By Sam Collentine, Meteorologist Posted 3 years ago February 17, 2021
These map layers are in addition to the Current & Forecast Radar, Estimated Snow Depth, Wind Gust Forecast, and Avalanche Forecast maps that users have enjoyed all season.
The estimated snowfall high-resolution map overlays are available to All-Access subscribers on any device by clicking the "Maps" tab and selecting the "Snowfall (24 Hours)" or "Snowfall (Season)" overlay.
Estimated 24-Hour Snowfall
This shows how much snow fell between 5:00 AM on the previous day and 5:00 AM on the current day. It is useful because it covers all US locations (like Nordic and backcountry locations) and not just ski resorts.
This data is estimated based on weather models and some weather stations and is a product of NOAA. Keep in mind that this is estimated data and sometimes it is very accurate, most of the time it is in the ballpark, and sometimes it's off the mark by at least a few inches.
This estimated snowfall layer, covering the 24-hour period from 5:00 AM to 5:00 AM Mountain Time (MT), will not be shown until 1:00 PM MT (20z). The delay between 5:00 AM and 1:00 PM is because the accuracy of the 24-hour snowfall estimate improves over time (as more data is incorporated into the analysis) and we found that waiting until 1:00 PM allows the formula enough time to generate information that has reasonable accuracy. NOAA continues to update the data each hour with the latest available data from SNOTEL sites and local observations and the quality/accuracy of the estimate continues to improve each hour (so don't be surprised if the data changes at least a little bit from when you first see it).
Estimated Season-to-Date Snowfall
This is the total amount of snow that has fallen between October 1 and the current date this winter. Remember, this is an estimated number, and sometimes it is very accurate, most of the time it is in the ballpark, and sometimes it's off the mark many feet in big mountains where seasonal snowfall measures in the hundreds of inches. Even if the data is not perfectly accurate, it still provides a useful guide to finding areas that have received the most snow during the winter season.
These are estimates!
To clarify one more time, these new maps are estimates and they will not always match what is reported directly from ski resorts. If there's a big discrepancy between what ski resorts report and this estimated data, look at the snow stake cam timelapse (if available) to confirm the snow totals for yourself.
Also, sometimes ski resorts enter incorrect snow report data, and contrary to conspiracy theories that we've heard, this incorrect snow report data is not always on the high side. Sometimes ski resorts report "0" when they do indeed receive fresh snow. Due to humans manually entering numbers at 5 AM, there will always be issues and we will receive incorrect 24-hour snow reports from time-to-time. It’s completely out of our control and unfortunately, there’s nothing that we can do to correct it.
View all of our map overlays on any device by upgrading to All-Access for $29.99/year (Single) or $39.99/year (Group). The subscription includes unlimited Daily Snow reads, 5-day hourly forecasts, 10-day snow forecasts, and much more.
Estimated Snowfall Maps → OpenSnow.com/map
Have questions? Send an email to [email protected] and we'll respond as quickly as possible, usually within 24 hours!