The West just got hammered with too much snow for many resorts in the Sierra to open steep terrain but today and tomorrow (early) should offer a quick glimpse at the steeper resort terrain.
Utah, Colorado and New Mexico nabbed between 1-3 feet of new snowfall. Mammoth mountain is reporting 7 feet in 2 days (Summit) and the storm cycle is just beginning. Am I allowed to say WHOLLY S#@T. In Utah resorts near Park City, Deer Valley fared deeper than than Alta but the winners were in the extreme north (Beaver Mountain- 2 feet plus) and south near Provo at Sundance who reported 22 inches yesterday morning.
“Colorado is back in full force from this last storm with some of the highest storm totals in the Rockies as we predicted.” Crested Butte and Wolf Creek nailed 30 inches in 2 days. The Wolf is just 1 inch shy of hitting a 100 inch mid mountain base.
We heard that Vail and Breckenridge were epic yesterday “perhaps the deepest day of the year” according to Mountain Nomads (*Chase shuttle) based in Summit County (Check them out if you want to chase powder and mention Powderchasers). Heavy snow fell over all of Colorado and most of northern New Mexico so nearly any resort you hit had deep freshies.
[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]
The next parade of 3 large storms is going slam into the Sierra Saturday and head into Idaho, Utah and Wyoming late this weekend. The Pacific Northwest will get some moderate action this weekend (Panhandle of Idaho fares better).
Sierra: Heavy snow will return to the Sierra this weekend with snow levels rising to 8500-9500 near I-80 and as high as 10-11,000 feet near Mammoth (Rain at all bases). I expect another several feet of snow to fall through Sunday night at higher elevations. Mammoth will come up on top with perhaps another 4-5 feet at the summit by Monday! From a chase perspective this event will have lots of issues that I am not confident on a suggestion (wind, warm, significant avalanche danger). Colder air moves in Monday turning all low elevation rain back to snow with decent accumulations! Monday afternoon or Tuesday may be decent days to get out as terrain slowly opens at many resorts (Suggest low angle resorts less prone to avalanche danger as the quality of snow Monday/Tuesday will be decent). AVY Danger will be extreme so “Know before you go” in the Backcountry!
Pacific Northwest: Light to moderate action expected this weekend with perhaps 3-6 inches in the Panhandle of Idaho especially Sunday. Interior BC finally gets back into the action next week with a trend for light to moderate snowfall over several days.
Rockies: The Fire hose from the Sierra pumps significant moisture aimed at the Wasatch of Utah, Tetons, central and southern Idaho, and eventually Colorado early next week.
Utah/Idaho: Snow levels will rise to 8,000 feet in Utah by Sunday so choose resorts with higher elevations if possible as peak snowfall in the northern Utah arrives late Sunday through Tuesday. “A strong cold front slams the Wasatch Monday night bringing snow levels to the valley floor for Tuesday morning (Good day to catch 1st chair in Utah).” Central Idaho will also fare well from these storms especially with the cold front due on Monday (South and central resorts favored) with 1-2 feet likely at higher elevations. Stick to higher elevations before the cold air late Monday night.
Wyoming: “The Tetons are in the path of perhaps 2-3 feet by Tuesday!” Light snow Sunday turns heavy late and continues into Tuesday (Dense with mid mountain temps in the high 20’s, low 30’s at the base). Colder air could bring epic conditions to the Tetons late Monday night into Tuesday with lower densities.
Colorado will begin to see snow as early as Sunday night near Steamboat that eventually brings light snow to many areas Monday. Late Monday night into Tuesday could deliver 12 inches PLUS to most mountains in Colorado under westerly flow and cold temperatures). This may end up a near repeat of what we just saw this week (Trend is for a Statewide moderate to heavy event).
Another significant system slams into the Sierra mid and late next week. These systems will have some colder air with better densities! Several feet will fall with each system. These systems will impact the Rockies next week with very short windows of any break from heavy moisture. I anticipate Powder Alerts for many areas again mid to late week and will issue on a future post. The Sierra might exceed 200 inches in many areas with some spots in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado in the 4-5 foot range by late week.
*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