Snow has been below average for parts of the West but this week features a big change. (Brighton Resort/Facebook)

A much colder and snowier weather pattern returns to the West with feet of snow while the East warms up with more mixed precipitation.

Western U.S. & Canada

This is the best outlook for the entire West this season so far. The weather pattern is turning much colder and snowier. Beginning Thursday, a very strong low pressure system will be slamming British Columbia to northern California with heavy snow and wind.

Weather map Thursday, January 18. (NOAA/NCEP)

On Friday the system will move southeast into Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Saturday it will glide across Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Sunday-Tuesday those same areas will receive yet another strong storm system.

Snowfall through Tuesday, January 23. (

During the period, snowfall tallies will reach/exceed 3-5 feet across the Sierras near Tahoe and 2-4 feet across the Cascade-Coast Ranges including Crystal Mountain in Washington and Cypress Mountain in British Columbia. Much lower but respectable snowfall amounts are likely inland with 12-18” across many areas.

Eastern U.S. & Canada

The outlook is mainly dry, warmer, with another round of rain turning to snow. Fresh snow from Wednesday the 17th can be enjoyed Thursday-Sunday. It will be breezy as temperatures slowly warm each day. Light snow showers with totals of 3-7” are likely in Ontario and Quebec during that time.

Sunday looks to be the best day for skiing and riding with the most comfortable temperatures and lightest winds. Monday/Tuesday a wintry mix of rain and snow will move through the East. Most of this will be rain changing to snow, but heavy snow will fall in the Midwest (Spirit MountainAfton Alps, and Nordic) 6-12” expected for parts of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Weather map Monday, January 22. (NOAA/NCEP)

The pattern looks warmer than average through the end of January for most of the East.

Lyndon State College seniors Philomon Geertson and Liam Kelleher contributed to this article.