Detailed Forecast

Weekly North America Forecast – Powder for All as Storms Hammer the Northwest

Written Thursday morning 7th March (Pacific Time)

The last 7-days have topped the charts this season, after a major storm impacted the West early in the period. Massive numbers were reported in the Sierras, Cascades and central and northern Rockies, the highest of which was at Sugar Bowl in northern California where a whopping 330cm of snow fell.

Snow depths are now average or above for this time of year over the South, from Oregon, to southern Idaho and Wyoming southwards. It was a welcome perk-up for the North with deep powder on offer, despite snow depths still remaining below average there.

The next 7-days will see the entire West adding another decent layer of powder to the snowpack. After some initial light snowfall in the South, a series of active fronts will hammer the Canadian Coast Mountains before pushing inland and southwards. Each front, about three in total, will extend its reach further into the south, eventually hitting the central and southern Rockies during Tuesday and Wednesday.

This is my last forecast of the 2023-2024 North American snow season. It’s been a blast and a real pleasure to have been a part of it all. Hopefully I’ve helped you in some way or another to score the goods while also staying safe. Although I’m heading into hibernation until the southern hemisphere winter arrives, there’s still plenty more skiing to be done here. Snow depths are still building and some resorts are only just reaching peak season now. So go get amongst I say!

Snowfall accumulations (cm) for the next 7-days. Note, snow depths are calculated using the Kuchera Ratio, which uses is a linear function of the warmest temperature in the lower half of the atmosphere. Compared to the traditional 10:1 ratio, the Kuchera is generally more accurate. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL 

Thursday 7th & Friday 8th of March

Low pressure drifting eastwards over the south today and tomorrow will bring mostly light snowfall to the region, from the Sierras to Wyoming southwards.

However, slightly heavier falls will show up in parts of the Rockies where it’ll also be the most consistent, persisting through Friday while other areas clear. The largest accumulations are expected in southeast Wyoming (e.g. Snowy Range), Colorado, and New Mexico, where up to 15-25cm should fall, although up to 35-40cm could fall at Wolf Creek in the San Juan Mountains, southern Colorado.

A much colder, drier airmass currently sits over the north, but resorts there will undergo a warming trend as winds blow in from the Pacific, ahead of a front that pushes into the Canadian coast today. This front will kick off a couple of days of heavy snowfall in the Coast Mountains, while light to moderate falls make it inland into the northern Canadian Rockies.

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Thursday & Friday (PT). Note: the Kuchera ratio is used here too. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th of March

The tail end of the front pushing into the Canadian Coast will whip over the Cascades, and northern Rockies during Saturday. A second front will follow close behind, passing over these same northern areas on Sunday.

The result will be periods of moderate to heavy snowfall in the Coast Mountains and Cascades throughout the weekend, and in the northern Sierras/Tahoe later on Sunday. Resorts in the northern Rockies, from the Sawtooth Range of Idaho northwards, will see periods of light-moderate snowfall.

Remaining snowfall in Colorado and New Mexico eventually clears up Saturday as high pressure settles in over the Central-Southern Rockies.


Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Saturday & Sunday (PT). Note: the old-school ratio of 10:1 is used here so values maybe underdone. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th of March

Snowfall continues across the north during Monday, with light falls also showing up as far south as Utah and Colorado, while the Tetons could also see moderate snowfall.

Later on Monday, a new front enters the northwest, with another round of heavy snowfall for the Coast Mountains, Cascades and northern Sierras through to early Tuesday.

This new front also brings another round of snowfall to the northern and central Rockies as it pushes inland during Tuesday. Snowfall will hang on in the central Rockies during Wednesday and spread to the southern Rockies, while they dry up elsewhere in the West as high pressure enters the north.

Snowfall accumulation (cm) for Monday through Wednesday (PT). Note: the old-school ratio of 10:1 is used here so values maybe underdone. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL 

Extended Outlook

High pressure is likely to bring a quiet spell to the West from next Thursday (14th March) through the following weekend. The only potential action is at the edges of this high, in the far north and southern Rockies.

High pressure may continue to dominate over the North the following week, starting Monday 18th March, while it wanes over the South, potentially opening the door for more snowfall there.

7-day pressure anomalies starting next Monday 18th of March (PT), showing snowfalls are likely to show up in the South, while high pressure dominating the North will likely keep a lid on things. Source: ECMWF, WeatherBELL

That’s all from me today, and for the season, folks. See you all soon in Australia and New Zealand.



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