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SnoCast: Will March Come in Like a Lion or Lamb?

Mt-High Sunshine will turn to snow time at many western peaks, including southern California's Mountain High Resorts (MtHigh/Twitter)


This first weekend of March features a more "lion-like" and snowy setup across the West, while the East sees lamb-like signs of spring time weather. Let's dig into the forecast in this week's SnoCast.


The West will turn colder and snowier this week. After a lamb-like first few days of March, the lion takes over, meaning a colder and unsettled pattern, during the upcoming weekend. Friday through Sunday, widespread mountain snow will fall periodically from the California’s Sierra, to the intermountain West and southern U.S. Rockies.

While snow totals will vary greatly from peak to peak, it's looking like a great weekend to hit the slopes across the West. 

California sees the bulk of it’s snow Friday and Saturday with 8-16”+ for the Sierra Nevadas (hey, Mammoth, Kirkwood, Bear Valley, and Dodge Ridge, and Tahoe region), and a healthy 5-10” for southern Cali’s San Gabriels and San Bernardinos (looking at you, Big Bear MountainMountain HighMt. Baldy, and Snow Valley).  

Elsewhere in the central and southern Rockies, a broad 4-8” can be expected at most mountains, with 8-12”+ over the higher peaks in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. Top spots by state likely will include Arizona Snowbowl, Purgatory, Sundance, and Jackson Hole. Here's a look at state by state totals from the National Weather Service. 

Snow tapers in the central and southern Rockies by Monday with a brief break before the next storm treks down from the Canadian Rockies, into the U.S. northern and Central Rockies by Wednesday-Friday of next week. This looks like a fairly significant storm, so be sure to check in again in next week’s SnoCast when details will be more clear.


For the East, the focus for new snow will stay in the Midwest and Great Lakes this weekend. A storm system will press northeastward through Iowa and Wisconsin, keeping a band of moderate snow on the north side of the track for parts of central Minnesota later Saturday night. A quick 2-6" of snow will fall, which, as long as the storm does not shift farther north (bringing wintry mix or rain), should be good news for places like Powder Ridge, Lutsen, and Wild Mountain.

For the northeast U.S., this same storm system will mean a warm surge late week and weekend. I suppose we can expect more of this now that we technically have entered meteorological spring, (but it doesn't mean we have to like it...).

We’ll have a decent day Friday and a warmer day Saturday with perhaps a brief burst of wintry mix as a warm front pushes through. Then by Sunday, it's straight springtime with wet weather and blustery winds expected. 

Another storm system moves up from the Ohio Valley to Mid-Atlantic Monday, which will bring a chance for snow in the far northeast and northern New England by late Monday and Tuesday. A bit early to pinpoint totals, as the track still may shift around. Early forecasts indicate snow is possible through upstate New York and parts of northern New England, with mix and rain to the south.

Colder, more seasonal temperatures should fill in for all following that storm by midweek. Check in again with the northeast forecast for next week each day (we recommend weather.gov). 


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