SnoCast: Cold, Snow Ahead for the Slopes
A large pool of bitter cold air seeps into the US from Canada this week, affecting the weather from coast to coast. Here’s what to expect on the slopes.
A powerful cold front brings snow through the Great Lakes Thursday, then through the Northeast Friday. A general 2-4” of snow, locally near 6”, will fall in Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as the northeast, followed by a bitterly cold west-northwesterly flow. Some lucky ski areas just east of the Great Lakes will revel in persistent lake effect snow, with locally 6-12” east of Lake Michigan, Erie, and Ontario. Others, particularly in the Midwest, deal with bitterly cold temperatures that will struggle to get above zero each day on the slopes, and dipping dangerously cold overnight between -10 to -30. Grab those layers before you hit the slopes.
A bitterly cold artic airmass will move into the central US late this week and push eastward through the weekend into next week. Highs below freezing will be common across the north, and many locations in North Dakota and Minnesota will remain well below 0 for days. pic.twitter.com/eFLiT75RJC— NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) February 3, 2021
The good news in this pattern? There will be ample cold in place across the East to bring snow should any storm system develop next week. Forecast models have hinted at a a storm running up the east coast Sunday-Monday, but (as of Thursday morning) it's a very close call. It could be either a glancing pass by, or if it hugs close enough to the coast could be another 6"+ snow for parts of the northeast. With a similar cold pattern holding through next week in the east, keep your eyes on the forecast often for changes.
The same cold affecting the East, also skirts the West, bringing cold from western Canada down the Rockies. This setup creates a persistent northwest flow, that will squeeze out heavy snow in the Canadian Rockies, and then the mountains of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and at times to Utah and Colorado through this weekend. In the higher peaks of the favored northwest facing ranges, 1-2 feet of snow will fall. The Pacific Northwest also drags in moisture, allowing localized heavy snow in the Washington Cascades. Just like the east, however, temperatures will also be quite cold at the peaks this weekend and into next week in the Rockies, with the coldest temps arriving early next week. Layer up!
There are so many best bets this week with the new snow. Be sure to check out the latest snow report to see conditions and safety guidelines to pick the best mountain for you.
Oh! And incase you missed it, our little buddy Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter. While I'm not one to put stock in a rodent for weather info, I'll accept his prediction to have more days like these (photos) ahead.
Check back in every week for a new SnoCast through ski season.