The days are getting longer, it's daylight savings time and the snow is softening: Spring is on the way, and that means it's festival time at ski resorts all across SnoCountry.
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe boasts the deepest overall base depth of any resort in the West with nearly 220" left on the ground, and a season total of nearly 750." There has been near record amounts of snow for the central Sierra Nevada range for the 2016-17 ski season. (Mt Rose Ski Tahoe/Twitter)
We continue to dig deeper into spring, but ski areas continue to press on. This week, we look to the Northwest U.S. for the best chance of new snow and fresh turns. But, cold enough temperatures at night in the Northeast may allow the ski season to continue for another week or more for some determined ski areas in the Northeast.
Here’s what to expect in the forecast for April 12 -17.
Western U.S.: We have to look to the Northwest part of the country to see fresh snow this week. Parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and some of Wyoming are in luck with this next storm system to roll through. Wednesday night through Thursday, expect snow to develop over the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and northern Rockies. Snow levels will generally be at or over 5500’ for this system. Expect a general 4-8” of new snow at many ski areas, with locally a foot or more for the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and also the higher mountains in Idaho by the end of the week.
On a side note, it has been an incredible year for snow over the Western mountains. The Central Sierra have about twice normal precipitation levels for this time of year, near the record pace of the '82-83 season. This has left current base depths deep enough to keep the season going strong well into spring for many Western resorts.
To see all ski areas open:
In the Rockies, click here
In the Northwest, click here
In the Southwest, click here
Eastern U.S. / Midwest: As I alluded to in last week’s SnoCast, the seasons are choosing sides. The cold is still left in the West, but spring has thoroughly sprung for the east. It’s been an awesome run this year for northeast ski areas with plenty of big dumps, but unfortunately this week is going to make it tough for ski areas to hang on much longer with several resorts targeting their last days. Temperatures will continue to be warm and spring-like by day, but still dip near the freezing mark at night. For those determined ski areas that keep going, snow blowing may be possible a few nights this week in the northeast and New England, but little or no natural snow is expected in the forecast. Hey! The best news of all, for those apres-ski and pond skimming events coming up, the weather looks absolutely perfect!
To see all ski areas open:
In the Northeast, click here
In the Midwest, click here
There are no Southeast region ski areas still turning chairs this season. See ya next year .
Canada: Much like in the U.S., all the cold air this week will be confined to the western part of the country. Snow will overspread the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta Thursday, and continue periodically into the weekend. Generally 4-8” of new snow can be expected, with locally a foot or more over the higher peaks. Meanwhile, in the East, it’s going to be tough to get much (if any) natural snowfall in the next 3-6 days at least. Temps will be near freezing overnights, but reach into the 40s and 50s by day for Southern Ontario and Quebec for the next several days.
To see all the ski areas open in Canada, click here
Look above at the model snowfall forecast image for a peek at possible snow amounts for Western Canada.
Finally, we'll cap it off with a mid-range forecast. Here’s a look at the temperatures outlook for the 6 -10 day forecast (April 17-21, 2017) from the Climate Prediction Center. Looks like there will still be cold air left in the Northwest and California, perhaps to bring in more snowfall with each passing system. Also in New England, blue on the image means colder than normal air. Otherwise, spring warmth builds in for next week.
That's all for this week's SnoCountry SnoCast, skiers and riders! Enjoy it while it lasts!
-Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin
Well, it’s an annual rite of spring at Vail. The wet and wild day is April 15, 2012, sponsored by Rockstar energy drink. Vail is not alone, either.