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SnoCast: Active Pattern with Multiple Storms Ahead for the West

SummitatSnoqualmie_SummitSnow411_TW_120920 More snow ahead for the West, including Summit at Snoqualmie where multiple storms will bring snow this week (Summit411/Twitter)

This week, snow activity really begins to pick up. As more and more ski areas open, we'll have multiple storms out West and fast movers in the East to build up the bases.

National Weather Service snow forecast through Sunday December 13 (NWS)



A very active weather pattern lies ahead for the West. A quick-moving storm system digs out of the southwest Thursday, bringing 6-12” of snow to the peaks in Arizona (Thursday) and southern Colorado (Friday). Then, an active jet stream will keep a steady stream of moisture and multiple rounds of mountain snow plowing through the western U.S. beginning Friday. One storm spreads snow from northern California to Colorado Friday-Saturday (many see 3-6”, with 6”+ in Utah and Colorado). Another, more potent wave hits the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia Sunday, spreading snow to the interior northwest through Monday (many see 4-8” with 8”+ on B.C.’s Coast Range and the highest peaks of Idaho and eastern Oregon). And yet another storm takes the same path Tuesday (while far out, likely another 3-6”+ system). In total, snow amounts will really add up, with the highest potential for 1-2 feet in the Cascades and B.C.’s Coast Range through early next week.

Best bets: Taos (NM), Telluride (CO)Crystal Mtn (WA), Summit at Snoqualmie (WA), Mt. Baker (WA), Stevens Pass (WA), Snowbasin (UT), Timberline (OR), Brundage (ID), Whistler (BC)

Snow forecast maps for Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington through Sunday Dec 13 (NWS)



The storm impacting the southwest U.S. Thursday will shoot through the Plains and bring decent snow to the Midwest. Ski areas in southern Wisconsin and Northern Michigan can expect several fresh inches of snow Saturday-Saturday night (generally 3-6” in the main snow band). With warm air drifting fairly far north ahead and south of this system, we’ll see our rain/snow line drift as far north as Quebec, with light snow amounts likely to greet our Quebec and Northern Maine ski areas by Sunday. As the storm departs Sunday, reinforcing colder air drifts in for most of the east into next week. Keep an eye on next Wednesday Thursday (Dec. 16-17) for potentially more snow in the northeast.

Best bets: Alpine Valley (WI), Little Switzerland (WI), Mont Ste Marie (QC), Tremblant (QC)

Modeled snowfall outlook through midday Sunday Dec 13 for the northeast and Canada (TropicalTidbit.com)


Check back in every week for a new SnoCast through the ski season. Also, be sure to check out the latest snow report to see who’s open and read latest safety guidelines and reservations.


Boyne Highlands in Michigan makes snow in preparation for opening day on Dec 16 (Boyne_Highlands/Twitter)

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