This article was originally posted on by Meteorologist Joel Gratz.

The atmosphere is playing favorites during the early part of the season with consistent snow piling up in the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. The base depth is already 150-250% of average in some areas, and another 1-3 feet of snow will likely fall from November 13-20th.

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Short Term Forecast

I have been talking about the plentiful snow in the northwest and the northern Rockies for weeks. Let’s take a look at some pictures.

The scene from the summit of Jackson Hole, Wyoming looks very much like winter.

The orange line on our Base Depth tracker shows that the depth of natural snowfall at Jackson Hole is approaching record numbers for this time of the season, coming in at 242% of average.

Further north at Big Sky, Montana, there is an equally snowy scene.

The Base Depth tracker for Big Sky shows 191% of average.

These are big numbers and they are only going to get deeper.

Looking ahead to the weather for the next 1-2 weeks, you guessed it, more snow for the northwest and the northern Rockies.

From November 13-15th, the snow will stick to the northwest, perhaps extending south to northern California.

Then later in the week, from November 16-18th, the storm track will dip south and should spread snow from the northwest through the Sierra and the central Rockies, which is especially good news for places like Utah and Colorado that need additional accumulation as their snowpack is below average for most mountains.

Extended Forecast

Looking ahead to early in the week of Thanksgiving, the most snow will fall in the corners of North America, in the northwest and the northeast.

Further out in time, in the days around and just after Thanksgiving, it appears that the storm track will stay focused on the corners of North America. The blue colors on the map below show areas of cooler-than-average temperatures, and I drew the thick blue line to represent the general storm track.

Even though the storm track is forecast to largely miss much of the western US around and just after Thanksgiving, the forecast could change and a storm or two could sneak further south. That’s not the likely scenario, but it is possible.

Bottomline … the snowpack in the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies is deep and will get deeper. That is a great place to target for excellent early-season conditions. Plus, cold weather in the northeast should allow snowmaking to crank up with more terrain opening soonish.

For another take on this week’s storms, head over to The Chase Daily Snow brought to you by Powderchaser Steve. He really does chase the storms across the west and knows where to score the deepest snow. 

Thanks for reading and look for my next update on Sunday, November 19th!

See Joel Gratz’s original post on

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