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SnoCast: New Snow for the Turn Into Spring

A skier buried in feet of new snow at Eldora Resort in Colorado last weekend (EldoraResort/Titter) Recent snow in the West, including nearly 2 feet at Eldora Mountain in Colorado, has ensured an extended ski season well into Spring. (EldoraResort/Twitter)


Can you believe it? The final days of winter have come. As spring officially arrives Saturday, we’ll enjoy mild turns in the East, while winter refuses to let go in the West. Forecast details in this week’s SnoCast.

Forecast snowfall through early Sunday, March 21 across the U.S. (NWS)

Western U.S. & Canada

Coming off a recent storm in the southern Rockies with as much as 1-3 feet of new snow, many western ski areas have announced they are extending their season (woo-hoo!). Winter-like conditions remain in the West as a trough of cold and unsettled weather persist into the first week of spring.

Upper level 500mb anomalies across the U.S. for the week of March 22-27 show troughing in the West and ridging in the East. (TropicalTidbits,com)

A new Pacific storm will bring periods of snow to the Coastal Range, southern Cascades, and Sierra Nevada beginning Thursday and continuing into Friday. Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect, with an expected 5 to 10 inches generally above 5000 feet, with higher snow amounts of 10-20” above 7000 feet through Saturday.

Computer model snowfall through Monday, March 22 for the western U.S. highlights 5-10 inches widespread in the mountains, and up to 2 feet in the peaks of Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges (PivotalWeather.com)

This system spreads scattered mountain snow gradually southeastward to the intermountain west and Rockies Sunday through early next week with the peaks in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado gaining fresh light to moderate accumulation. This type of pattern persists through next week with similar track systems spreading snow from the coast to interior again Monday-Wednesday, and potentially again by Thursday.  

Best bets: Summit at Snoqualmie, Whistler-Blackcomb, Mammoth, Powder Mountain, Brundage, Jackson Hole

Eastern U.S. & Canada

Many New England ski areas picked up fresh snow this past week due to a brisk northerly wind. Winter has been hanging on strong here in parts of the East, but that pattern changes into the first week of spring.

Skier buried in fresh snow at Jay Peak Resort (JayPeakResort/Twitter)

A quick moving system will pass off the Mid-Atlantic coast Thursday, while most see liquid fall from the sky, cold enough air on the northern fringe, will allow a quick burst of snow overnight Thursday to Friday in the Berkshires, Poconos, and Catskills. Totals will be light, with a brief period of 1-4” possible for the ski areas.

Northeast snow forecast through Sunday March 21 (NWS)

Mainly bright and dry weather persists through the weekend, creating nice and softening turns.  Get out and enjoy before a warmer and spring-like stretch develops next week as temperatures go up, and layers come off.

Best bets: Jiminy Peak, Berkshire East, Wachusett, Mount Snow, Jay Peak, Hunter Mountain, Butternut

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, the aforementioned warmup in the East means spring-like conditions and softening snow. Get out and enjoy rising temperatures in the East. Snow cover across the U.S. is at just 25% (as of March 18), and could take a hit in the East as temps warm. 

Meanwhile, a colder pattern remains in the West with below average temperatures and wetter/snowier than average conditions in the southwest for next week.

Temperature and precipitation outlook as compared to average for March 23-27 (Climate Prediction Center, PivotalWeather.com) 


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