3 minutes reading time (588 words)

SnoCountry SnoCast: Extremely Active West, Colder Turn In The East

SnoCountry SnoCast: Extremely Active West, Colder Turn In The East

Mammoth Mountain boasts 24-46" in just 24 hours as of Wednesday. A steady plume of moisture means rounds of big time snow out west. (Mammoth Mountain/Facebook)

Happy Wednesday, all. It’s the best time of the week, SnoCast time! Let’s dig into this week’s forecast and find out where the best conditions will be for hitting the slopes. 

West: A very active pattern continues--It may be hard to pick your jaw up off the ground with all the moisture surging into the western states this week. After a round of heavy snow in the California Sierra Nevada dumping 2-4 feet of snow earlier this week for some areas, a steady plume of moisture continues to surge into the west Wednesday-Thursday. This will bring continued heavy snow to the California Sierras (especially) and Cascades, with snow then spreading eastward into the Rockies through early Friday. In the interior West, look for a general 20-30" over the higher peaks of Utah and 15-30" over the Colorado Rockies. The totals are mind boggling for the California Sierras, on the order of 4-7 feet of snow in total this week for some mountains, and there's potential for more over the weekend. Oof…we’re gonna need a bigger stick to measure this stuff, I know Sugar Bowl needs it! Check out the pic from early Wednesday with snow still dumping.

Sugar Bowl snow


Here’s a check of the National Weather Service forecast through Friday evening:

snowfall totals through January 6

—and remember, there's another storm coming over the weekend with (again) a similar trajectory into California's Sierra Nevadas and spreading inward to the Rockies, and a little farther north into the Pacific Northwest states.

Yet another storm system/Low pressure hanging off the Pacific Northwest coast Saturday pumping in yet another round of moisture Sunday, but snow levels will rise significantly as warmer air surges in. Lower elevation and river flood risk becomes a concern with 10-20" of LIQUID precipitation in the cards for the Sierra Nevada through early Monday. And while we don’t encourage back country expeditions, be aware back country avalanche threat is heightened. Stay safe and check avalanche info

Check with your local news and weather service office for exact details of travel impacts with this complicated pattern over the next several days.

Liquid total precipitation from early Monday through early Wednesday. (National Weather Service)

Northeast/Midwest: Excellent conditions can be found in the northeast and Midwestern ski areas, thanks to ample recent snowfall (more than 2 feet for Sunday River and Sugarloaf last week). Despite briefly milder weather for some areas, the snow pack remains above average in upstate New York, and most of northern New England, including Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Northeast snow depths


Colder air is returning to start this forecast week (Jan 4-9), which will help generate lake effect snow. Look to all ski areas downwind (east of) the major Great Lakes- particularly in New York’s Adirondacks where 4-8” will fall through Thursday night.

Low pressure (originally responsible for some of that snow out west) will dig through the south, pulling in enough cold air for snow to reach down the Appalachian Mountain chain as far south as the Carolinas and perhaps Georgia over the weekend. The system will likely track too far east/ too far off the coast for much snow in the Northeast—at the very least, you're going to hear about all the travel trouble in the south with a wintry mix. 

'Til next week's SnoCast!

As always, shout out and a huge 'thanks!' to Lyndon State College students and snow lovers Amanda Stone, Scott Myerson, and Christopher Kurdek for their weekly forecasts and contributions to SnoCast! You guys rock!

Ski And Ride With Lift Tickets Under $60
Maine Resorts Revel In Holiday Snowfall