Pow Alert: Has Old Man Winter returned or is he just teasing us?

Pow Alert: Has Old Man Winter returned or is he just teasing us?

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After a disappointing February for much of North America, winter has made a comeback over the last few days, dropping insane snow totals in California as well as some solid accumulation in other areas of the West. There will be some additional accumulation this week, however, spring-like temperatures will still pervade during the end of the week, creating a state of ski season purgatory here in early March. Luckily, next week looks to be much stormier.

Please note: All snow total predictions are sourced from OpenSnow.com and reflect the 5 day snow total predictions for this week.


Some huge snow totals have come in from California over the last few days. On Sunday alone, Mammoth reported 48 inches of new snow. It’s safe to say the skiing is damn good in The Golden State. Moving forward, snow showers will hit the state on Wednesday, with 1 to 2 inches expected for most of Tahoe. Then, on Friday and Saturday, a bigger storm will approach the region with forecasted snow totals of 12 to 17 inches for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Sugar Bowl, and 4 to 9 inches for Mammoth.


The scene at Mammmoth Mountain yesterday. Photo courtesy of Peter Morning/MMSA

Oregon and Washington

A weather pattern will move into the Pacific Northwest later today with fairly low snow levels of about 3,000 feet. Oregon ski areas like Mount Hood Meadows (Ski Bowl and Timberline, too) and Mount Bachelor are looking at 1 to 3 inches during the day. It will be more like a dusting for Washington.

The snow level will increase on Wednesday to about 5,000 feet with heavy snow up high and rain/snow mix down low. The highest elevations in Oregon (Timberline, for example) can expect about 8 to 16 inches. In Washington, Mt. Baker—remember, the highest elevations located primarily in the backcountry—can expect 7 to 12 inches.

Snow levels will drop again on Thursday to 4,000 feet, with another 3 to 5 inches expected over the course of the weekend.

Alberta and British Columbia

It’ll be fairly dry in Alberta this week with the exception of Thursday when a projected 2 to 4 inches of new snow is set to blanket Lake Louise, Marmot Basin and Sunshine Village.

It’s a different story in British Columbia, where a buttload of new snow is set to fall this week. From Wednesday through Saturday an expected 27 to 50 inches of snow will blanket the higher elevations of Whistler Blackcomb. Interior BC will receive lower totals, but solid accumulations nonetheless. Whitewater and Red Mountain are both expecting 8 to 17 inches through Saturday.


Suz Graham enjoys the recent conditions at Whistler Blackcomb. Photo by Logan Swayze for Coast Mountain Photography

Colorado, New Mexico and Utah

After a spring-like February, winter made a brief return over the last few days to Colorado. Tuesday and Wednesday will see some more accumulation, with 2 to 6 inches forecasted for Winter Park, Loveland, Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen Snowmass and other ski areas in the northern and central mountains. Down south, Wolf Creek is looking at 2 to 4 inches on Tuesday. Very warm temperatures will return towards the end of the week, but next week looks much stormier and cooler.

Wednesday will be the storm day for Utah, with Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Park City, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin and Solitude expecting 1 to 3 inches.

New Mexico could have a sleeper pow day on Wednesday, as a storm moves into the state on Tuesday. Four to 10 inches is forecasted for Angel Fire, while Taos Ski Valley and Ski Santa Fe are looking at 4 to 7 inches.

Welcome back Winter! @jenny_ryden_harris slashing some turns this morning at #highlands #powderday (????: @hbuckphoto )

A video posted by Aspen Snowmass (@aspensnowmass) on

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming

It should be a quiet week in the Northern Rockies. Friday night should bring 2 to 4 inches to Brundage and Tamarack, while Sun Valley is expecting 1 to 2 inches. Another storm will move in on Saturday night, dropping totals in the 2 to 4-inch range for most areas.

On Friday night, 1 to 2 inches is forecasted for Whitefish, Montana Snowbowl and Lost Trail Powder Mountain in Montana.

No significant snowfall is expected for Wyoming this week.

New England

Friday morning could be primo for Maine as a storm will move in on Thursday night. However, the storm will come with very warm temperatures, meaning the highest elevations will be where the snow falls. Sugarloaf and Sunday River can expected 3 to 7 inches up high. It will be the same story for Vermont, where skiers should head to Jay Peak or Stowe to catch the high elevation snowfall. Both areas can expect 3 to 7 inches by Friday morning. In New Hampshire, your best bet will be Cannon Mountain, Waterville Valley and Wildcat, or even some backcountry shred around Tuckerman Ravine.

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