JACKSON, Wyo. – Following an unseasonably warm and dry start to December, the weather pattern is finally changing and it will begin to look and feel more like winter this week.

However, the storms that will impact Jackson Hole this week will be on the weaker side, and snowfall will be relatively unimpressive as a result. Some snow is better than no snow from a skiing, snow sports and water resources perspective, but we will still have plenty of catching up to do after this week.

The first of two main storm systems has arrived from the northwest and snow is falling across Teton County as of early Monday evening.

Snow will continue to pick up through Monday evening before tapering off to lighter snow showers by Tuesday morning. New snowfall through Tuesday morning will range from 3-6 inches in the Tetons and a half-inch to 2 inches in the Jackson Hole Valley, with snowy conditions expected on the roads during the Tuesday morning commute.

For the remainder of the day on Tuesday, snow showers will continue but additional amounts will be light, ranging from a dusting to 2 inches in the Tetons and less than a half-inch in the valley. Highs will warm up into the upper 30s in the valley, resulting in melting on the roads, while Teton Pass will remain snowpacked.

A relative lull in the pattern will continue during the first half of the day on Wednesday, then the next storm will arrive from the northwest late in the day with an uptick in snow from late Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night.

This will be another minor snow event with snow amounts through Thursday morning ranging from 2-5 inches in the Tetons and a trace to a half-inch in the valley.

Temperatures will be mild ahead of the system on Wednesday with highs in the upper 30s in the valley, but a cold front will arrive on Wednesday night with much colder temperatures over the next couple of days to follow. Gusty southwest winds are also expected on Wednesday.

On Thursday, snow showers will continue with an additional 1-3 inches possible in the Tetons and a trace to a half-inch in the valley. Highs will be around 30 in the valley and in the teens at 9,000 feet.

Friday will be the coldest day of the week and we could see some additional flurries but little if any additional accumulations.

Overall, we should see some decent snow amounts add up over time in the Tetons, which along with colder temperatures and better snowmaking conditions will result in improving conditions on the slopes.

However, significant snowfall is not expected this week as the “storm door” will be open across the West, but the storm track will be more favorable for other regions rather than the Tetons. Mountain regions in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Utah and Colorado will also see heavier snowfall than Jackson Hole this week.

A drying trend is also expected this weekend with gradually warming temperatures as the main storm track will be located to our west and our south.

Instead, we will have to try again next week. An active pattern is expected along the West Coast with heavy snow possible for the Sierra and Cascade Ranges.

Whether or not we see moisture and energy from the Pacific push far enough inland to give us a chance at anything more than light snow remains in question, but at the very least it’s a possibility this far out.

In the meantime, be prepared for slick and snowy roads this week and take it easy despite the lack of heavy snow. Pass commuters aside, many of us are a little rusty when it comes to winter driving conditions, since we haven’t had to deal with it yet this year!

Alan Smith, Meteorologist

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Buckrail Meteorologist Alan Smith

Alan is a professional meteorologist who holds a degree from MSU Denver and writes weather forecasts for Buckrail. He has lived in Jackson full-time since 2015. He is currently a Meteorologist and Operations Manager for OpenSnow, which is a weather forecasting service for skiing and outdoor adventures. At OpenSnow, Alan writes forecasts for the Tetons, Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and North America as a whole.