Fresh Snow in the Wasatch. Spring Conditions Reign East.

This week’s message is quite simple: If you want fresh snow, head west.  If you enjoy spring skiing, the upper Midwest and East will sport those conditions much of the time through the end of the month.  That said, I do expect the East to turn a little colder early in April, but the jet stream may remain benign enough to make it tough to support a storm with fresh snow for the Easter weekend.

As usual, I will point to jet stream features to explain my forecast.  The jet stream is the hand that moves the high and low pressure systems at the surface around like chess pieces.  Here is a look at the jet stream for Wednesday of next week.

The orange humps that you see in the Pacific Northwest and over the eastern third of the country are ridges, where milder than normal air is located at roughly 15,000 feet above sea level.  Ridges produce warming at the surface, as well as a lack of storminess.  The blue features that look a bit like buckets are troughs, where colder than normal air pools and supports low pressure surface storms that produce snow.  The two lobes of the western troughs will produce snow this weekend into next week from the Sierra into the southern Rockies, and it looks the resorts of the Southwest and Colorado will enjoy another solid dose of powder after the dumping of last weekend.   The Pac Northwest has been the bullseye for much of the heavy hitters this season, but that ridge you see in that region will lead to a relatively quiet week.  No worries – base depths in this part of the country, as well in adjacent Canada, are VERY healthy and can withstand a mild spell with ease.

Now, I do think that the trough will consolidate and attempt to move into the East in about 10 days, but any time a trough runs into the back end of a ridge, the trough tends to weaken in terms of circulation and cold air, and be deflected by the ridge.  Here is a look at the jet stream for Monday morning of the 29th with the ridge moving offshore and the trough trying to force its way into the East.

The trough will tend to lift out to the northeast from where it will be on the 29th, rather than bodily move toward the coast, so although we could see a late snow event around the 29th/30th, I don’t believe that it will be a major snowfall. The upper Midwest will stand a better shot at meaningful snow from this system.  As we head through that week and toward Easter weekend, I do think that it will turn cooler in the East, but at this point, I would have to rate a fresh snowfall of significance leading into the holiday a long shot.

If you want fresh snow? Go west.  Sliding in the Midwest or East?  Grab some sunscreen.


Pac NW/B.C.:

Snow falls this weekend into early next week.  Upper ridge develops and leads to dry spell after that.

Central and southern Sierra:

Cold air keeps snow dry this weekend; some light snow early next week with slow warming later in the week as ridge expands down the coast.


Light snow this weekend and again early next week central and north.  Moderate to heavy snow Wasatch and southern resorts from a multi-day storm starting this weekend.


A mild spell settles in this weekend, turning cooler later next week.  Turning colder late next week with improving prospects for snow.


New snow prior to the weekend in the Catskills and Berkshires.  Seasonable temps and dry this weekend. Spring snow conditions rule region-wide next week.


Nice spring skiing this weekend then mild next week as ridge calls the shots.  Days limited for skiing this season.



One Comment

  1. Alan S Cort says:

    Herb – a general question for you. How quickly does weather move across the US? And is that speed the same as wind speed that may accompany the weather? Seems my local TV weather (WMUR, Manchester, NH) often talks about weather in the mid-west being overhead in NH within 24 hours. That might mean moving 1000 miles in a 24 hour period (40+ mph). Seems pretty fast to me, fast enough to cause a lot of storm damage along the way. Thanks – Alan

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