As you all know, last winter was not filled with the large number of powder days Rocky Mountain inhabitants have all become accustomed to over the years. Warm and dry weather fell upon the region like sunrays on the Sahara desert. The powder days the Rockies did get were not as deep and fluffy as skiers had envisioned.
This year, like last year, the snow forecast for the Rockies is split into two regions, the Northern half and the Southern half. Use US 1-70 as the divider between the two.
Once again, the Pacific jet stream comes into play when looking at the snow forecast for the Rockies. Since it’s entering North America from the Washington State and Oregon areas, north, much of the Northern Rockies up to the Cascade mountains are expected to be colder and receive more snow than usual. However, the farther south you go, the less likely you’ll be to run into a lot of snow.
Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana will have around normal temperatures and have near normal precipitation. Utah looks to be drier than normal, while temperatures will remain normal. Idaho looks to be the lucky one in this region, with the expected forecast to be colder and wetter than normal.
For the Southern Rockies, it looks as if warm temperatures and little snowfall is in the cards south to the San Juan Mountains. Like last year, this region could be in trouble in terms of snowfall. But who knows, it’s not the exact same La Nina as last year. One peace of mind, Vail received above average snowfall in four of the past five La Nina years and set their personal record during the 1978-79 La Nina with 505 inches.