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SnoCast: March Goes Out Like a Lamb

SundayRiver_tw_032221 Sun and spray greet skiers and riders as mild and spring-like conditions take us into April, including at Sunday River in Maine (SundayRiver/Twitter)


March came in like a lamb, and so it seems will go out the same way. A few shots of snow, plus mild temperatures will have you looking forward to soft and spring-like turns into April. Here’s what’s on tap in this week’s SnoCast.  

Skiers walk through fresh snow in front of ski lift and trail map at Schweitzer in Idaho earlier this week. Idaho will see additional bursts of snow in the days ahead (SchweitzerID/Twitter)

Western U.S. & Canada

Scattered snow showers linger across the intermountain west and southern Rockies into Friday, before a brighter and milder stretch takes over for the weekend. Snow will generally be light, with some higher pockets over 6 inches in the peaks of Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado. The map below shows forecast snow through early Sunday, March 28. 

U.S. snowfall forecast map through Sunday, March 28 (NOAA NWS)

The next shot at snow, a cold front, slides down from British Columbia on Sunday, into the Pacific Northwest and northern U.S. Rockies Sunday night-Monday. It’s likely the Washington and Oregon Cascades pick up the most snow with around 6-12”, while northern Idaho and western Montana peaks see around 3-7”. Here's one model's output on snow totals, which may vary, but shows the general location and magnitude of snow Sunday to Monday in the Northwest. 

Map of computer model output of snowfall Sunday March 28 to Monday March 29.

Seasonably cool temperatures stick around through Tuesday, before the West trends milder once again mid-late next week. With a fairly dry winter behind us, we'll like start to see snow depth and cover begin to dwindle in the weeks ahead.

Eastern U.S. & Canada

Groomers working to keep trails fresh at Killington Ski Resort on a sunny spring day (KillingtonMtn/Twitter)

Spring is arriving in the East. After a very mild stretch this week, we’ll continue to see “spring-like” and occasionally wet storms ahead. A wind-making low pressure system will press northeastward through Michigan along the Vermont/Quebec border Friday, pressing the rain/snow line far north into Quebec. While there may be just a little snow for northern Michigan Friday, and a bit of mountain-induced snow at the tail end in Northern New England as the storm pulls away Friday overnight, other areas won't be so lucky. 

 Northeast rain forecast map through Sunday, March 28 (NOAA NWS)

Northeast snowfall forecast map through Sunday, March 28 (NOAA NWS)


Another storm takes a similar path later Saturday into Sunday. The difference this time is that we could have just enough cold air in place across interior and northern New England to see a burst of snow both at the onset and tail end of the storm. While many will need to waterproof ski pants once again, the most likely region to remain as snow with this system will be across northern New Hampshire and Maine.  Generally, the northeast trends warmer once again early and mid next week, which will likely take an additional toll on the remaining snowpack. Snow cover map in the Northeast shows snow remaining in the New York Adirondacks, Green Mountains in Vermont, and most mountains in New Hampshire and Maine. (NWS NOHRSC)


Looking Ahead

Since we turn into April this week, we're checking the larger weather pattern that takes us through (for some) the end of the ski season (insert tears here). The Climate Prediction Center issues mid- and long-range weather pattern outlooks for the general trends ahead, and they indicate April will trend warm and generally dry across much of the lower 48. Get those turns in while you still can, skiers and riders!

April temperature outlook features above average temperatures likely for much of the U.S. ( NOAA Climate Prediction Center)

April precipitation outlook features below average temperatures likely for much of the U.S. ( NOAA Climate Prediction Center)


We'll keep checking in through the end of ski season with a new SnoCountry SnoCast seeking out new snow and great conditions on the trails, so you can extend the season as long as possible. 

Keep an eye on conditions by way of the latest snow reports.

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