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SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Turns Into April

SnoCountry SnoCast: Making Turns Into April

Nearly a foot of snow came down Monday at Alta Ski Area in Utah, and they are loving the forecast with more snow in the cards at the end of this week. (Alta /Facebook)

We turn the calendar into April in this week’s SnoCountry SnoCast. There’s still plenty of great skiing and riding to be had, with more snow in the forecast.


In this week’s outlook, I’ve got my eyes on a large storm system that will impact all areas from the Great Lakes to Northeast Friday-Saturday (March 31-April1) that will no doubt leave some bullseyes of deep snow in parts of New England and Quebec. In the West, a storm system drops in from British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest Thursday, before spreading inward by the weekend. Here’s what to expect by region for March 29 - April 3.

Eastern U.S. / Midwest: In the Northeast and Midwest, March is sure to go out “like a lion," as they say. A storm system/low pressure will track from Missouri on Thursday, east-northeastward, eventually scooting off the Southern New England coast by Saturday. On the northern side of this storm system, a swath of snow will fall from Eastern Wisconsin, to Central/Northern Michigan, then eventually spreading over parts of New York and New England. There is some discrepancy among weather models by the time this system reaches New York and New England. The trusty GFS (American) and European models disagree on exact placement of heaviest snow once the storm reaches the northeast. 3-6” is a “safe” forecast for now for most of the lower Adirondack slopes, southern Vermont and the southern White Mountains in New Hampshire, with nearly 10” in far southern Vermont and Massachusetts’ Berkshires. That forecast is more in line with the GFS.

The European is hinting at the system being a bit farther north, which would bring more widespread 6”+ amounts in the areas I just mentioned, and also spread farther north to cover more areas of northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine with snow. Given that difference, it’s important to check the forecast as the time gets nearer to seek out the deepest snow for your Friday/weekend ventures to the slopes. If I had to pick some early best bets, I’d say you can’t go wrong with some central and southern Vermont mountains, and even western Massachusetts Berkshire mountains by Saturday first chair. But again, keep an eye on that forecast because the storm can shift by the weekend.

European model forecast snowfall totals in Northeast and Midwest through April 2.

 American model forecast snowfall totals in Northeast and Midwest through April 2.

Western U.S.: The Western U.S. gets another system or two this week as energy moves into the Pacific Northwest Thursday, then eventually spreads inward by the weekend. This will mean more snow over nearly all of the higher mountains to finish March and start April. Look for anywhere from 4-9” for the Washington and Oregon Cascades, all mountains of Idaho (5-10"), and northwest Wyoming through Thursday. Then, look for new snow, probably higher totals, 6-12”, widespread for Utah’s Wasatch and Uinta Mtns, Wyoming and Colorado Rockies from Friday-Saturday. Locally higher totals will likely be squeezed out at the higher mountains, with up to 2 feet possible over the Colorado peaks. A good setup for the West into the weekend. Use caution, though, for those venturing into the Cascades. I do see high risk of avalanches after recent temperature fluxuations and wind. Ski areas typically maintain and control avalanche danger, but caution for those who seek out the backcountry.

American model forecast snowfall totals in West through April 2.

Now remember, what I've shown you in images is a computer forecast model. There always needs to be some human interjection to make a good forecast. Thats what I do! And also what the National Weather Service does. Here's a look at the actual forecast snowfall totals from the National Weather Service. This shows through the end of Saturday, April 1. No joke!

 

Canada: Plenty of new snow opportunities in Canada this week. The same storm I mentioned in the Midwest/Northeast section will bring fresh snow to our Eastern Canada mountains in Quebec and Ontario Friday-Saturday. Again, depending on storm track, forecast amounts may vary by the weekend. Generally, 5 – 10 cm looks achievable, with locally higher amounts if the storm sneaks a little farther north. Just enough to soften up the trails. In Western Canada, a storm system brings ample mountain snow Thursday (March 30). Many ski areas in British Columbia and Alberta will squeeze out 20-40cm from Thursday-Friday. Enjoy that!

Forecast snowfall totals in Western Canada through April 2.

That's all for this week's SnoCountry SnoCast, skiers and riders. Have a blast with any new snow in your area. As always, I'll catch you next Wednesday for the next edition of SnoCast right here on SnoCountry.com. 

Special thanks to Lyndon State College student forecasters Amanda Stone, Scott Myerson, and Christopher Kurdek for their weekly contributions and forecasts.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: More Snow In The Forecast

SnoCountry SnoCast: More Snow In The Forecast

55 inches in just six days at Washington’s Crystal Mountain. (Crystal Mountain/Facebook)

Starting off with a bang in this week’s SnoCast! A nor’easter for the Eastern U.S., and the hits keep coming out West, too. February continues to bring excellent ski conditions to much of the country.


Here’s what to expect by region for Feb. 8- 14.

West: The hits keep coming for the Western U.S. With storm after storm lining up, there continues to be plenty of moisture/snow/rain for this week. Some trouble, though, with the storm finishing this work week. Snow levels are much higher than some other recent systems this winter. This will still mean heavy snow dumps at the highest peaks, but more wet and sloppy precipitation for the mid and lower bases for some ski areas. Expect the best snow to reach the highest Sierras in California, the Washington Cascades, Idaho, Western Montana, and Wyoming through Friday. Then by the weekend, the snow will shift to the interior Rockies with snow for Utah, Colorado, and perhaps sagging as far south as New Mexico’s peaks late in the weekend. Calmer weather with good breaks of sun for much of the West Sunday to early next week. Best bets: Mammoth (late Friday or early Saturday), Crystal Mtn northward to Mt Baker in Washington (Thursday-Friday), Schweitzer, Silver Mtn, Steamboat, Sleeping Giant  (weekend).

Forecast snow amounts through Friday, Feb 10 from the National Weather Service.    

East/Midwest: A nor’easter will bring significant snowfall, generally 6+ inches for the northeast Wednesday-Thursday. New snow will stretch from West Virginia all the way to Maine, with the “sweet spot” likely in the Berkshires of Mass to southern Maine where locally a foot of snow will likely fall. The track of this storm will likely bring heaviest snow to the I-95 corridor, so travel may be a little tough to make a long trip to the ski areas during the storm if you don’t live nearby. This storm will be quick, with the last of the snow wrapping up within 24 hours, done for all by Thursday evening. Calm conditions Friday will keep conditions pleasant (I’d recommend earlier in the day to get the freshest snow before it gets skied off).

Another light shot of snow dips over the Midwest/Great Lakes Friday, and toward New England Saturday. Weather models do show another larger storm brewing for the Northeast/New England Sunday into Monday (Feb 12-13), but the track of it may bring mixed precip and not all snow with that, so keep an eye to the forecast specifics closer in time to pick your best window. Best Bets:  Jiminy Peak , Mount Snow, Stratton, Mount Sunapee (Thursday-Friday).

Forecast snow amounts through Feb. 10. (National Weather Service)

 

Forecast model raw output of a possible storm for early next week.

Canada: A steady plume of moisture keeps the snow falling across Western Canada, especially Thursday and Friday. Conditions will be excellent (and goggles essential) for most mountains in British Columbia and Alberta to finish the week. In the East, a clipper system brings light snow amounts to the slopes beginning Friday and tapering off through early Saturday morning. Another storm will develop early next week and while the Northeast U.S. may see rain mix in, many Quebec ski areas will see great conditions and new snow. Keep an eye on the forecast for exact amounts closer to the storm. Best bets: Lake Louise, Whistler, Grouse, Big White (Friday or Saturday) 

Forecast model raw output of snow totals through Saturday.

 

'Til next week's SnoCast, enjoy these amazing conditions. As always, a shout out and thanks to Lyndon State College students Amanda Stone, Christopher Kurdek, and Scott Myerson for their weekly contributions and forecasts for SnoCast.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Weather Going Strong

SnoCountry SnoCast: Winter Weather Going Strong

With over 20 feet of snow in January, Mammoth Mountain set a new monthly record for snowfall. More snow in the forecast here turning into February. (Mammoth Mountain/Twitter)

It’s shaping up to be an active week across the U.S. ski areas with plenty of opportunities for snow. And after an unusually warm January in Canada, colder weather (and snow) return to the forecast picture, too. Check it out in this week’s SnoCast.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Too Much Snow?!

SnoCountry SnoCast: Too Much Snow?!

"Stop" -  a word hardly ever muttered by ski areas in the winter. But, with recent crippling snow in the West, we may have had a little too much of a good thing. A break to regroup is in the forecast. (Image: Crested Butte/Facebook)

In this week's SnoCast, a brief respite from an extremely active West, and variable conditions in the East leading into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Here's what to expect for weather conditions by region.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: The Gift Of Holiday Snow

SnoCountry SnoCast: The Gift Of Holiday Snow

Great pre-holiday snow at Wolf Creek Ski Area, which will end up with more snow leading into the holiday weekend (Rosanne H. Pitcher/Wolf Creek Ski Area)

The holidays are here! Gifts under the tree are cool and all, but look for the real gifts on the slopes this holiday weekend. Let’s dig into this week’s forecast and find out where the best conditions will be for hitting the slopes.


It will be an active stretch for the West, and a solid combo of pleasant days and snow shots for the Midwest and Northeast. Here’s what to expect by region and a few of my "best bet" picks for the areas receiving good snow this week.

Northeast: A weak system will bring a shot of light snow Thursday to New York’s Adirondacks and northern New England. While not a blockbuster, a few inches of snow can be expected at the higher elevations and make for nice, softer conditions. Another similar system may bring snow Saturday/Christmas Eve to the same locales before temps start generally rising Christmas Day through early next week. Some sun should break through on Christmas Day, providing pleasant conditions at ski areas for the holiday weekend. Best bets: Look to Whiteface, Jay Peak, and Sunday River

European ensemble model forecast snowfall.  

Midwest: Well, we’ve survived the cold snaps, and this week looks great to get out. A complicated set up for our Midwest mountains this week. After a quick shot of snow Wednesday, Thursday should be pleasant to hit the slopes and get what’s left of the softer snow. Thursday and Friday, a brief lull before things get interesting. Weather models continue to show a strong storm developing around Christmas Day through Monday. Keep an eye on this one. Could mean snow, but also some mixed precip (like ice), high winds, and travel hazards. 

Canada: Some fresh snow for western Canada Thursday will help add onto the snow we received earlier in the week. Some light, lingering snow showers in interior B.C and Alberta will carry us into the weekend with generally light totals. Watch for a more potent storm early next week Tuesday/Wednesday time frame which may bring more impressive totals to the coast range in British Columbia. In eastern Canada, low pressure tracks through Quebec to start the holiday weekend with light totals, and overall pleasant conditions for the Christmas holiday weekend. 

West: A quick hit of snow for western Colorado Thursday into early Friday will help soften up the slopes with some fresh inches of snow. Given the moisture flow in from the Southwest, the San Juan Range in southwest Colorado could pick up some decent totals around 6-12”. A larger storm system will develop Friday off the Pacific coast, and plow into northern California/Oregon. The highest totals from this storm will be in the California Sierra Nevada with potential for 1-2 feet, maybe some three foot totals at localized peaks (yaa!) through Saturday. Snow will also fall for the higher elevations of the Washington and Oregon Cascades as snow levels lower Friday night. That storm system will then spread eastward, carrying in some new snow for much of the western interior mountains through the holiday weekend. Look for new snow over the mountains in Idaho , Wyoming , Colorado, and Montana through this holiday weekend. There are a ton of winter weather alerts in place from the National Weather ServiceBest bets: While many mountains will be great, some of the highest totals should fall at TelluridePurgatory, and Wolf Creek Thursday and early Friday. Then, any Tahoe area mountain and Mammoth Mountain  should have snow dumping on Saturday.

European ensemble model forecast snowfall.

Here's the snowfall forecast graphic from the National Weather Service but only through Friday evening. Many areas (text details above) will pick up more through the holiday weekend. Enjoy!

Finally, as always, a huge THANKS to the Lyndon State College students Christopher Kurdek, Amanda Stone, and Scott Myerson for their weekly contribution to the SnoCast content and forecasts. You guys rock! Also a special thanks to LSC professor Jason Shafer.

'Til next week's SnoCast, have a safe and happy holiday, all! 

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Gobbling up the forecast

SnoCountry SnoCast: Gobbling up the forecast

Snow cover has really improved just this past week. We'll add to it in many areas with an active weather pattern ahead.

It may be the Thanksgiving week, but Mother Nature is going to deliver like it’s Christmas for some parts of the country. Check out the forecast details in this week’s delicious SnoCast.


 

Here’s the setup: A fairly active pattern lies ahead, with a few storm systems in the west providing ample moisture over the next seven days. Add in enough cold air at that means **snow** to many of our western ski areas, especially over the peaks of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. In the east, a solid pre-Thanksgiving week has ramped up the snowpack and base depth. A fickle forecast will provide windows of snow/cold to help build those bases as more ski areas look to open over the next two weeks.

Watch SnoCast video below, or keep scrolling for forecast info.

West: A storm system located off the Pacific Northwest coast will pump in moisture for Thanksgiving Day over the Washington Cascades and Canadian Rockies. This one delivers anywhere from 6-18” for many mountains in this area. Another potent storm plows into northern California Friday-Saturday, providing another 10-20 for the higher peaks of the Cascades, Coastal Range, and Sierra Nevada of California, Oregon, and Washington. Who needs shopping Friday when you’ve got fresh snow on the slopes? Look for another system over the Cascades then eastward into Idaho early next week (Nov. 28)- keep an eye on the forecast for amounts as we get closer. Take a look at snowfall forecast totals through Friday (Nov. 25).

Raw model forecast snow totals through Friday evening

East: After the first solid snow storm of the season only days ago, northeast ski areas are loving this change in the weather. Quite a few ski areas have opened up recently in the northeast, including Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. Check out this tweet on opening day, but more importantly, check out the snow! 

tweet from Loon

A brief shot of snow Thanksgiving day for the New York Adirondacks and northern New England peaks comes in advance of a brief warm-up Friday-Saturday. Recent snow will settle in a bit with this milder weekend. BUT, keep an eye on a storm system lurking near the southern New England coast through the weekend. While there's a lot of uncertainty still in exact position (as coastal storms are always a forecast challenge), if the low pressure stays close enough to the coast, we could wrap in little more fresh snow over the higher elevations of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire Saturday night-Sunday. At the very least, colder air will fill back in following this system to allow some snow making Sunday to Monday of next week.

tropical tidbits.com

 

Best Bets: There will be a lot of mountains that get fresh snow this week... so, three cheers for that (hip hip hooray)!  Your best bets will be any of the open ski areas for turns through the weekend. Check out who's turning lifts by visiting our open resorts section here on SnoCountry.com. 

Check back in next Wednesday for the next SnoCast! -Kerrin



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SnoCountry SnoCast: Keep Doing Your Snow Dance

SnoCountry SnoCast: Keep Doing Your Snow Dance

The forecast may not be ideal, but ski areas are determined to open. Loveland is set to spin chairs on Thursday, Nov. 10 and others hope to follow with help from Mother Nature. (Loveland/Facebook)

Still not exactly the weather pattern we all are hoping for in this week’s SnoCast. But, even if Mother Nature won’t deliver the big picture, we’ll find the small previews of winter weather to keep us giddy for what’s ahead. Here’s the breakdown of this week’s forecast.


Current Conditions: A strong ridge of high pressure still dominates the weather over much of the US, delivering mainly dry air and warm temps.

November 9 2016 high pressure

Forecast: However, small breakdowns of this ridge over the next week delivers a little moisture and brief windows of cold for snowmaking. Look for a brief colder period and a small coating of snow over northern New England/Quebec Friday into the start of the weekend (Nov. 11-12). In the west, two waves of moisture will bring mostly rain with the warmth, but some decent high elevation snow to British Columbia and some western peaks Friday night and again Sunday-Monday. Here's a look at one output from the GFS (American) model...overall, somewhat dismal outlook this stretch.

snowfall Nov. 9-15, 20q6

Canada: Look for some good accumulating snow over B.C. Friday night (Nov 11) - several inches likely for the coastal range, including Whistler Blackcomb which has already had an epic start this year for snowfall. Another wave of moisture brings several more inches to all B.C. ranges Sunday night to Monday (Nov. 13-14). A light dusting to two inches will also come with a period of cold and snowmaking opportunity for Quebec ski areas Friday-Saturday.  

East: A brief shot of colder air fills into New England Friday-Saturday (Nov. 11-12) which coats the mountains with a dusting to two inches. You bet the mountains that can will be snowmaking in hopes of getting the season underway ASAP. Unfortunately, it’s a short window, and warmth will slide back in to follow through early next week. The overall pattern may shift colder looking ahead toward the days leading up to and around Thanksgiving.

West: While most of the western outlook is dismal at best, look for a decent shot of snow (likely several inches) over the Washington Cascades Sunday night-Monday (Nov 13-14). What I’ll be watching for here is the bleed in of that moisture and colder air to perhaps deliver snow to more of the western mountains approaching mid next week (Nov. 15-17) … but will need a little more time to develop more certainty on that and amounts, which I’ll do in next week’s SnoCast.

Despite a somewhat crummy hand of cards dealt from Mother Nature, some ski areas are still set to open this week. Check out Loveland Ski Area's plan to spin chairs.  Until we can get a solid pattern change (which looks more likely in the last 10-12 days of this month) we will have to continue doing our snow dance, friends.

Think snowy thoughts, 'til next week's SnoCast!

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Storms To Zip North Of Colorado While Utah Warms Up; ‘R’ Word In New England

Cloudy day at SugarbushA few storms in Colorado over the weekend and early next week likely won’t have any effect on the state’s ski resorts, says OpenSnow.com’s Joel Gratz. “Yup, back to spring conditions with harder snow in the morning, softening by the midday and afternoon hours.”

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High and Dry: All Of SnoCountry Waiting For Late-Season Largesse

ElderThe old adage has held true this winter,: The more things change, the more they stay the same. So it is with the snow forecasts for this week across SnoCountry, as a persistent jet stream and high pressure ridge keeps any precipitation to the far north.

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