Want to feel like a Jackson local? Read this quick overview about Jackson Hole’s geography and weather patterns and you’ll be on your way.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located 12 miles northwest from the town of Jackson and is situated on the east side of the Grand Teton mountain range. This range is one of the most iconic and photographed in all of the United States and is anchored by the Grand Teton itself, rising to 13,775 feet. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort extends from a valley base at 6,311 feet to a summit elevation of 10,450 feet. There is plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain, but Jackson Hole is best known for its consistent pitch with a vertical rise of over 4,000 feet.
Understanding the location of mountain ranges is important because big mountains create their own weather. Air is forced to rise over these masses of rock, and as the air rises it cools and moisture condenses into snow. This is called orographic lift and it’s the most important factor when forecasting powder.
If you’re looking at a weather map searching for the next storm heading toward Jackson Hole, keep your eyes peeled for storms that bring winds from the southwest, west or northwest. These winds all provide good orographic lift and pump plenty of snow into Jackson Hole.