All Weather News

Weekend Warrior: Your Guide to the Slopes

9 Feb 2017, 8:11 am

There’s nothing wrong with being a weekend warrior. We spend the days of our week behind a desk plunking away at the hours in anticipation of the weekend ahead.

After all, that’s where my interest in weather comes in. I somehow made a career of my habitual obsession with snow in the winter and clear mountain tops in the summer months. So in this new weekly feature, I will share with you my insider scoop on how the weather might play a role in your adventures!

A Wet Start

2017 kicked off mild and wet for many. Record snowfall in the Sierra and more snow than we can really wrap our heads around!
Check out this article if you would like to learn a bit more!

January 2017 Wetter & Warmer Than Average

But as the snow continues to pile up in the West, it seems the eastern states are about ready for a late-season game of catch up!

A Tale of Two Storms

It’s two different storms pummeling the coasts.
Blizzard conditions in the east and yet another soaker out west!

Both storms com on top of pretty substantial storm totals just this past week!

While that might be good news for the skiers and riders out East, it becomes a potentially dangerous story for those out West.

Avalanche Danger

The Characteristics of the western storms are classic unstable snowpack producers. A recent conversation at a slope side pub with an old local turned into a battle of old school versus new school.
While I argued the necessity of a beacon and digging the proper hole before getting in over your head (quite literally) in the backcountry, his stance was interestingly different. He wasn’t shy about the fact that simply watching the weather– temperatures, types of snow, wind, etc. could tell a person everything he/she might need to know before venturing into the backcountry. NOT THE CASE. But it can help when the signs are present.

We are looking at a few different types of danger out West.

  • Wet, heavy snow atop a lighter, dryer base
  • An ice layer in the snowpack from warm temperatures melting existing snow and bringing rain or freezing rain to the area. And now fresh snow on top.
  • Wind loading from some of the powerful winds along with this most recent storm

No wonder we have so many broad avalanche warnings!

But always remember to check with your local avalanche forecast center before taking to the backcountry— there you will be able to get a much better picture of what to expect.
For example, many mountains in Colorado have experienced wind loading in recent days. This causes instability that can last up to a week or more depending on conditions.

Jackson Hole Closed

Heavy snow and wind gusts topping 100 miles per hour knocked out power and prompted Jackson Hole to close until further notice. Early estimates have this lasting through the weekend.

Additional Snow

By the time it all comes to an end, we are looking at another round of fresh powder just in time for the weekend.

Best of the West

Beasts in the East
(The closer to New England the better)

As you take to the slopes this weekend, don’t forget about social media! And don’t forget to tag us in your photos so we can show them on air to all of our viewers around the country!

For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

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