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SnoCast Returns For the 2022-23 Winter Season

ArizonaSnowbowl_tw_101622 The seasons collide at Arizona Snowbowl as an early season snow blankets the beautiful fall colors on October 16 (Arizona Snowbowl/Twitter)


Another winter season is nearly here, and that means we're gearing up for another season of SnoCast. This weekly weather blog takes a deep-dive into the forecast, seeking areas of great ski and ride weather from coast to coast. 

Whether you're seeking fresh powder or sunny, bluebird days, Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin breaks down the technical weather pattern into simple, understandable forecast information, summarizing the forecast across the Western U.S., the Midwest, and the Eastern ski zones.  Each Thursday, check in for a new forecast honing in on the upcoming weekend, and a glance ahead at the pattern for the following week to help guide your plans. 

With that, let's get started with a glance backward, then forward. As the fall colors shine bright and we enjoy the change of seasons, we've seen both natural and manmade snow on both sides of the country already. In the East, a late September chill offered up light natural snow for the Northeast, including over the higher peaks of the New York's Adirondacks. The West has enjoyed an overall mild Fall season, so we must look up in elevation to find naturally colder air. This time of year, elevation helps higher ski areas fire up the snow machines to lay a base, including at Loveland Ski Area where snowmaking efforts continue since mid-October.  

mountain side with trees and light snow


 Forecast (Oct. 20-26)

A U.S. map with lines of constant pressure at 500 mb.


Following a warm week in the West, we'll see a much colder pattern and our first significant widespread mountain snow develop Saturday through Monday as a trough digs in across the West. A trough in the atmosphere is an indicator of lower pressure, and often stormier and colder conditions.  Snow will fall across the colder, higher elevations of the Pacific Northwest starting late Friday through Saturday, before spreading south and east to the northern Rockies (Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado) by Sunday and Monday. Broadly, anywhere from 4-10" of snow falls across these western mountains, with locally more at the tallest peaks.

This early snow may reveal the "first-to-open" this week, particularly for those ski areas with snowmaking in full swing. It's often a race between Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Keystone, and Wolf Creek each season, but it's anyone's race. 

Drier, milder weather returns Tuesday, before another system charges in from the Pacific mid-late week, hinting at additional light-moderate mountain snow. A welcome forecast after a very warm, dry Fall for this region. 

U.S. map with modeling snowfall indicated by colors


For the East, we find ourselves in the first significant cold snap of the season with frosty conditions as far south as the Gulf Coast and Southeast, and potential for one night of earl-season snowmaking Thursday night This is the same cold snap that dumped a foot of snow over the UP of Michigan earlier this week.


Like a see-saw, as the West cools, milder temperatures and mainly dry conditions rebound in the East through the weekend and much of next week. There will be limited chances for snow or snowmaking as temperatures remain above average for the East next week. 

Side by side maps of the US with colorized polygons indicating areas of above and below average precipitation and temperatures


Check back in each Thursday throughout the winter for a new SnoCast, and you can keep watch on our snow reports page as ski areas start to open.


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