After light snow kept the rulers covered in the northern Rockies for the last few days, a more powerful and moist storm will bring higher snow amounts to this area and the central Rockies late this week. Abundant moisture is streaming into the western US on Wednesday night, which should bring good accumulations to Utah and Colorado with some locations seeing about 5-10 inches of snow.
More importantly, a piece of this storm will “hang out” over the northern and central Rockies through most of the weekend, and this will keep a cold airmass over the area. To get winter-like conditions in the spring time, we look for multiple days of cold temperatures and light to moderate snow which works to cover any sun crust that formed during the preceeding warmer days and colder nights. It looks like this exact situation will play out this weekend, with consistent light snow and cold temperatures from Friday night through Monday, mostly for eastern areas like Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. It’s hard to know exactly when the best skiing will be because it’s unlikely that we’ll see one period of heavy snow, however, conditions usually improve each day in a pattern like this, so Saturday, Sunday, and Monday should become progressively better.
A bit of snow might hang on for Monday, and then most models agree Tuesday and Wednesday will be drier. After that, that’s not much I can say, as the models show no consistency in their forecasts, so let’s hope for the best as we close out March and welcome April.
Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.
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