Categories: Weather

Winter Storm Watch issued for Saturday and Sunday

After several days of dry weather, a storm system approaching from the west will bring heavy snow to the Tetons and Jackson Hole this weekend.  The National Weather Service in Riverton has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening, which includes both the town of Jackson and the Tetons.

The approaching storm will spread moisture into the Tetons from the southwest on Saturday.  The first flakes will arrive on Saturday afternoon, before giving way to a more steady snowfall by Saturday evening.

The heaviest snow is then expected from late Saturday night through midday Sunday, with additional light to moderate snow persisting into Sunday evening.  Travel conditions could be difficult over Teton and Togwotee Passes Sunday morning, and again on Sunday night.

Total snowfall amounts with this storm Saturday-Sunday will range from 8-15″ in the Tetons above 8,000 ft. with Sunday offering the best skiing conditions.  This storm will contain higher-density snow Saturday night through Sunday morning compared to the Thanksgiving storms, but will gradually become more powdery through the day Sunday as colder air arrives at the mid to higher elevations.

For the Jackson Hole valley, including the town of Jackson, snow amounts this weekend will generally range from 2-5″, with most of these accumulations occurring Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Temperatures in the town of Jackson will be in the upper-20’s to near 30 on Sunday morning, before warming up into the mid-30’s on Sunday afternoon, which will lead to slushy conditions.

In the mountains, temperatures will be into the low-20’s Saturday night through Sunday morning, before gradually falling into the upper teens by late Sunday afternoon.  Winds in the mountains will be out of the southwest at 15-25 mph with gusts to 40 mph Saturday night and Sunday morning, before shifting to westerly with similar speeds on Sunday afternoon.

For backcountry recreation, avalanche danger is currently rated as CONSIDERABLE by the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center on Friday, December 6th.  In other words, the pre-existing snowpack is already dangerous before new snow has even started falling.

Alan Smith, Meteorologist, JacksonHoleSnowForecast.com

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