[Forecast via Powderchasers]
“SANTA IS GOING TO GET FACESHOTS THIS WEEK AS HE WORKS HIS WAY OVER THE SIERRA AND INTO A WIDE AREA OF THE ROCKIES. THIS INCLUDES THE ENTIRE SIERRA RANGE AND EVENTUALLY RIDING THE WHITE ROOM INTO THE 4 CORNERS. THIS WILL INCLUDE UTAH, COLORADO, NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA AND SOME HOPEFUL SURPRISES TO IDAHO, SOUTHERN MONTANA AND MOST OF WYOMING.” – PowderChaser Steve
SIERRA EPIC WATCH hoisted for significant snowfall for most of the Sierra (Northern California all the way to Big Bear) Thursday/Friday. We are including all ski resorts along the Tahoe Basin, Truckee, Mammoth, Big Bear and areas north to the Oregon border Friday/Saturday.
This system moves East over XMAS impacting the 4 corners with heavy snowfall late XMAS eve into XMAS day. Santa will be grabbing Freshness measured in feet through most of Utah (SW flow extending moisture into the Wasatch and areas south), Arizona, and most of Colorado and northern New Mexico. 1-2 feet are likely in the Sierra with some higher amounts at upper elevation resorts. 12-18 inches or more are likely candidates for most of the 4 corners for the holidays. Good snow densities and heavy accumulations will also fall at base elevations of the Sierra where snow is still needed.
WA, ID, MT, WY:
Teaser will blast over the Cascades Thursday and spread light or moderate snow to the Pacific northwest. “That system streams over Idaho and a good portion of Montana late in the week.” Some of the moisture from the Sierra (Taking the southern route over the 4 corners) will get pushed up into Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana Friday/Saturday. This combines with the northern branch of moderate energy from the Pacific Northwest. You may not see a single double-digit dump up north but models are showing a persistent fetch of light to moderate snowfall in many areas (North to south). I can’t guess on amounts currently and will nail them down on a later post.
AZ, NM, CO, UT:
An initial push of moisture from a separate system may work into extreme southern Colorado late Thursday (5-10). Significant snow from the Sierra works it’s way south and east for XMAS eve into the holiday. The route for heaviest moisture will be over most of Arizona, southern and central Utah, and a good portion of Colorado favoring resorts south of I-70. The Wasatch range of Utah could play well with plenty of moisture streaming north under southerly or SE flow initially (Sundance, Uinta range, Park City) and turning West-Northwest behind the front (Good for most of northern Utah). NW or Westerly flow could keep snow showers in the Wasatch through the weekend. The Wasatch can reap rewards of southern storms as I can testify being skunked by driving south only to find out I missed a foot of powder up north.
All resorts are in play for Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado! Moisture will take aim at the 4 corners and work north through most of Colorado very early XMAS day. With westerly flow we can get deep dumps from Statewide (Resorts on my radar might include Crested Butte, Purgatory, Telluride, Monarch, Taos, Flagstaff, Wolf Creek, Silverton) with plenty of moisture working north towards I-70 (Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge,etc.). “It’s a potent storm with lots of wind and cold air but also quick moving” Fast moving storms can spread less moisture but with the orographics and cold air would early guess at easily a foot of pow or more Get ready to chase this week as we gain additional details for the holiday! We will nail down amounts in a later post.
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