[Forecast Courtesy Of PowderChasers]
December 8, 2016
Synopsis: An Atmospheric River is aimed at the west over the next few days that brings a complex array of events for the Pacific Northwest, Northern and central Rockies and to a lesser extend the Sierra. “My confidence is extremely high for the Oregon Cascades (Thursday/ Friday), Tetons of Wyoming (Get your snorkels out), Central Idaho (Sun Valley, Brundage) Northern Wasatch (slightly favoring Park City-upper elevations north to the Logan Valley (Beaver mountain, Snowbasin, and perhaps BCC-Brighton, Solitude as well as LCC-ALTA-Snowbird)
I am moderately confident for the southern Wasatch (Sundance (UT) that likes South or SW flow. I’m hesitant to throw in any single deep dump (12 or more) in Colorado, Washington Cascades or Montana however snow will be falling for the next several days adding up nicely by Sunday night.
Pacific Northwest: Heavy snow today in Oregon (Bachelor, Mount Hood Meadows, Timberline) with amounts in the 9-15 inch mark by 7PM. Washington grabs light to moderate amounts late Thursday/Friday (5-9). White Pass which is further south may see higher amounts (7-12). Snow continues in both the Oregon and Washington Cascades through the weekend with perhaps heavier dumps occurring in Washington Saturday morning under Westerly flow (Crystal, White Pass, perhaps Stevens). Expect 12-18 inches in the Washington Cascades through Sunday however there may not be any single deep 24 hour dump? Chase worthy? Yes especially today in Oregon and over the weekend in most areas as moisture works it way further north (Southern resorts will do best). The higher chances of decent dumps in Washington occur Friday PM and most of Saturday. Oregon stays in the chain of powder through the extended period so the further south you chase you may come out ahead.
Rockies: There are several pieces to this storm so expect heavy snow followed by lulls. My Powder Guestimate is high confidence in a moderate dump tonight through Friday morning for the Tetons (5-9), Wasatch (5-10 north, 4-7 south), Central Idaho (5-10 upper elevations) as well as 4-7 inches in northern and central Colorado. Southern Montana is on the northern fringe of heavy moisture and will do better Friday night and Saturday as well as many spots in the Rockies (Keep reading).
Models show continued light or moderate snow over the Tetons during the morning Friday (Another 3-7) as well as some spots in northern Utah and central Idaho. Total snowfall through Friday late morning should be in the 12-14 inch range in many areas of central Idaho, Tetons and northern Utah.. There may be a break in precipitation during the afternoon Friday.Temperatures will be rising during the day Friday increasing avalanche risk! Colder temps are on tap for Saturday and Sunday as a cold front sags south.
Significant uptick of snowfall comes late Friday night and Saturday over the Rockies as colder air filters down over southern Montana, central Idaho, Northern Utah, and Wyoming resorts. Heavy snow will be falling in many areas. Utah could end up grabbing more snow in the northern areas of the Wasatch as mentioned above but all areas from the Provo north will see decent snowfall (Additional 6-10). Saturday morning would be my chase pick for many areas in central or southern Idaho, southern Montana, Wyoming or Utah. It will be snowing in most of Colorado Saturday morning (3-6 additional) however amounts may be deeper later in the day or early Sunday as colder air filters in (keep reading).
Colorado earns it’s turns late Saturday (Colder air, snow is increasing for last chair) through Sunday (1st chair). Expect moderate or heavy snowfall for many areas under westerly flow (8-10). It’s hard to nail down a preferred spot. I like Crested butte (West, or SW flow), Silverton (SW flow), and most areas from Steamboat, Snowmass, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek) the best. “Take your pick as most resorts in Colorado will be earning well needed snowfall.” The san Juan’s including Wolf Creek, Purgatory, and Telluride will also benefit however amounts will be lower.
If you’re addicted to powder and reading this forecast, please consider a donation to Powderchasers! For all donations of $50 or more you earn powder turns with Powderchasers, custom forecasts, and a swag Phunkshun Wear Balaclava! 10% gets donated to avalanche forecast centers in the West.
Donate Here: PowderChasers Fund