March has brought massive quantities of Powder

massive quantities of Powder

The first week of March has brought massive quantities of powder for ski destinations across Western North America.

Most Western regions experienced a deluge of snow courtesy of an “atmospheric river” of moisture colliding with an “arctic outflow”. The weather extremes manifested in various ways across the continent with spring-like temperatures in the East continuing to erode their minimal snow base.

Mountain regions benefited hugely with abundant snowfall. British Columbia saw substantial powder, with many resorts posting their best snow of the season this past week.

The Top 5 posted seven-day snowfalls at BC resorts:

Whistler Blackcomb 187cms
Whitewater Resort 133cms
Fernie Alpine Resort 132cms
Red Mountain 86cms
Revelstoke Mountain Resort 83cms

British Columbia’s snowfall didn’t come close to Southern California where torrential downpours transformed into a multi-day snowstorm in the Sierra Nevadas. Remarkable snowfall totals were recorded, with Sugar Bowl reporting an impressive seven-day accumulation of 323cms, while Palisades Tahoe received over 250cms.

In Wyoming, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort recorded over 200cms of snow in seven days, with more expected. Similar reports came from Idaho’s Schweitzer and Colorado’s Steamboat.

Avalanche Canada has extended the Special Public Avalanche Warning as this new snow sits on prominent weak layers established during drought conditions in February. As the active storm period passes, widespread natural avalanche activity will slow. However, human-triggered avalanches remain likely.

March is a pivotal month for ski country and this recent snow has helped secured favorable conditions for most of the West. This snowfall also helps with environmental concerns of a low snowpack spring and summer.

Be thankful, enjoy the powder and remember to always check the avalanche forecast before heading into the mountains. Also everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe, and shovel—and the training to use it.

Pow time!