The West will remember January fondly, but the flip of the calendar means it is now the East’s turn to join the party. Most of the East felt the effects of a “January thaw”— a brief warm-weather phenomenon that sometimes occurs in the region. The return of colder temperatures means any precipitation will start falling as snow, rather than dreaded sleet or rain. The temperature shift also allows snowmaking crews to crank up the snow guns to full blast.
According to the forecast at OpenSnow.com, resorts such as Killington in Vermont could see 5 inches of fresh snow in the first couple days of February. Following a lull during the first weekend of the month, another round of snow should come through the region.
The end of January was kind to a few resorts in the East. Traditional powder magnet Jay Peak in Vermont picked up a total of 41 inches in the final week of the month. The new snow brought the resort’s season-to-date natural snowfall total up to 250 inches. With even more snow on the way, conditions should be prime at Jay at least through mid-February.
The Pacific Northwest should be another top snowfall region for early February, according to Joel Gratz, meteorologist at OpenSnow. Washington resorts such as White Pass and Mt. Baker should do particularly well. Significant snowfall is in the forecast for virtually every day with totals adding up to several feet.
Just because the Northeast and Pacific Northwest are joining in the fun, California will certainly not be shut out after its record-breaking January. Before the state’s active weather pattern finally settles down, Tahoe resorts such as Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley should pick up a couple more feet during the first weekend of the month. With an unbelievable 300-inch base depth at the top of the mountain, Mammoth should also add to its snowpack that is already almost twice its average.