SnoCast: Top Season Snow Total Round-Up

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How is it already time for the final SnoCast of the season?! What a wild winter it’s been. From record snow out West, to the slow onset and sweet finish out East. From capturing those final buttery, spring turns, to pushing back closing dates. This winter will be one to remember. 

In this week's SnoCast, we’ll look back on the winter season recapping some of the highest ski area snow totals and best storms of the season. Here’s the final SnoCast of the 2022-23 winter season!

 

 

Winter Summary

This winter was third consecutive season to be influenced by La Niña, which often brings a colder and stormier pattern across the northern tier of the U.S. and parts of Canada. But this season, the typical pattern was shifted a hair, with the storm track shifted slightly farther west and south from what we would expect.

Thus, we saw a cold and snowy pattern across most of the Southwest U.S., cold but near average precipitation in the Northwest, a mild Midwest with localized lake-effect booms, a warm and wetter than average Northeast and Southeast. In the ultimate "how it started>how it's going" comparison, the images below summarize how the winter was forecast to be by NOAA, versus how it actually panned out. You can read the full NOAA winter forecast verification blog with more details. 

Top Snow Amounts

Since this winter pattern favored a super-charged storm pattern and cold across the southwest U.S., this is where we saw some of the highest totals.  California and Utah won’t soon forget this season, with numerous all-time season snow records set at ski areas. 

While not a comprehensive (nor final) list with ski season and new snow still ongoing, here's a summary of some top snow reports from this season as of April 5, 2023.   

Mammoth Mountain, CA: 704” mid lodge, peak 882” (a new record, picture (right). For perspective, the mountain averages ~400" each season)

Brighton, UT: 848” (new record)

Alta, UT: 874” (new record)

Snowbird, UT: 808”(new record)

Solitude, UT: 779” (new record)

Sugar Bowl, CA: 768” (not a record, but still a lot. Even more impressive, the base depth in early April is over 20 feet on parts of the mountain)

Many of these ski areas have had too much snow at times, causing a halt in operations to dig out or conduct avalanche mitigation. Such is the case in Utah right now, but thankfully, you can still take advantage of the snow soon. Check out our story about extended closing date for many Utah mountains, thanks to abundant snow.   

Stormy West

Beyond the record setters, we saw a colder than average winter for much of the West, helping boost snow totals. While not a comprehensive list, here are some runner-ups on impressive amounts. You can take a look at your nearest ski area or region on the SnoCountry conditions tab from the homepage.

Timberline, OR: 608” (top in Oregon)

Jackson Hole, WY: 591" (top in WY)

Summit at Snoqualmie Alpental, WA: 520”

Wolf Creek, CO: 490” (top in Colorado)

Powder King, BC: 477” (top in British Columbia)

Lookout Pass, ID: 448”

Mt Bachelor, OR: 438”

Arizona Snowbowl, AZ: 398" (still with a 10-foot base depth in April!)

Purgatory, CO: 374”

These totals really helped out the water basins with impressive snow-water equivalent tallies. Parts of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and California are running more than 150% of normal...GREAT news to put a dent in the ongoing drought.   

 

East

Okay, okay. We get it. The West had a banner year. The West is a lot higher in elevation and has a drier climate, so naturally there's more snow than the lower and more humid East, but that doesn't mean there wasn't some great skiing this season. You just had to know where to look!

Pockets of the Great Lakes region and New England had some incredible days. While the majority of winter was warmer than average, we saw one-off snow storms and lake effect influence to boost totals and bring huge powder days. In all, the East did have a below average snow season up until January, but turned around late in the season boosting snow cover in February and March. 

Here were some top totals of remaining open ski areas by state across the Northeast:

Jay Peak, VT: 349" (top tally in the East. Photo on the right from the March 14 powder day)

Mt. Bohemia, MI: 232"

Sugarloaf, ME: 171"

Bretton Woods, NH: 148"

See who's still open in the Northeast, Midwest (yes, there are a few!), and Quebec.

And while we don't want to leave out the Southeast, we've definitely had stronger seasons. Warm and wet weather dominated this year, causing much below average snow amounts. But like the rest of the East, we found some sweet times.

The season lasted a total of 138 days (38% of the year!) from start to finish: Sugar Mountain Resort and Cataloochee Ski Area (both in North Carolina) opened on November 14, 2022 and Snowshoe Mountain Resort closed it all up on Sunday, April 2.  The top ski area total went to Canaan Valley, WV with a total of 62.4", which fell short of the annual average of roughly 150". 

The Real Apres-Ski

With that, it's "apres-ski time" for me and SnoCast. I hope you have loved reading my weekly forecast updates and took advantage of new snow and amazing conditions on the slopes. 'Til next season, enjoy what's left out there, and have an amazing off season. Hope to see you again next fall when the flakes start flying again. 

-Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin

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SnoCast: March Continues To Provide ❄️❄️❄️

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As of this past Monday, it's officially spring, but winter-vibes are going strong across many U.S. and Canadian ski areas. Prolonging this "winter-to-remember", this week's forecast features more storminess and big snow to keep ski season going, particularly out West but also the East at times. 

A strong spring storm will churn through the Great Lakes, Northeast, and eastern Canada this weekend, while the Western U.S. and Canada peaks capture multiple waves of Pacific moisture right into next week. 

Let's step through the forecast details in SnoCast for March 23-29, 2023.  

 

East

While spring is certainly in the air across the East, there's still plenty of winter hanging on at ski areas. With sunshine and softening, buttery turns, this is a great time to get out and enjoy the remaining days of the season. The image at the top of this article highlights the beauty earlier this week at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, who will host its spring luau beach party on Saturday the 25th. 

In the forecast, Thursday features wet weather, but eyes are already on the weekend when a new storm system is set to move through, delivering all forms of precipitation.

The storm center travels northward through eastern Michigan, delivering 3-6" of  snow to northern Michigan Saturday. "Ahead"/East of the storm center, we'll see a burst of snow across upstate New York and New England, followed by a changeover sleet or wet mix Saturday evening. Northern Maine and norther New Hampshire will stay coldest, longest, with the best shot for more than 4" of snow--good news around Bretton Woods, Sunday River, Saddleback, and Sugarloaf.  Here's a snap shot of what to expect on Saturday night. 

On the backside of the system, colder air filters in once again, which may allow a quick 1-3" of snow to fall on the western "upslope"/windward mountain sides. Watch around the tallest New England points, like Killington, Jay Peak, Whiteface, and Stowe for snow by Sunday.  Here's a look at the snow forecast through early Sunday, March 26.

 

West

A quick perspective and stat check before we delve into the forecast. There are now several ski areas with 700" of snow on the season (shout out Alta, Brighton, and Sugar Bowl). This is 150% to nearly 200% compared to an average season. Not to overshadow, there are also several resorts throughout California and Utah that have blown past their season averages, many over 400-500"+ on the season. 

And it ain't over yet. 

This week, general "troughiness" persists across the Western U.S. with more mountain snow on the way. While lingering snow hangs at the highest peaks of CA, UT, CO, and WY Thursday before a new cold front marches in from the Pacific Thursday night, triggering renewed snow up and down the Cascades and B.C.'s Coast Range. Snow spreads inland Friday through the weekend for the Northwest, northern Sierra, and northern Rockies.

Highest snow amounts will fall in the southern Washington and Oregon Cascades with 1-2+ feet at the higher passes, and 6-12" down lower. Great news for places like Willamette Pass, Mt. Bachelor, northward to Timberline

Elsewhere around the West, a general 3-8" will add up through the weekend, with higher amounts near a foot at the peaks of the high Sierra, Utah, and Western Wyoming

A bit of a lull comes Monday before the next storm plows into the West Coast Tuesday-Wednesday of next week.  

Looking Ahead

The temperature and precipitation outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center showed a continued colder and stormier than average pattern for nearly the entire country, particularly (you guessed it) for the Southwest, including California. 

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SnoCast: A Stormy Finish to 2022

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SnoCast: First Widespread Cold Snap of the Season

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SnoCast: New Snow from Coast to Coast

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This week brought more wild swings in the weather country-wide. The West has benefited greatly with building snow cover, and the East eyes the next weekend wintry wallop. Here’s the forecast in this week’s SnoCast.

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SnoCast: Gobbling Up This Thanksgiving Weekend Forecast

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SnoCast: Snow and Chilly Temps Kick Off November

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We've gotten a taste of ski season across the U.S. and Canada this week with bursts of cold and snow. These bursts are exactly what the (ski) doctor ordered to get us that much closer to the slopes. Here's how the forecast shapes up this week. 

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A Step Back In Time: Upscale Omni Mount Washington Hotel And Bretton Woods Ski Resort

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Boston’s Ski Expo Will See New Life in Hanover This November

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After Boston’s Snowbound Festival was officially cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ray Stenson’s plan went into action.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: An Extra Day Of Winter This Year

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Congratulations! You have received an extra day of winter this year. Take advantage of February 29th because it will be awesome in many areas.

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Older Skiers Want More than Discounts

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They preach the gospel of NASTAR.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Rockies, Northeast Targeted for New Snow

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February can bring some healthy storms around North America, and this week proves that. The Rocky Mountains and Northeast have storms ahead that will keep you itching to hit the slopes. Here’s where to expect the best conditions.

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SnoCast - Final Storms of 2019 Deliver Big Snow

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For the most part, “it’s all glass,” longtime Director of Ski Operations Chris Ellms said of the gondola being built by the Austrian-Swiss Doppelmayr Garaventa Group. 

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With Enough Snow to Last Until May, Ski Resorts Consider Extending Season

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Yet only a few resorts have extended the season, with most areas still planning to shut down at their normal closing dates, some as soon as this weekend, representatives said.

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