SnoCountry SnoCast: A Battle of Seasons In The Forecast
Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine is loving this Spring so far with a fresh 5-10" of snow from Tuesday-Wednesday this past week. A good base depth is essential to keep the lifts turning into this second week of April (Sugarloaf/Twitter)
Spring keeps on springing surprises at us! In this week’s SnoCast, Old Man Winter makes a return to western US, while Mother Nature insists Spring is on the way in the east.
Here’s what to expect in the forecast April 5-10.
Western U.S.: The ski season is alive and well in the Western U.S. Much higher snowpack than normal remains on the ground for the mountains, which could mean ski resorts may choose to keep turning the lifts later into the year. Check out the new snow at Keystone Resort earlier this week, with 8 inches in 24 hours. Keystone plans to stay open through at least April 16.
As for the forecast, we have more snow on tap for many mountains Friday and Saturday as strong Low pressure churns off the Pacific Northwest coast. This will pump in ample moisture from the ocean, a mean deep snowfall for much of the Sierra Nevada range, and the Cascades. Look for a fresh 1-2 feet at many mountains, with some of the higher peaks in the Sierras receiving 3-4 feet of new snow. The downside? There will also be a lot of wind with this storm, so chairs may have wind holds periodically, and you will absolutely need layers and goggles.
Some of that snow will spread inward, providing the peaks of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado with anywhere from 4-10” through the weekend. Here’s a look at a computer model forecast of snowfall totals through the weekend for the West. (Remember, a computer model gives a rough estimate of expected snow, not exact. Local small, terrain features can’t be deciphered well with computer models, actual totals will vary).
Eastern U.S. / Midwest: Following last week’s snowstorm in New England, many ski areas have had some great spring turns to offer. Check out the slopes here at Sunday River, where their season snowfall total is up to 212" as of Wednesday. A good base is going to be essential to keep the season going in the Northeast.
This week, a strong storm system will impact the Midwest and Northeast from Thursday to Saturday but will bring both white and wet conditions... it's all about location. Ski areas on the north and west side of the storm (like in Michigan and Western Pennsylvania) will be cold enough to get snow. Unfortunately, most other areas of the Northeast will have to deal with liquid precipitation Thursday and Friday. In fact, it may be a tough stretch for New England ski areas through most of this storm, but there will be a brief return to colder temps gradually Saturday. This will hopefully allow the mountains to turn back over to snow for several hours before the storm winds down. If you plan to hit the slopes, make sure you’ve got the waterproof gear handy. Let’s see how well those base depths hold up as we round this second week of April.
Canada: This will be a great week for Canadian ski areas. The storm mentioned in the “East” section, may have just enough cold air on the northern side of the storm to bring good totals to our Ontario and Quebec ski areas, just in time for the weekend. Totals will generally range from 10-20cm, with locally up to 30cm, through the end of the weekend for ski areas north of the St Lawrence valley. The snow may be a bit wet and heavy so make certain your gear has a waterproof layer.