[Report courtesy of Powderchasers]
Atmospheric River is posed to bring several systems into the west over the next 7 days! Several feet of low density snow are likely over the Oregon Cascades through Saturday as cold air stays trapped on the northern branches of the Jet Stream from Wyoming into the Pacific Northwest this week. Several systems will push into the Sierra and spread warmer air (8500 foot snow levels) and precipitation to the highest peaks Thursday and again this weekend (Decent snow event for higher elevations). Those warm but moist systems take aim at the Wasatch, Tetons, Central Idaho Friday and again through the upcoming weekend (Colorado is going to be a player especially Saturday/Sunday). Next week might feature continued atmospheric river event bringing several additional feet of snow to the Rockies and continued warm and wet conditions for the Sierra. “We could be looking at easily over 4-6 feet of snow in some areas of the northern Rockies by the end of next week according to Powderchaser Steve from Powderchasers.com”
Pacific Northwest: We just returned from Crystal Mountain which nabbed 25 inches of nearly blower pow last Sunday. Most of the PNW scored big time including Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, Alpental who all have opened up new terrain and are sitting at nearly mid winter conditions currently. The next systems come in from the south raising snow levels somewhat and will drop several feet of snow to many areas. We like Oregon the best currently especially Thursday PM and Friday AM where snow and wind will quickly rise avalanche danger (1-2 feet). The southern and central Washington Cascades will take our 2nd spot especially this weekend as additional moisture pushes up from Oregon (Crystal, Stevens, Interstate 90 could become players). My picks for the weekend could include any of the Oregon resorts and including most of southern or central Washington (Decently cold event with some warming). “Some areas will be very deep especially in the southern areas of the Pacific Northwest through the weekend.”
Sierra: Moderate to heavy snow will break out at upper elevations (above 8,000 feet) Thursday late AM through early Friday morning (Best picks will be AM Friday as some clearing exists by mid morning and decent dense snow will cover upper slopes). Another round of moisture kicks in late Friday and Saturday with slightly lower snow levels (7500). The following week features and even heavier push of moisture with rising snow levels. The Good: Base building will be significant at upper slopes -12-17 inches The Bad: Lower elevation rain/snow mix reduces the powder endorphin’s and next week could be warmer and wetter (Rising snow levels).
In the short term a teaser will be taking aim at the Wasatch and Tetons with light snowfall today and tonight. Moderate snow is likely in northern Colorado especially resorts north of I-70 where northerly flow could push 4-8 inches over Winter Park, Loveland, Keystone, Eldora and spots near the Divide tonight (Steamboat and Aspen are our wildcard picks). This is just a hint of what is to come late this weekend into next week.
Thursday/Friday: Colder air will be found in most mountain areas in Wyoming and Idaho where the warm but moist sector take hold over the Wasatch. Moderate snow will be falling over a good portion of Montana, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming late Thursday/Friday (Colder density snow will be found in central Idaho, Tetons, and southern Montana). Amounts will be in the 7-11 inch range by late Friday (slightly less in Montana and perhaps slightly more over the Tetons and areas of Idaho). Colorado will see lower amounts (4-7) on the first piece of energy that skirts over many mountain areas on Friday (They catch up later this weekend).
“The 2nd push of moisture takes aim at the Rockies this weekend where colder air that has lingered in the north drops south over the Wasatch on Saturday.” The Tetons, Wasatch, southern Montana and a good portion of Idaho will all be getting decent “Freshies.” The cold front might kick off higher amounts in the Wasatch (10-16 in the Cottonwoods) but amounts will trend 7-14 additional inches at most resorts. Colorado gets into the action again late Saturday/Sunday as the cold front sweeps through the northern and central mountains (Decent dump- 6-12 likely). The southern areas will grab slightly lower amounts. We will narrow down amounts in a later post. Next week looks decent as well for continued snowfall in the northern Rockies! Hopefully we can narrow down how far south these systems drop but currently most of northern or even central Colorado will continue to see snowfall with perhaps higher amounts in northern Utah or Wyoming?