In early January, the most snow and cold air have been in the east, but that will switch during the second week of January when all of the west sees powder between January 8-12th. The weather pattern will likely be dry across the country for a few days between about the 14-16th, then a parade of storms should hit the western US and Canada as we head into late January.
Short Term Forecast
The major east-coast storm of January 5-6 is now behind us, and it looks like the best snow will transition to the western US and Canada through the middle of January.
The snow forecast for Monday, January 8th through Friday, January 12th shows the deepest powder in the northwest, around Washington, British Columbia, Montana, and Wyoming. That said, significant snow will also fall in California, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.
While much of the central Rockies have seen below-average snowfall this season, this week’s powder should help to create rather fun conditions on the terrain that is open.
Coming up on Saturday and Sunday, January 13-14, we should experience a break in the snow for most areas. The exception will be light snow lingering along and east of the continental divide in the northern Rockies, and also on the backside of a storm over the Great Lakes.
Unfortunately, the front side of the storm over the Great Lakes will produce rain over the east coast. This will not make for the most fun skiing weather on Friday or Saturday, but all areas have an excellent base, and 48 hours of warmer weather shouldn’t hurt the snowpack too badly.
Following a few days of calm weather across the US and Canada, between about Sunday the 14th and Tuesday the 16th, most models agree that a series of storms and colder air will move into the west coast and then into the western Rockies.
This parade of storms is still 10+ days away, so we can’t know any details of which mountains and which days will get the most snow. The main takeaway is that the pattern looks reasonably stormy as we head in the final third of January, which means there could be some very good skiing later this month across the west.