The Skiing Weatherman 4/1   West rallies…season winding down in the East

I suspect that the final installment of my work will be received with a level of resignation over the eastern United States, where the Forces of Evil, aka Spring, have conspired to keep sustaining snowfalls away from the region for several weeks now.  Some snow is headed for the Northeast next week, but it will likely be a case of too little, too late.  In the West, the season has been given a serious shot in the arm in the past week or so, thanks to a weather pattern that has delivered significant snowfalls to most of the resorts whose lifts are still turning.  There are a handful of resorts in the northern Great Lakes that plan to operate this weekend and here, too, fresh snow is in the cards in the near term.  Unlike the Northeast, where a highly variable pattern made it impossible for the growth of substantial base depths through the heart of winter, snow has been abundant in the northern Lakes, and if they care to stretch the season until the end of the month, they just might make it.

Focusing on the West, there will be several systems rotating in off the Pacific in the next week or so.  The storms are not as expansive at this time of year, and each one will have a slightly different track.  The first will impact the northern Sierra and Oregon Cascades early this weekend, with the northern Rockies of WY and MT in line next on Sunday.  A trailing system will hit far northern CA as well as OR and WA early next week, with snow also reaching ID and MT on Tuesday.  After that, a milder air mass will develop over the West, so when yet another disturbance moves ashore late next week, elevation will be critical from Tahoe northward to B.C.  The net result will be meaningful late-season snowfall across the northwestern corner of the country, as well as in adjacent Canada.  Here is a jet stream forecast for late next week, which shows the final upper trough in the series moving onshore in the Pacific Northwest.

And here is the snowfall forecast for the period from 4/15 to 4/22 

The coastal ranges will make out best, with lesser amounts due to the system weakening further inland.  In the Northeast, here is a forecast of snowfall through the 22nd…it’s not a ton, but it might be enough to help squeeze out another weekend across the north.

I hope you have enjoyed these forecast discussions as much as I have enjoyed providing them to you.  Enjoy the rest of your season!   

Regional details…         

Northwest U.S./Western Canada:  S3 snowfalls in the next week. Prospects for new snow diminish after that.

Sierra: Snow this weekend and again late next week. Storm tracks lift well to the north thereafter.    

Rockies:  Light to moderate snow in the next week between I-70 and I-80. Heavier snows stay in the northern Rockies. Pattern quiets down after the weekend of the 23rd-24th

Midwest:  Northern Minnesota and the U.P. of Michigan in line for 2-3 snowfalls in the next week. The season could stretch to early May.      

Mid Atlantic/Southeast: Time for zip lines, mountain biking, and alpine slides.

Northeast/QB: Upper trough delivers snow early next week…higher elevations favored. Lack of base snow will limit the duration of the season.      


  1. Richard Kavey says:

    Herb, Thanks for your insightful forecasts! Your a treasure for us seeking skiing pleasure. All the best!

  2. Herb, When I worked at Hidden Valley PA, in the mid 80’s I remember you told us that you bested Joel Meyers in forecasting during your college years. I have only skied 125 areas! Ogden Nutting has you beat with over 500 ski areas.

  3. Steve masse says:

    Thank you cans if you ever start a blog for forecasting New England in the off season, I will be first to sign up!!!

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