with our 18-hour forecast animations for precipitation, smoke, wind gust, cloud cover, and temperature.

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:

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

Maps > Select Overlay

Maps > Radar

Maps > Forecast Radar

Maps > Smoke (surface)

Maps > Smoke (sky)

Maps > Snowfall (24 Hours)

Maps > Snowfall (Season)

Maps > Snow Depth

Maps > Cloud Cover

Maps > Wind Gust

Maps > Temperature

Maps > Lightning Density

Maps > Air Quality Index

Maps > Avalanche Forecast

The maps will update every hour with the latest available information.

Search, Compare, & Explore

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.

Search for locations in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, South America, and Australia, with new locations added every week.

View → Locations Worldwide

Customize, view, and sort by your preferences.

Daily Snow Forecasts

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

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 > Your Snow Alerts.

News

Watch ski videos, receive snowpack updates, and read our resort guides. The 'News' section can be found under the 'Search' tab in the OpenSnow app.

Filter by All, Learn, Media, Snowpack, Trip Reports, Guides, Company News, and Other.

The 'Learn' section is where you'll find our library of "explained" articles, which breakdown 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 > Learn.


Frequently Asked Questions

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

The following features are available to free accounts:

  • 5-Day Snow Forecasts
  • Custom Snow Report Alerts
  • 4 Daily Snow Reads/Week
  • Avalanche Forecasts

With the All-Access subscription for $29.99/year (Single) or $39.99/year (Group), you receive unlimited access to OpenSnow AND our summer service, OpenSummit, with the following features:

  • 10-Day Snow Forecasts
  • 5-Day Hourly Forecasts
  • Unlimited Daily Snow Reads
  • 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
  • OpenSummit All-Access

That's year-round weather coverage for all of your adventures for less than a cup of coffee per month.

(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 email/password and can set up their own list of favorite mountains and custom snow alerts.

(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 thousands of locations around the world and we are adding new locations every day.

(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:

  • Day & Night Snow Forecast
  • Day & Night Snow Level
  • Daily High & Low Temperature
  • Hourly Chance of Precipitation
  • Hourly Temperature
  • Hourly Wind Speed, Gust, & Direction
  • Hourly Cloud Cover %

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

BreckenridgeColorado

SnowbirdUtah

Jackson HoleWyoming

Squaw ValleyCalifornia

RevelstokeBritish Columbia

Niseko, HokkaidoJapan

ChamonixFrance

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:

  • Blue = 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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Please share your love by taking a moment to rate it with a 5-star review. These reviews help us to be seen by more people, and a larger audience provides the support needed for us to build more features and value for you.

Download & Review iOS app

Download & Review Android app

Simply click either link above and scroll down to the section titled 'Ratings & Reviews'.

Never miss another powder day with All-Access.

Features

  • Unlimited Daily Snows
  • 10-Day Snow Forecasts
  • Hourly Forecasts
  • Advanced Map Overlays
  • Daily Snow Email Delivery
  • OpenSummit All-Access
"It is well worth the All-Access upgrade considering you get access to a 10-day HIGHLY accurate forecast. It’s a small price to pay for finding fresh powder."
— App Review