SnowBrains Forecast: Chances for May Pow in the Northern Rockies

Nathan Tarino | | WeatherWeather

Model snow output shows a shot of winter for the Northern Rockies over the next few days. Courtesy of WeatherBell.

Forecast by SnowBrains Meteorologist Nathan Tarino

Updated 7 AM MST Thursday, May 19th

Forecast Summary

This weekend will feature one more chance at fresh turns across Montana and Wyoming. Periods of snow will continue across the region through Sunday evening, with slow and steady accumulations stacking up. As much as 12″ of snow is possible at the higher elevations in Montana through the weekend.

The best chances for good skiing will be found at closed resorts in Montana – you’ll need to earn these turns. Wyoming should see sufficient accumulations for worthwhile skiing too.

There is some hope for another round of late-season snow next weekend. Another cold storm system might dive into the Northwest near the end of May.

Short Term

This morning, a strong disturbance is centered over the Pac Northwest and will push eastward into the Northern Rockies through the day. Light snow fell overnight ahead of this feature, with 1-3″ of snow visible above ~6000′ on webcams in Montana.

Periods of snow will continue through the weekend. The heaviest will fall Thursday night into Friday morning across Montana before shifting south toward the Tetons through the weekend. Ample cold air associated with this storm system will make for low snow levels – near 5,000′ in Montana and 6,000′ in Wyoming.

Accumulations will be pretty good, especially considering the time of year. By the end of the weekend, here’s what you can expect:

  • 6-12″ for Bridger Bowl, mostly falling Thursday night into Friday.
  • 5-10″ for Big Sky, mostly falling Thursday night into Friday.
  • 2-5″ in the Tetons, mostly falling through the day Sunday.

I believe Bridger Bowl, Big Sky, and Grand Targhee still have enough snow for skinning and skiing from the bases and allow uphill travel in the postseason. Go get it on Friday in Montana or Sunday afternoon in Wyoming.

Last Snow Before Summer?

Ensembles suggest another round of cold/wet weather is possible for the Northern Rockies next weekend, near the end of the month. It is unclear how cold it’ll get, which may mean rain rather than snow.

Better safe than sorry, ski this storm if you can and need one more fix.

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...