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: Storms in the East; West (Finally) Settles

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The West finally settles down after an extremely active stretch, while the East prepares for three storms this upcoming week. Here's the forecast scoop in this week's SnoCast. 

East

On Thursday, a storm continues to lift northeastward through the Great Lakes, delivering blustery winds and a healthy 6-12" of snow for parts of northern Michigan and Wisconsin. Great news for Midwest ski areas around Granite Peak, WhitecapShanty Creek, and Big Powderhorn

This same system shifts to the Northeast later Thursday-Friday, delivering much-need 5-10"+ of snow for northern New England ski areas, with highest amounts in northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Look to Jay Peak, Burke Mountain, Loon, Sunday River and others nearby.

Unfortunately, warmer air sneaks in from the south generating a wintry mix parts of the Catskills, Poconos, and Berkshires with slick travel expected. 

Colder air returns for all through Friday with light upslope snow lingering across the northern Appalachians, which will be followed up by a beautiful weekend for skiing and riding. Get out and love it! 

A second system will track up the Appalachians to interior New England Sunday through Monday (1/22-23). This time, the rain/snow line threatens to bisect New England from southwest to northeast, so most likely areas to see snow remain across northern Pennsylvania , New York, Vermont and perhaps northern New Hampshire. Keep monitoring as the rain/snow line will shift based on the exact storm track. 

A brief lull Tuesday, before yet another storm targets the Northeast by mid-next week with another good chance of snow for the north. A bit too far out to talk amounts, but at this point, any snow is good snow.

 

West

After an unbelievably active stretch, the West finally appears to have a break in view. With nearly a dozen separate storms since late December, California and Utah have had huge totals, now topping some 300-400" on the season (in some cases more, including Alta at 426" and Brighton at 412"!). Excellent news for the snowpack and water resupply out West.

On Thursday, a cold front continues to sag across southern California toward the Southwest U.S. with snow drifting over the four-corners states by Friday. Expect a general 2-6" of snow for the Arizona, southern Colorado, and New Mexico mountains to round out the week. 

Most of Saturday looks pleasant to hit the slopes, albeit breezy over the Rockies.

 A system drops in from western Canada and the northern U.S. Rockies by Saturday night-Sunday with potential for 5-10" in the Washington Cascades, and a fresh 2-6" for Oregon and Idaho before slowly drifting down the northern Rockies by Monday.

This will open to the door and allow much colder air to spill in for much of the West next week.

Check in again each Thursday for a new SnoCast. Until then, happy skiing and riding!

- Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin

 

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SnoCast: A Stormy Finish to 2022

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As we say farewell to 2022, we also say hello to more storms and mountain snow across the West and a warm up in the East. Details on ski conditions ahead in this week's SnoCast. 

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SnoCast: Grateful for Sun and New Snow

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The holidays are officially here and so is ski season. Once you've finished up your Thanksgiving feast, gobble up the latest forecast in this week's SnoCast. 

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SnoCast: First Widespread Cold Snap of the Season

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Hallelujah! After a wild weather week, Mother Nature is about to chill out...literally. Following hurricane remnants in the East and a blizzard in the Plains, the first cold snap of the season will deliver a much needed jolt to kickstart ski season.

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SnoCast: Who’s Getting Lucky on the Slopes?

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Don't get too excited...we're talking about the weather forecast. This St. Patrick’s Day, many ski areas will feel extra lucky with new snow for some, and soft, buttery spring-like turns for others. Here’s the outlook in this week’s SnoCast.

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Ski Mag Ranks The Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.

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From Vermont's classic glades to the powder-choked bowls of the West, the destinations on this list will delight skiers of all stripes.

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13 Of The Best Family Ski Resorts For All Ages And Skill Levels

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Getting kids on skis;as early as possible can be rewarding for a lifetime of skiing. But planning a ski trip — especially with kids in tow — isn’t as easy as just picking up and going. Instead of just “following the snow,” you’ll want to pick a ski mountain that truly caters to kids — one that offers top-notch ski lessons, kid-friendly trails and many off-the-snow activities as well.

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SnoCast: Looking for December Snow?

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After a mild fall, we’re hoping December brings the colder and snowier change we’ve all been waiting for. Check out what’s in store in this week’s SnoCast forecast.

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SnoCast: A Stormy Western Pattern; Mild Conditions in the East

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 A series of storms will target the West this week with some of the heaviest snow yet of the season in the Sierras, while the East continues to bask in mild temperature. Here are the details in this week’s SnoCast.

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Several Buyers Interested In Jay Peak, Burke Mountain

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After attempts to sell the Jay Peak ski area were halted at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, sale discussions have been taking place with several interested parties this year, according to an update from the receiver appointed after the former owner was accused of fraud in 2016.

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Vermont Ski Areas Loaded With Fall Events, Activities

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Autumn in Vermont is hard to beat. Fall foliage, brewfests and flannels make for the quintessential New England experience. Many of Vermont's ski areas will be hosting brewfests and Octoberfests as well as providing scenic chairlift rides for leaf peeping. 

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Vermont's Ski Areas Share Anticipated 2021-22 Opening Dates

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Vermont’s ski resorts are posting their anticipated opening dates for the 2021-22 ski and snowboard season.

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SnoCast: Strong Sun for Early April Turns

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It’s sad, but true and time to face the fact there’s only so much ski season left. Whether you’re a die-hard to last chair, a pond-skimmer, or seeking out the best spring turns in a windbreaker, here’s what to expect weather-wise during the first week of April.

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SnoCast: New Snow for the Turn Into Spring

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Can you believe it? The final days of winter have come. As spring officially arrives Saturday, we’ll enjoy mild turns in the East, while winter refuses to let go in the West. Forecast details in this week’s SnoCast.

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Even As Spring Arrives, Powder Days Can Be Found

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Spring break is upon us which, sadly, means the end is near. But it's still snowing and, with the right conditions, there should be plenty of powder to track up.

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SnoCast: Big Snow Targets the Rockies

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A storm system will bring heavy snow to the western mountains, especially the Colorado Rockies this weekend as a cold and stormy pattern persists. On the flip side, the East enjoys mild and spring-like conditions. This week’s SnoCast has the details through St. Patrick’s Day week.

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SnoCast: Parade of Storms Will Kick Off 2021

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2021 already looks good with storm after storm lining up in the West, and a turn to a more active pattern for the East. Here’s where to find great ski conditions through the first week of January.

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SnoCast: Gobbling Up the Holiday Weekend Forecast

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With several more ski areas opening up for the holiday week, the ski season is well underway. We're seeking out the snow and cold air to keep flakes flying. Here’s where to expect great conditions this holiday weekend.

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