Saturday (3/7): Partly cloudy, highs in the upper 30s or even low 40s, westerly winds of 10 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

Sunday (3/8): Partly cloudy, perhaps some snow, highs in the upper 30s, westerly winds of 10 mph with gusts to 30 mph.


Pleasant and warm this week.  The next system comes in on Sunday or Monday.

Forecast Discussion:

A ridge of high pressure will dominate the weather this week – so it will be warm (especially on Friday and Saturday). 

The next system moves in on Sunday or Monday.  Each model tells a very different story.  Let’s look at each.

  • The Canadian Model says Saturday will be sunny, and then there will be snow from mid-day Sunday to mid-day Tuesday, with a total of 10”. 
  • The American Model says there will be a dusting of snow on Saturday, it’ll be sunny on Sunday, and the system will come in on Monday morning to Tuesday morning with a total of 4”. 
  • The European Model is forecasting that the snow doesn’t start until late Sunday and will continue through Tuesday night with a total of 3”. 

Regardless, as this system is coming from the west, the best snow will be closer to the Continental Divide.  As always, we should know more for the Friday forecast / call.

Retrospective Discussion:

The Sunday snow didn’t start in earnest until the evening, so looking back at the model’s predictions, the American Model was the only one that called the storm a touch early.  The others were spot on. 

Snow totals as of Monday morning were 3.5” to 4” – so the snow totals were also consistent with all the major models (that were all consistent with each other).  How often do you see that?  Lest you start to believe you can truly trust the forecast if all models agree, I was just reminded yet again that this is not true over the weekend.  I’m in Big Sky right now, and on Saturday afternoon as the snow started to fall here in Big Sky – I looked at four major models (three said 1.5” and one said 2.5”) for what snow would be like on Sunday.  While this looked very predictable as the models were in such good alignment, happily all models were well below what we actually received – which was 4” of snow here at Big Sky. 

Moving from the weekend to today on how the forecast panned out.  It looks like the snow has stopped today (Monday) without any real accumulations.  So, for the Monday / Tuesday forecasts from the Friday model runs – the Canadian Model was too optimistic on today (and likely tomorrow), while the American Model did the best, predicting just flurries.

Enjoy the warm week, and let’s hope we get some good snow on Sunday / Monday.

-Jordan (Monday afternoon)

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all forecasts are for 10,000’ in exposed areas.  References to American Model are the American (GFS) Model.  References to the Canadian Model are the Canadian (GDPS) Model.  References to the WRF Model are the CAIC WRF Hi-Res Model.  References to the European Model are the European (ECMWF) Model.