Snowy President’s Day Weekend ahead

A weak system is moving across Northwest Wyoming on Friday, but this is only an appetizer for what’s to come as a stronger storm system will bring heavy snow from Saturday night through Sunday night, much to the delight of holiday weekend skiers.

The satellite image from Friday morning shows the weaker system moving through on Friday, while the stronger system looms to the northwest.

 

 

Friday’s system has trended weaker and only looks to produce about 1-3 inches of snow for the Tetons with an inch or less in the Jackson Hole Valley. Winds will be strong, however, out of the west/southwest at 25-35 mph with gusts to 50-60 mph in the mountains. Valley winds will increase as well from the southwest at 10-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. High temperatures on Friday afternoon will reach the low 30s in the valley.

Saturday will start out dry with mostly cloudy skies and highs reaching the low 30s in the valley again. Light snow will begin to fall on Saturday afternoon, before picking up Saturday night and through the day Sunday as the storm system arrives. The jet stream will be positioned well to enhance snowfall rates across Western Wyoming, with the period from midnight Saturday night through midnight Sunday night expected to see the heaviest snowfall.

 

A cold front will arrive Sunday night, and behind this front snow will become lighter after midnight Sunday night and through Monday morning. Total snow amounts from Saturday night through Sunday will range from about 10-20 inches in the Tetons and 4-9 inches in the Jackson Hole Valley, with Sunday looking like a good powder day for skiers and riders.

Light snow showers and flurries will linger through Monday as well with an additional 1-2 inches for the Tetons, while additional amounts in the valley will be less than an inch. As for temperatures, highs on Sunday will peak in the low 30s in the valley and the upper teens to low 20s in the mountains. Monday will be much colder behind the front with highs only in the low 20s in the valley and in the single digits in the mountains. Travel conditions could be difficult throughout the day on Sunday but will improve on Monday.

If you are looking to ski or ride powder, this weekend will be the time to do it as the pattern is going to turn much drier starting on Tuesday. A strong ridge of high-pressure building over the Western U.S. will lead to an extended stretch of dry and mostly sunny weather, something we have not seen in quite some time.

 

The dry spell looks to last through about Saturday, February 22, then some models are projecting a system to arrive shortly after. We will likely see temperature inversions become prevalent through at least the first half of next week with colder temperatures in the valley than in the mountains. We may see inversions start to weaken toward the end of the week and lead to warmer valley temperatures as the sun is getting stronger at this time of year, compared to December and January when the lack of sunlight makes it tough for inversions to break without the help of strong winds during extended dry spells.

Alan Smith, Meteorologist

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