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By Luke Stone, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago June 21, 2024

Summer Snow Across the Western US & British Columbia

The mountains all across the western US and Canada saw some impressive snowfall and abnormally cold temperatures over the last week. The one resort that remains open in North America, Timberline, had a solid 7-inch powder day over the weekend. Much of the west will return to a warm and dry pattern as a ridge develops this weekend, however, the higher elevations of British Columbia may see additional chances for light snow next week. 

A cold and deep trough of low pressure moved through the Pacific Northwest and then the Northern Rockies over the last week, bringing some impressive snow totals in these regions, even down to the base elevations of many ski resorts. Below is a map of the estimated snow totals in the US over the last five days from the NOHRSC (National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center).

Parts of Washington, Montana, and Idaho saw over a foot of snow, with a wider area of accumulating snow across much of the Northwest. OpenSnow just released a new feature that shows the latest temperature, wind, and snow data from over 50,000 global weather stations with the "Weather Stations" map overlay. We can look at the snowfall data from the last five days recorded from the weather stations.

We can see several weather stations in Washington, British Columbia, Idaho, and Montana recorded 6 - 10 in during this period. A few locations in southwestern Montana and Washington received over 12 inches of snow.

Temperatures were well below normal during this time, as you can see below.

Check out some of the images and snow totals from across the region over the last week.

Most resorts in Washington saw snow over the weekend, including nearly down to the base at White Pass at 4500 feet.

Oregon got in on the action over the weekend, and the only remaining open resort in North America, Timberline, received 7 inches of snow.

Hoodoo saw some snow at upper elevations as well.

Snow was accumulating on Santiam Pass and Mount Hood Highway on Saturday.

Snow fell over much of interior British Columbia, including almost 6 in (15 cm) at Big White.

Snow fell down to the base at Silver Star, while a few inches piled up at Fernie, Apex Mountain, and Revelstoke.

Castle Mountain in Alberta received around 6 in (15 cm), with some snow at the Banff resorts too including Sunshine Village.

Some minor accumulations were seen at Bogus Basin in Idaho.

At Silver Mountain in the Idaho panhandle, heavy snow fell while the bike park remained open.

The roads in Island Park saw some minor accumulations.

Montana may have seen the most snow from this June snowstorm. Several inches fell at Showdown, Discovery, and Big Sky, with lesser amounts at Whitefish.

A few people headed out to earn some turns below.

The roads in Glacier National Park and Lost Trail Pass were quite snowy.

The roads in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming received a dusting to a few inches, as did Togwotee Pass.

Even some higher peaks in Colorado had a little accumulation.

The upper-level pattern over the last week (shown below) resembled a typical winter setup, with a trough dropping down into the Pacific Northwest from the Gulf of Alaska, bringing cold air along with it.

The air mass (shown below) was cold enough to bring snow levels down below 5000 feet in parts of the Northwest.

Although snow in June is not rare, it is less common to see accumulating snow over such a large area this time of year. With the typical Summer heat in this region, the cooler temperatures and snow are always welcome this time of year. 

Luke Stone
Forecaster, OpenSnow

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About The Author

Luke Stone

Forecaster

Luke Stone earned his M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Utah, with a research focus on seasonal forecasting. Luke has scored deep days around the world, including coast-to-coast across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

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