A snowboarder in a cloud of snow at Summit of Snoqualmie More snow ahead for the Pacific Northwest, adding to already great snow at many resorts including the Summit at Snoqualmie (SummitSnow411/Twitter)

 

2021 already looks good with storm after storm lining up in the West, and a turn to a more active pattern for the East. Here’s where to find great ski conditions through the first week of January.

 West

Get ready for a busy outlook with multiple storms parading in from the Pacific. The first of many storms this week arrives late Friday in the Pacific Northwest, bringing 3-7”of snow for many (8-15” at the passes) to the northern Cascades and British Columbia’s Coast Range, with lighter snow trickling east to Idaho and Wyoming’s Tetons. The next storm follows quickly later Saturday into Sunday with a similar trajectory, more wind, and slightly higher totals. By Monday, another storm targets areas farther south, with potential for moderate accumulation for California, Utah, and Colorado. A 4th storm follows a similar path to the 3rd by mid-late next week.

In total, the Cascades end up with 2-4 feet, while the northern Rockies and Sierras likely see 1-3 feet through mid-late next week. The forecast model below indicated general location of snow, but anticipate exact totals will change. Check the forecast often.

Best Bets: Stevens Pass, Summit at Snoqualmie, Crystal Mountain, Timberline, Schweitzer, Mammoth

Modeled snowfall in the Northwest through January 5, 2021.

East

Low pressure tracks from the lower Great Lakes Friday and rides through New England by Saturday, bringing a little of everything to the northeast--sleet, freezing rain, snow, and some light rain. However, it’s possible Saturday could be a decent day on the slopes in areas that remain all snow on the northern-most fringe of the system, from northern Michigan to northern New England and Quebec. Snow totals could range from 2-6” in areas that remain all snow, likely in northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Farther south, where ice turns to rain, use caution if travelling—it could be pretty rough in parts of southern New England, PA, and NY overnight Friday-Saturday.

NWS forecast snowfall in the Northeast though early Jan 3

NWS ice forecast in the northeast through early Jan 3

Another system tracks up the northeast coast late Sunday-Monday (Jan 3-4), with potential for localized heavier snow in interior New England.

Best Bets: Jay Peak, Smugglers Notch, Stowe, Attitash, Sugarloaf

 Modeled 24-hour snow for the next system in the northeast Monday Jan 4

 A skier glides on packed powder at Attitash Resort in New Hampshire.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead into next week (Jan 4-9), the East begins to show a shift to a colder and stormier pattern by mid-month. In the West, the beat goes on with multiple storms periodically spreading new snow over the slopes.  

Check back in every week for a new SnoCast through ski season. Also, be sure to check out the latest snow report to see conditions and safety guidelines.