Not Quite Spring Yet. More Snow In The Forecast.

While the resorts in the Midwest and East got a solid taste of spring this week as temperatures soared well above normal for a few days, the winter weather action picked up in the West.  A cold trough spun its way down the coast from B.C. to SoCal, depositing wonderful low density snow along the way.  The highest totals came from the Sierra, thanks to the left hand turn of the trough, which brought the core of the circulation closer to the coast than it was when it passed by further north.  The trough will spin across the southern Rockies this weekend and as it does, moderate snow will fall across the western half of Colorado into Wyoming while a major dump will unfold on the Front Range, including metro Denver, so access to the fresh snow is likely to be disrupted.

Over the Midwest and East, the warmth of this week has taken at least a modest toll on trail counts at most areas, but colder air will return this weekend and potentially set the stage for fresh snow next week.  With the return of the cold air, this weekend you should seek out sunny trails in the Northeast, where the surfaces have a chance of softening up.

Next week, another low will move from the Gulf of Alaska toward Oregon and California, and snows will return to the Cascades (Monday) and Sierra (Tuesday).  That low will track eastward and blanket the Wasatch and central and southern Rockies by midweek, so the prospects for skiing and riding in the West next week are outstanding.

The pattern is going to be very active going forward, as illustrated by this jet stream map for Monday.

The blue areas are upper level storms (cold) and the orange peaks are ridges (milder).  The storm over Kansas is the one that will hit the Front Range this weekend and as it works east, we could see a surface low get pushed through the Mid-Atlantic States with high elevation snow during midweek.  You can see the storm on its heels along the west coast. That system will arrive in the eastern half of the country by Friday morning as you can see on this map.

The surface map at the same time looks like this…

From a position over the central Appalachians, the low center will head northeastward.  With the clockwise flow around the high over Minnesota helping to push cold air into the path of the storm, there is the potential for significant snow, at least at the higher elevations, over the northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast at the end of the week.  Beyond that opportunity, the pattern will remain favorable for late season snow events right through the end of the month.  This week’s warmup was just a spring mirage.


Pac NW/B.C.:

Coastal ranges in B.C. get moderate snow this weekend.  Oregon snowy early next week.  Larger storm late next week extends further inland in B.C. and throughout the WA and OR Cascades.

Central and southern Sierra:

Great weekend after fresh snow…another moderate to heavy event early next week. Rest of next week looks quiet.


Jackpot is Front Range in Colorado this weekend.  Another moderate to heavy event unfolds central and southern Rockies Tuesday/Wednesday next week.


Northern MN resorts close this week with fresh snow…rain elsewhere.  Colder air arrives this weekend will firm/preserve snow.  Snow threat across this region later next week.


“Spring Break” ends Friday.  Cold weekend firms up the snow.  Pattern looks promising for meaningful snow late next week.  Season far from over.


Colder air comes back this weekend.  Higher elevation snow potential early next week…again late in the week.

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