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By Sam Collentine, Meteorologist Updated 2 days ago April 20, 2024

Getting Started Guide

OpenSnow is your trusted source for the most accurate weather forecast, snow report, high-resolution weather maps, and ski conditions information.

In this guide to getting started with OpenSnow, we will walk you through the essential features and provide answers to frequently asked questions.


View Your Current Location Forecast

current location forecast

If you're tired of having multiple weather apps on your phone, view the latest weather forecast for your current location or any other location, worldwide, in the OpenSnow app.

  1. Go to the Favorites screen.
  2. Tap the "Weather" chip under the "Locations" tab.
  3. Tap the "Current Location" card.
  4. View estimated conditions and the 10-day forecast.

You can then save this custom location (tap the star icon in the upper right) or any other location to view on your Favorites screen for quick and convenient access to the latest forecast, year-round.

View → Current Location Forecast


Compare Conditions & 10-Day Forecasts

snow report snow forecast

Finding the location that has the best conditions can feel overwhelming.

With OpenSnow, deciding where to go is easy. Compare the latest 10-day forecast, current conditions, and cams for your favorite locations in just a few seconds. Get started by pulling up the Favorites screen in the OpenSnow app.

The first tab under the Favorites screen is "Locations". Scroll through the chips under this tab to view different ways to compare current conditions and 10-day forecasts.

You can also organize your favorite locations using our "Winter" and "Summer" lists. This way you can view only the locations that you care about during that season. For example, your "snow/ski/board" locations could be in your "Winter" list and your "dirt/hike/bike" locations could be in your "Summer" list.

The next tab is "Daily Snows". Add local forecasters to this list to have quick and convenient access to the latest updates by tapping the star icon on any Daily Snow screen.

The third tab is "Cams". This view is great for scrolling through your favorite snow stake cams to see which location has the most snow after the lifts close. You can also add favorite cams to your iPhone or Mac home screen with our iOS widgets.

The fourth tab is "Passes". View the top 5-day snow forecast and 24-hour snow report so that you're always dialed in on where the snow is stacking up on your pass(es).

The fifth and final tab under the Favorites screen is "Trail Maps". Before losing service on the mountain, add ski resort trail maps to this tab and download them to view offline.

The essential weather tools for planning your next ski day or mountain adventure, all in one app.

View → Favorite Locations


Read Daily Analysis From Local Forecasters, Worldwide

local snow forecasters

Instead of spending hours sifting through weather and snow data, get the inside scoop in just a few minutes from our team of local forecasters.

Our "Daily Snows" cover every ski region in the United States, British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies, Europe and Scandinavia, along with South America, Australia, and New Zealand during their winter months.

  1. Tap the "Daily Snows" tab.
  2. Scroll through and select any Daily Snow.
  3. Tap the star icon in the upper right to add it to your Favorites.
  4. Tap the three-dot menu in the upper right.
  5. Tap "Add Email Alert" to receive as soon as it's published.

You can also go to Settings > Your Favorites > Daily Snow Forecasts to edit and/or view any Daily Snow that you have already favorited.

View → Daily Snow Forecasts


Track Incoming Storms: Current & Forecast Radar

current radar

Keep an eye on incoming and ongoing precipitation with our high-resolution "Current US Radar" and "Forecast US Radar" map overlays.

  1. Tap the "Maps" tab.
  2. Tap the overlay button.
  3. Tap "Current US Radar" or "Forecast US Radar".
  4. Scrub the bottom slider.

The "Current US Radar" is updated every 8 minutes to help you track ongoing precipitation for the past 2 hours, while the "Forecast US Radar" is updated every hour to help you track forecasted precipitation for the next 2 days.

Two more tidbits...

First, radar has more difficulty detecting snow compared to rain. During winter, this means that intense snow might be falling even if the radar map shows low dBZ values (blue and green).

Second, big mountains block the radar beam from detecting precipitation close to the mountain tops. During the summer, this usually is a less important issue because thunderstorms rise far above the mountain tops and the radar can detect them. During the winter, radar might show little or no snow over the mountains even if a snowstorm is raging.

View → Current & Forecast Radar


Create Custom Snow Alerts

snow alerts

Stay up-to-date and never miss another powder day with custom snow report and forecast alerts for your favorite ski resorts.

  1. Go to any ski resort screen.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu in the upper right.
  3. Tap "Add Alert".
  4. Set your 24-hour snow report and/or forecast threshold.

You can also go to Settings > Notifications > Report & Forecast Alerts to edit any snow alert that you have already created.

View → Custom Snow Alerts


Save Forecasts Anywhere on Earth

weather forecast anywhere

Get the forecast for any location on Earth in OpenSnow.

Save up to 15 custom locations anywhere on Earth to view on your Favorites screen for quick and convenient access to the latest 10-day weather forecast.

  1. Go to the "Maps" tab.
  2. Tap anywhere or search for a city.
  3. Tap "Add to Favorites".
  4. Choose the name, location type, and favorites list.
  5. Compare any location on your Favorites screen.

You can also tap the arrow icon in the upper right to view your current location.

This means you can save and view our 10-day forecasts and estimated conditions for your favorite backcountry ski location, high-alpine mission, camping spot, and home neighborhood.

View → Forecasts Anywhere


Add iOS Widgets

weather ios widget

See current conditions, check the forecast, and keep an eye on your favorite webcams right on your iPhone and Mac home screen.

To get started, update your OpenSnow iOS app (App Store > OpenSnow > Update), open the OpenSnow app on your iPhone, and add or adjust your favorite locations and cams (Settings > Your Favorites).

You can then...

  1. Tap and hold an empty area on the home screen until the apps jiggle.
  2. Tap the "Add Button (+)" in the upper-left corner.
  3. Search or scroll down to "OpenSnow".
  4. Scroll through our list of widgets and then tap "(+) Add Widget".

Our "Current Conditions", "Snow Summary", and "Mountain Cams" widgets are available exclusively to All-Access subscribers with the OpenSnow iOS app installed.

View → OpenSnow iOS Widgets


Download Offline Satellite & Terrain Maps

download topographic map

Heading into the backcountry?

Download and save high-resolution satellite and terrain base maps in the OpenSnow app to see your exact location on the map, even while offline and without cell service.

  1. Go to Settings > Your Offline Maps.
  2. Tap the (+) button in the lower right.
  3. Adjust the area and tap "Download Offline".
  4. Name the map and tap "Save".

You can then return to Settings > Your Offline Maps to view your maps while you're offline, as well as edit and create new offline maps when you have service.

View → Offline Maps


Get Summer Forecasts

summer weather forecast

Summer weather? We got it. Use OpenSnow as your go-to weather app during the non-winter months with hourly precipitation and lightning forecasts, as well as air quality and wildfire smoke forecast maps.

Get started by going to...

  1. Favorites > Weather
  2. Location > Weather
  3. Maps > Weather

Switch to using your "Summer" favorites list, check the "Weather" tab on both the Favorites screen and any location screen, and avoid poor air quality & incoming storms with our summer-focused map layers in the OpenSnow app.

Edit any location you have favorited by going to Settings > Your Favorites > Locations.

View → Summer Forecasts


See Frequently Asked Questions

(Q) What is the difference between a Free and All-Access account?

The following features are available to free accounts:

  • Email Newsletter
  • Save Favorite Locations
  • Daily Snow Forecast Summary
  • Avalanche Forecasts
  • Mountain Cams

With the All-Access subscription, you receive:

  • 10-Day Weather Forecasts
  • 5-Day Hourly Forecasts
  • Custom Snow Alerts
  • Expert "Daily Snow" Forecasters
  • Current & Forecast Radar
  • Forecasts Anywhere on Earth
  • Historical Weather
  • Estimated 24-Hour Snow Reports
  • Estimated 24-Hour Snowfall Map
  • Estimated Season-to-Date Snowfall
  • Estimated Snow Depth Map
  • Cloud Cover Map
  • Wind Gust Map
  • Temperature Map
  • Wildfire Smoke Forecast Maps
  • Real-Time Lightning Map
  • Favorite & Offline Trail Maps
  • Favorite & Timelapse Cams
  • Snowpack Graphs & Analysis
  • Historical Snow Reports
  • Offline Satellite & Terrain Maps
  • iOS Widgets
  • 3D Maps
  • Nearby Weather Stations
  • Land Ownership Maps

(Q) What is the difference between the Single and Group subscriptions?

All-Access Single

  • 1 Subscription
  • 1 Person
  • $31.99 USD per year

All-Access Group

  • 1 Subscription
  • 4 People
  • $49.99 USD per year

Once you sign up for the Group plan, invite three friends or family members. They will have their own account and can set up their own list of favorite mountains, custom snow alerts, and more.

(Q) How do you calculate the snow forecast summary?

We calculate the snow forecast summary by taking the snow forecast for the previous night plus the current day. The summary calculation is shown this way since this is the snow that you would see/ski on that day.

Example: The snow forecast summary has 12 inches for Friday.

  • Thursday Night = 5-9 inches = 7 inches
  • Friday Day = 3-7 inches = 5 inches

Friday Summary = 12 inches

(Q) How do you make your forecasts?

We update the automated forecasts every hour with a proprietary blend of global and high-resolution model data. Blending multiple global and high-resolution models increases accuracy and confidence in the forecast, among many other benefits. The data is updated every hour and can be viewed as hourly and daily forecasts for the next 10 days.

(Q) What weather forecast data is available on OpenSnow?

The weather forecast data on OpenSnow can be viewed as hourly forecasts for the next 5 days and day/night forecasts for the next 10 days.

Hourly:

  • Snow Forecast
  • Snow Ratio
  • Snow Level (Rain/Snow Elevation)
  • Precipitation Chance
  • Precipitation Forecast
  • Temperature
  • Feels Like Temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Wind Direction, Speed, & Gust
  • Cloud Cover
  • Lightning Potential

Day & Night:

  • Weather Alerts
  • Snow Forecast
  • Snow Ratio
  • Snow Level (Rain/Snow Elevation)
  • Precipitation Chance
  • Precipitation Forecast
  • Temperature
  • Feels Like Temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Wind Direction, Speed, & Gust
  • Cloud Cover

Use the links below to view the 10-day snow forecast for popular ski resorts around the world:

(Q) How do you break up the day and night 10-day forecast?

The "day" forecast is from 6 am to 6 pm, while the "night" forecast is from 6 pm to 6 am.

(Q) What do the different colored alerts signal?

Daily alerts are included to signal upcoming powder days, along with the potential for rain, snow/rain, and high winds. Alert breakdown:

  • Orange = Powder (Forecast of 6+ inches from the previous night and current day)
  • Green = Rain (Expect rain on all of the mountain)
  • Purple = Snow/Rain (Expect a transition from snow to rain on the mountain)
  • Yellow = Wind (Wind gusts greater than 45 mph and possible lift closures)

(Q) What is the difference between the blue, orange, and purple snow forecast bars?

  • Blue bars show snowfall under 6 inches.
  • Orange bars show snowfall over 6 inches.
  • Purple bars indicate mixed precip (rain/snow).

The color change from blue to orange is a simple visual clue to denote the higher snow totals and deeper powder potential.


Feedback & Support

Questions? Send an email to [email protected] and we'll respond within 24 hours. You can also visit our Support Center to view more frequently asked questions and feature guides.

Sam Collentine

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About The Author

Sam Collentine

Meteorologist

Sam Collentine is the Chief Operating Officer of OpenSnow and lives in Basalt, Colorado. Before joining OpenSnow, he studied Atmospheric Science at the University of Colorado, spent time at Channel 7 News in Denver, and at the National Weather Service in Boulder.

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