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SnoCast: Bursts of Snow to Kick-Off March

A snowboarder glides down the trail under blue skies at Mission Ridge in Washington Bluebird days on the slopes for much of the west with a recent lull in storms, including at Mission Ridge in Washington (SkiMissionRidge/Twitter)


March came in like a lamb, and will stay “lamb-y” with a few small storm systems to track and a typical hint at Spring-like warmth. Read the details in this week’s SnoCast.

A quick glance back at February, and we know there were some incredible days on the slopes. The Northern Rockies and parts of the Northeast finished with above average snow amounts, while others in the Midwest and Southwest had a drier than average month (but hey, sunshine is good, too!). Here's a glance at the snow totals and totals as compared to average. 

U.S. map of  snow accumulation in February, indicates multiple feet in the Rockies and Northwest, with large totals in pockets of the Northeast (NOAA/NWS)

Map of U.S. February snowfall as compared to average. The Northwest, Rockies, and parts of the Northeast ended with above average snow.(NOAA/NWS)

Eastern U.S. & Canada

Honing in on the East, the Midwest has enjoyed recent mild days, and will generally stay this way into the weekend with limited chances for snow. Meanwhile, in the Northeast, including New England, recent weeks have been cold with occasional snow bursts.

Blue sky with chairlift at Granite Peak Ski Area in Wisconsin (SkiGranitePeak/Twitter)

This week, the pattern stays similar with cold air flowing in from the north in New England and New York, squeezing out 2-6” of upslope snow for the northern Adirondacks in New York and Green Mountains in Vermont through Friday. Over the weekend, look for a continuation, with bright, spring-like warmth in the Midwest and Great Lakes, while bright but relatively colder conditions persist in the northeast.  Next week will be milder (see “Looking Ahead”, below).

Snowfall forecast map  through early Sunday in the Northeast (NWS)

Best Bets: Titus Mountain, Whiteface, Bolton Valley, Jay Peak, Bromont (QC)

Western U.S. & Canada

A storm system wraps up in the southern Rockies Thursday, dropping a few fresh inches of snow through the peaks of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Colorado’s Rockies will snag the highest totals through Thursday night, with general amounts of 6-10”, making for a great first chair Friday. This is the same storm system that brought snow to the peaks in California earlier in the week.

Snow falls at Big Bear Mountain Resort in California Tuesday as a storm system passes through the Southwest U.S. (BigBearMtResort/Twitter)

Friday features mild and bright skies for most of the West, before a cold front (and new snow) shifts in from the Pacific. Look for 2-5” of new snow on the peaks later Friday night into Saturday for northern California, Oregon, and Washington, with locally up to 8” in the northern Sierras of California. Not a ton of juice, but good news following a rather dry February in California. Another weak cold front brings light snow to the Pacific Northwest and southern British Columbia peaks later Sunday.

U.S. Snowfall forecast through early Sunday, March 7 (NOAA/NWS)

Best bets: Tahoe Area, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Baker, Whistler-Blackcomb (BC), Loveland, Aspen, Arapahoe Basin, Purgatory, Steamboat

Best bet picks through this weekend, exclusive to SnoCountry SnoCast

Looking Ahead (March 8-13)

In the West, the pattern will get more active next week, with likely several systems entering the west coast from the Pacific. While not quite a “firehose” of snow, expect areas that have been dry lately (California and the Four Corners region) to receive beneficial mountain snow, potentially up to a couple of feet through next week. Meanwhile the rest of the Rockies also receive periodic snow.

In the East, the pattern trends milder next week as a storm glides through the Northern Plains. This storm will pump warm air in from the south ahead of the system, with Spring-like conditions for most. Snow chances looks limited to parts of the Upper Midwest on the back end of the system by mid-late next week.

Looking ahead to the pattern for next week, March 8-13. The pattern looks mild and wet for the East, while colder than average temps and a much more active storm pattern develops in the West (PivotalWeather.com/Climate Prediction Center)

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