British Columbia Daily Snow
By Alan Smith, Meteorologist Posted 10 months ago April 13, 2023
A weak disturbance will result in scattered light snow showers/flurries on Thu & Fri. A stronger storm will then impact BC in the days to follow with a leading edge disturbance bringing snow & rain showers to Whistler & SW BC on Sat. Snow will become heavier at Whistler Sun-Sun night with falling snow levels while the Interior will see a shot of heavy snow on Sun night as a cold front moves thru.
Short Term Forecast
Forecast for Thursday:
Cloud cover will gradually increase from west to east across BC on Thursday as a weak disturbance approaches. This disturbance will result in snow showers developing across both the Coast Range and the Interior from late Thursday morning through Thursday evening.
Snowfall will be variable given the hit-or-miss nature of these convective snow showers. Convective snow showers arise from an unstable atmosphere in which temperatures are very cold aloft while the sun heats up the lower atmosphere, causing moist air parcels to become buoyant as they rise vertically into the colder air aloft (similar in nature to warm season thunderstorms).
Snow totals on Thursday will generally range from 0 to 8 cm (0-3") depending on where the heavier snow showers develop.
Snow levels will range from 600-900 meters (2,000-3,000 feet) across the Coast Range and 900-1,200 meters (3,000-4,000 feet) across the Interior.
Forecast for Friday:
A break in the pattern will occur across the Coast Range on Friday with mostly sunny skies early giving way to partly cloudy skies in the afternoon.
Across the Interior, conditions will also start out dry but lingering moisture along with daytime instability will result in light snow showers/flurries developing in the afternoon. This activity will also be convective in nature, and coverage will be more spotty compared to Thursday with snowfall ranging from 0 to 5 cm (0-2").
Snow levels on Friday will be similar if not slightly higher compared to Thursday.
Forecast for Saturday to Saturday Night:
A stronger storm will be approaching the Southwest BC Coast from the Gulf of Alaska on Saturday, and a leading edge weaker disturbance will spread moisture into the Coast Range of Southwest BC during the day. As a result, snow and rain showers will develop across Whistler and Grouse Mountain and surrounding areas.
Snow levels in the Coast Range will start out around 600-900 meters (2,000-3,000 feet) on Saturday morning, before rising to 900-1,200 meters (3,000-4,000 feet) on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. This will result in a rain/snow mix at Grouse Mountain, while Whistler will see lower mountain rain while mid to upper mountain will stay all-snow with accumulations of 5-10 cm (2-4").
The Interior will stay dry during most of the daytime period on Saturday with increasing clouds, but light showers/flurries will develop overnight as the weakening disturbance moves through. Any snow/rain on Saturday night will be very light with snow levels ranging 1,050-1,500 meters (3,500-5,000 feet).
Forecast for Sunday to Sunday Night:
The main part of the storm will impact BC during this period with snowfall/rainfall rates increasing across the Coast Range during the day on Sunday.
Snow levels will remain in the 900-1,200 meter (3,000-4,000 feet) range through about mid-afternoon Sunday, then a cold front will arrive mid/late afternoon with snow levels falling to 150-450 meters (500-1,500 feet) on Sunday night with snow continuing (heaviest in the evening).
Snow totals on Sunday-Sunday night will generally range from 15-30 cm (6-12") at Whistler and across the North Shore Mountains with Monday morning looking like a solid late-season powder day at Whistler and Grouse Mountain.
The Interior will stay dry for much of the day on Sunday with snow and rain shower activity just getting underway in the afternoon. In other words, the main round of snow will be just a little too late for closing day across the remainder of Interior ski areas that are still open this week (Revy, Kicking Horse, Silver Star, Pano, and Fernie).
Snowfall will become heavier and more widespread across the Interior on Sunday night as the cold front moves through.
Snow levels prior to the cold front on Sunday afternoon/early evening will range from 1,500-1,800 meters (5,000-6,000 feet) across the Interior, but will fall 600-900 meters (2,000-3,000 feet) or in some cases lower on Sunday night.
Snowfall across the favored higher terrain of the Monashees, Selkirks, and Purcells (western slopes and upper eastern slopes) should generally range from 10-25 cm (4-10") on Sunday night and Monday morning.
Forecast for Monday:
On the backside of Sunday's storm, lingering moisture and instability will result in additional snow showers (locally moderate to heavy snowfall rates possible) along with low snow levels. Energy from a trailing disturbance could also be a factor in resulting in fairly widespread snow shower activity from time to time.
From Tuesday (April 18th) through the end of next week, a generally active pattern is expected to continue with storm systems moving through every couple of days, resulting in frequent snow/rain showers with brief breaks in between.
Temperatures also look to stay colder than average and snow levels will generally be on the lower side for late April as a result.
Thanks so much for reading! I will be posting my final BC Daily Snow of the season on Saturday (April 15).
Projected Ski Resort Closing Dates:
CLOSED (as of April 13):
Hudson Bay Mountain