General Snow and Weather Information

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Tuesday November 13, 2018 7:30 am by Ethan Davis

Bottom Line:
The advisory area generally lacks a sufficient snowpack to pose any threat. An exception to this may be isolated, steep, upper-elevation, north-facing terrain where recent snow sits atop snowfields that survived the summer.

We will update this post on or before November 21st, 2018.

Snowpack and Avalanche:
Snow coverage remains thin throughout the advisory area but light, recent snow showers have favored the Sawtooth and Western Smoky Mountains. The Bench Lakes weather station near Redfish Lake (~7,800’) is reporting 8 inches of snow while the Galena Summit Snotel (~8,800’) shows 4 inches. These measurements can be finicky until snow depth reaches a foot or more so take them with a grain of salt.

We have no direct observations of the alpine snowpack. Warm sun has melted recent snowfall on most west through south and southeast-facing slopes. For the time being, “what you see is what you get”. Continued dry weather interrupted by a snow flurry or two this weekend will keep snow conditions relatively unchanged through Thanksgiving. If you’re peak bagging or have an elk tag in your pocket, be sure to snap a photo and upload it to our observations page. Early season snow may become the winter’s first weak layer.

Mountain Weather:
Expect dry, mild weather through Thursday as daytime high temperatures creep into the mid 40s and daytime lows cool into the mid 20s. Thursday night a weak disturbance will bring clouds and a chance for light snow favoring the Sawtooths. Friday night, a stronger trough will sweep through the advisory area from the northwest bringing gusty wind and another chance for snow through Saturday morning. Split flow develops next week deflecting most of the available moisture in our atmosphere to the north and south of the advisory area.

Although it’s a ways out, long range models are pointing toward a more favorable weather pattern following Thanksgiving. A deep Black Friday trough dives toward the Baja Peninsula disrupting the high pressure ridge over California. If all works out, this will kick that pesky high pressure back off shore into the Pacific allowing for a more amplified storm track and our first real snow producing storms of the winter.

Be sure to check the Education and Events Calendar often - we will be loading it with education opportunities and movie premieres from across the region!