SnoCast: Big Snow Targets the Rockies
A storm system will bring heavy snow to the western mountains, especially the Colorado Rockies this weekend as a cold and stormy pattern persists. On the flip side, the East enjoys mild and spring-like conditions. This week’s SnoCast has the details through St. Patrick’s Day week.
Western U.S. & Canada
We let you know about an increasingly active weather pattern for the West in last week’s SnoCast. Well, here we are, tracking multiple storms and big snow for the western peaks from California to the central Rockies.
On Thursday and Friday, periodic snow will continue to fall across Utah, Arizona, and parts of the Colorado Rockies as a storm systems moves in from the west. This same system brought big snow to California earlier in the week and created near whiteout conditions in Arizona Thursday.
Here’s a look at current conditions at the base of Grand Canyon Express this morning. 3” of snow was recorded at 5am, and snow is expected to continue through the weekend! Please note that chains/4WD will be required after significant snowfall — please be prepared for delays. pic.twitter.com/1KUbC70vjn— Arizona Snowbowl (@AZSnowbowl) March 11, 2021
This storm will intensify Friday night into Saturday as it moves into eastern Colorado. This storm track will bring new snow to the central Rockies, with the heaviest totals of 1-3 feet expected in Colorado’s northern Rockies. Mountain peaks outside the “top zones” will pick up around 7-15” in general, making for an epic weekend. Though a word of caution travelers--the storm will dump even heavier snow around the Denver metro and nearby Plains, so getting to the slopes might be a bit rough for anyone traveling in for the weekend.
Meanwhile, along the Pacific coast, the next storm churns in later Sunday into Monday, with potential for several inches to near a foot of snow in the Cascades and northern California before churning into the intermountain west, where Utah and Colorado could see even more snow.
Eastern U.S. & Canada
In the East, we’ve had a recent taste of spring—a welcomed, brief thaw to shed a layer or two while enjoying the trails. We've been soaking up the sun, while snow holds at the higher, colder mountain peaks.
Seasonably cooler air shifts back in over the weekend with any snow limited to the northern peaks in New England, thanks to upslope flow and a north-northeasterly wind. Otherwise, fairly quiet conditions should make for a fine weekend on the slopes.
Mainly dry weather is expected for much of the East into next week. The next chance at a storm system looks to hold off until mid or late next week. Given recent mild weather, it’s likely this would be a “mixed bag” of precipitation types next week.
Into St. Patrick's Day week, the outlook shows the East remaining mild and spring-like with higher than average chance of (likely mixed) precipitation. The West remains near or below average for temps while the pattern settles toward a drier trend.
Be sure to check in each week as ski season rolls on. We'll keep an eye on the conditions on the slopes right through spring each week with a new SnoCountry SnoCast.
Check the latest snow conditions on the snow reports page.