Grasshopper’s Weekly North American Forecast – January 2 – 2020 Blasting Off In The North

January 3rd, 2020

ECMWF model forecast. Source:


Mountainwatch | The Grasshopper

2020 blasting off in the north

The first week of 2020 is set blast off in the north. Weather systems targeting the Coast Mountains of Canada are expected to dump about a metre or more over the next four days, from Thursday to Sunday.

Accumulations will progressively dwindle the farther south we look, with only a few centimeters settling around Lake Tahoe, while the Rockies of Canada and Idaho should see a wholesome 30-45cm.

This is welcome news for resorts in the Coast Mountains and Cascades who are only sitting on about half the amount of snow they usually are at this time of year.

Next week will see weather systems targeting the north again, but a little more of the love will make it farther south, albeit in lesser quantities.

Thursday, Jan 2 – Sunday, Jan 5 – It’s all happening in the north

To start with, we’re at the tail end of that monstrous N-NW flow that has sent snow across nearly the entire North American Cordillera, leaving out only the Sierras. All that remains of this weather system are spurious, light snowfalls through the Rockies today, Thursday.

At the same time today, we usher in the next system in the form of a low, spinning off the coast of B.C. Snowfalls will gradually ramp up over the Coast Mountains and Washington, becoming heavy after dark while penetrating inland to the Rockies as far south as Idaho and Montana.

Snow levels become an issue on Friday as warm SW winds pile onto these areas mentioned above, with rain likely below 1500m or so. Higher up though, it’ll be honking down on the Coast Mountains.

Fortunately, the backside of the low will eventually hit Friday night and temperatures will plummet. Heavy snowfalls will lower to base levels early Saturday, while also extending south through Oregon, with lighter falls also clipping the Sierras as far south as Lake Tahoe.

Snowfalls will pin back later on Saturday, before the next push from the Pacific escalates things during Sunday, with more heavy falls in the Coast Mountains and Cascades, and lighter falls reaching Lake Tahoe again as well as the Rockies as far south Colorado and Utah.

Monday, Jan 6 – Wednesday, Jan 8 – Spreading a little love farther south

Another low in the Gulf of Alaska sends another gnarly S-SW flow over the northwest during Monday, with heavy snowfalls kicking up over the Coast Mountains during the latter half of the day, with lighter falls reaching Washington and the Canadian Rockies.

As the low makes its way inland, a front extending well to the south will spread moderate-heavy snowfalls down through the Cascades and northern Sierras during the latter half of Tuesday. Lighter falls will also spread down into the southern Sierras and through the Rockies into Utah and Colorado during Wednesday, while things ease elsewhere.

That’s it from me guys, see you next week. Happy 2020!