It was an amazing week weatherwise across much of the U.S. A week that has kept me at my desk for hours looking over the numerous records that havefallen by the wayside.
The change in the weather pattern for the west has been right on track, but first, parts of southern California, Arizona and New Mexico had to deal with some heavy rain. A record breaking 5-10 inches of rain fell in southern California with snow levels rising to above 7,000-8,000 feet at such ski resorts as MammothMtn. Later in the week as freezing levels fell, Mammoth was able to pick up 11" of snow. Further north however, Heavenly, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood received anywhere from 1-2 feet of blessing snowfall helping to final reverse the poor conditions that have plagued that region for more than a month. Much of Utah received 5-12 inches over the past week. Snowbird, Utah has now received 235 inches for the winter. This is still below normal, but conditions have improved some. Skiing in Colorado is improving with Beavercreek seeing 18" of snow and Breckenridge and WInterpark around 8-10 inches.
In Canada, Fernie received close to 16 inches the past 7 days with Whistler about a foot. Northern B.C. saw lighter amounts with Red Mountain and Panorama under about 6". Alberta is still suffering from below normal snowfall conditions. Sunshine Village did manage to pick up around 14" the last few days, but most other areas have seen less than 3-5 inches.
Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee still can claim some of the best skiing in the nation with another 2 feet this past week.
In the east, record cold weather and an historical snowstorm has been pounding the eastern U.S. Jay Peak recorded 23 inches last week and Stowe/Smugglers' Notch/Sugarbush and Mad River Glen in Vermont anywhere from 12-18". Record breaking cold of -20 to -30 degrees shattered records set back in 1987---theanalog year we have used all winter to forecast some of the earlier dryness out west and the cold winter in the east.
The latest storm will go down in the record books as being the 2nd worst ever at Baltimore, Maryland and in the top 6 in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Ski conditions across Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and New Jersey are the best in many years. Canaan Valley, W. Virginia has seen three feet the last 7 days with many ski resorts in the Poconos 1-3 feet.
FORECAST---through February 23rd..
As the big east coast storm moves into the Atlantic, snows will spread as far north as Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire and Stowe, Vermont where at least 3-6" will fall by Tuesday. The Berkshires and southern White and Green Mountains will see up to a foot or snow. Skiing will be incredible in most of the east this week. A return to warmer weather will make things much more bearable with temps warming into the 20's in northern New England and 30's in the south by midweek. A new storm will slide up the east coast this weekend bringing a mixture of snow, freezing rain and rain. A real mess may develop by Saturday. With the warmer weather and then the return to below normal temps next week, much of the recent powder may become solidified given the freeze-thawing we expect later this week and over the weekend. Heavy rains could pound southern New England this next weekend.
Out west, the change in the weather pattern we advertised a week ago will bring normal to above normal snowfall in many areas. Two separate weather systems have the chance to bring well over a foot of snow to Colorado, Utah, the Sierras and Cascades this week. The first weather system will affect Colorado through Tuesday with 4-12 inches of snow.
A much more powerful storm will smash into British Columbia by Wednesday (see first map). This first map shows low pressure to the west of B.C. The darker green represents potential snowfall of at least 6-12" across the Cascades and B.C. by Wednesday. Freezing levels will not be a problem at all this week.
Anywayy, this system will dive across Nevada, Utah and Colorado by Thursday bringing at least 6-12" of snow. I think some places around Tahoe/Squaw Valley will see 1-2 feet adding to the foot of snow from this last week and bringing a return to good ski conditions.
The second map valid for Friday shows the storm system moving from west of B.C. to southern Colorado (L). The large area of green across the Colorado and northern New Mexico suggests a foot or more of snow in many areas with a 40% chance for places such as Aspen, Vail, and for the most part, most areas in central and southern Colorado seeing 1-2 feet of snow by Friday. Even Utah will see snow from this system.
As bitter cold weather moves into Alberta and B.C. by the end of the week and weekend, this will push moisture into the northern Rockies as well with much of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming seeing at least 6-12" of snow by the weekend.
I think I timed by ski trip to Tahoe pretty perfectly two weeks ago. I will be heading out there in early March and most indications are for a big improvement in western skiing through at least the end of the month. I look for several important chances of snow at Whistler to Fernie over the next 2-3 weeks with severalfeet likely as well. Back-Country skiing in both New England much of the Rockies and B.C. will be improving this week.
Go to www.bestskiweather.com for discounted ski passes in Vermont and tons of free weather, plus our long range forecast for February issued several weeksago.