[Forecast via Powderchasers]
High pressure in the West is going to break down next week with model data confident in snow falling above 5500 feet in the Cascades, Rockies, and BC (Interior and coastal). Snow will be falling in a wide area of the West by Thursday.
TIMING: Rain will pick up in the Pacific Northwest tonight and again Sunday/Monday with a cooling trend Monday night/Tuesday. Whistler will likely see moderate to perhaps heavy snowfall at upper elevations Sunday/Monday as cold air sits over Canada. “Cold front drops through the Cascades late Monday/Tuesday turning rain to snow at pass levels.” Unfortunately by the time the coldest air arrives (Tuesday/Wednesday) moist moisture will have zoomed south towards California. Expect light to moderate snow at the bases of most Northwest resorts early next week. The northern Cascades near Mount Baker may come up winners with colder air earlier in the storm cycle. “We may have some decent numbers at the summits above 6,000 feet at many PNW resorts.” The Good: Temps will stay cool behind the front and more precipitation is possible Tuesday/Wednesday. Resorts on the East side of the Cascades will see moderate snowfall as cold air with moisture benefit higher elevations early next week (Tuesday-Wednesday).
The Sierra gets into action Wednesday mid morning through early Thursday. Winds will be cranking pre frontal (Tuesday night) before a heavy band of snow zips into the Sierra on Wednesday. “Expect 2 inch per hour snowfall rates early with the frontal passage late morning Wednesday in the Sierra.” Light snow will continue Wednesday night. Total snowfall above 7,000 feet should be in the moderate end of scales (Just below our Powder Alert criteria) of 7-10 inches up north and 5-9 in the southern Sierra. Base areas will see much lower amounts (1-3). This is a fast moving system!
A wide area of snowfall will be breaking out over the Rockies from Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and most of Colorado by Thursday next week. Light to occasional moderate snow will be falling at Park City, Sun Valley, Bridger Bowl, Snowbird, Steamboat, Vail, Telluride, and perhaps as far south as Taos late mid to late next week. Amounts may not tip the scales beyond 4-6 inches but there could be exceptions at higher summits (Some areas of western Idaho and southern Montana may be favored for 6-10). Look for a chase to Brundage or perhaps Big Sky late next week just to tease our addiction for powder (Neither resort is open).
The Optimist: “While amounts currently don’t look overly impressive for the Rockies we are still 6-7 days out on model data. Those numbers could take an uptick by early next week.”
The Pessimist: “No comment”
Long Term Affair: The Ensembles are still showing a continued break down of the ridge in the West. It’s not clear how much moisture will be falling in the next 20 days but our guess is that moisture will continue in the Northwest and extend further south into California and most of the Rockies towards the end of the month. Models show weak to moderate signals for that southern surge of precipitation at some point in November with stronger signals in the north. “We still have hope and it’s way too early to jump to any conclusions this winter”