New year, new snow for the Pacific Northwest, California, and portions of the Rocky Mountains
It’s a brand New Year and today, much of the Western USA is getting a much-needed refresh. Being a La Nina year, the Pacific Northwest is doing remarkably well along with the Northern Rockies (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho). Colorado has been slightly below average snowfall wise but today, snow showers are affecting large swaths of the central and northern mountains. In California, they got pounded over the last 7 days with Squaw Valley scoring almost two feet of fresh.
As we move through the week, expect Jackson Hole, Big Sky, and Grand Targhee to score big time while Colorado gets moderate snowfalls with Steamboat favored as the storm track is being pulled north by the jet stream. We’ll let Chris Tomer take care of the forecasting for the rest of the week.
Top 5 72 Hour Snow Totals [USA]
- Jackson Hole – 24″
- Mt Bachelor – 20″
- Schweitzer – 20″
- Grand Targhee – 18″
- Snowbird – 10″
Idaho + Montana
NOAA SHORT RANGE FORECAST DISCUSSION:
…Heavy precipitation continues to impact northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and into the northern/central Rockies…
…Light snow is forecast for the northern/central Plains Tuesday night into Wednesday as showers and thunderstorms develop near the western Gulf Coast…
A lull in the active weather is currently settling into the Pacific Northwest as the antecedent frontal system moves farther inland across the northern and central Rockies. However, more active weather systems from the northeastern Pacific Ocean will bring additional heavy precipitation into much of the Pacific Northwest for the next couple of days. This next
episode of heavy precipitation is forecast to arrive later today, resulting in an additional 6 to 12 inches of snow across the Olympic and Cascade mountains into parts of the northern Rockies through Wednesday. Meanwhile, rainfall amounts of up to 3 inches are possible along the Coastal Ranges of Washington and Oregon to the immediate coast before this latest episode of heavy rain lets up by Thursday morning.
In the meantime, the aforementioned frontal system is forecast to bring a period of snow across the northern and central Rockies today before reaching the Plains tonight. Up to a few inches of snow can be expected over the northern Plains tonight into Wednesday as a weak low pressure system dips toward the southeast. The snow may mix with rain during the day. The main energy of this system will then slide further southeast into the southern Plains as return moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will begin to fuel thunderstorms across eastern Texas ahead of a low pressure system forming along the front early on Wednesday. Chances of thunderstorms will increase eastward across the Deep South into Thursday morning as the storm system intensifies.
Powerful storms continue to bring heavy rain, heavy mountain snow, high winds, and dangerous surf for much of the western states. A weak system in the East will bring areas of light snow from the Appalachians to the Northeast. pic.twitter.com/iEzGSiAlqx
— National Weather Service (@NWS) January 5, 2021
Get ready for fresh tracks. Ski.com’s Mountain Travel Experts are here to help you plan and book everything for the perfect ski vacation. Call 800-610-8911 or fill out a brief form to receive a quote in your inbox >>.