Forecasting Suggests Stormy End to March

Forecasting Suggests Stormy End to March

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Forecasting Suggests Stormy End to March

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Report from Powderchasers.com

STORMY END TO MARCH

03/21/2022

March has been kind to snow lovers so far, and after a short break, it will continue to do so. We just saw a moderate storm move through the Western US, delivering a solid refresh to Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado (ongoing). Big Sky was the winner with a storm total of 12″, while Grand Targhee received 10″ and Little Cottonwood 8″. Despite this storm and an active pattern so far this month, we are still below normal in most locations. First, look at the percent of normal precipitation for the last month:

(Image courtesy of HPRCC)

Outside of Colorado and the PNW, most of the region was well below normal during this time. For the season, the Snow Water Equivalent looks pretty similar.

(Image courtesy of NRCS)

Nearly everywhere is below average, except Colorado and the PNW where SWE is close to or at average. Arizona, Northern New Mexico, and Central/Southern Utah have benefited from recent storms that have tracked through the Southwest as well. There’s a large region where SWE is 80% of normal, which isn’t terrible. Here in Northern Utah, the Tetons, and most of Idaho though we definitely would like a few more powder days. After the current storm moves out of Colorado (3-7″ for the front range) we will have a break in the action.

For the 5 days ending March 26, this is what the upper level pattern will look like.

(Image courtesy of Weatherbell).

Once again you can see a ridge parked right over the Western US. However there is a small feature that will sneak over the top of the ridge during this time, impacting mainly SE BC and SW Alberta.

(Image courtesy of Weatherbell).

This will being a nice refresh to the Canadian Rockies (~3-8″). Snow totals below from the GFS.

(Image courtesy of Weatherbell).

After the ridge clears out, we return to an active pattern to close out the month. Here’s a look at the upper level pattern on the 27th from the GFS and European ensembles.

(Image courtesy of Weatherbell).

Both models show an approaching storm around this time.

Below are the GFS and European ensembles for the last day of the month also.

(Image courtesy of Weatherbell)

Solid agreement for a stormy West during this time, as this low pressure system moves onshore. These don’t look like blockbuster storms right now, but they will have some cold air along with the snow. Below is a look at the temperature departure from average towards the end of the month. You can see a wide area of below normal temps that will accompany this storm.

Image courtesy of Weatherbell)

So overall we have some more snow to look forward to. It gets a harder to find super cold storms this time of year, but often the denser snow can cover up the funky layer that develops between storms in the Spring. We will update you on the next storm in a few days.

Luke

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