[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]
-March 27, 2017 0800 MST
As I mentioned yesterday, a significant storm should set up over the Front Range near Denver by Wednesday morning. Models are still on track for what appears to be a good event for both Utah and Colorado over the next 2-3 days.
Snow will move into the Wasatch of Utah impacting all mountain ranges today above 7500 feet (Rain may fall at the base of Park City however from mid mountain upwards, skiers and riders will see snow accumulating). Due to the convective nature of spring storms, I would not rule out some thunder snow this afternoon. The northern and central Wasatch ranges are favored as winds shift to the Northwest late today and usher in cooler air.
Moderate snow, occasionally heavy, will accompany a cold front by 3PM today. Snow continues over the Wasatch into Tuesday morning. Snowfall today should range from 2-3 inches over the Park City range to 4-7 by last chair in the Cottonwoods. NW flow tonight will bring another 3-4 inches to the Park City and ranges to the north (Snowbasin, Powder) with up to 5-10 inches tonight in the Cottonwoods. Total snowfall over the Cottonwoods will be 9-17 inches by mid morning Tuesday. Elsewhere, totals will range from 5-10 inches above 7500 feet. Little Cottonwood is favored over BCC with NW flow. This season Brighton in BCC has logged significantly higher totals than Alta due to many storms with SW flow.
The Colorado update is trickier with some wind shifts and upslope flow noted at the back end of the storm Wednesday. NW flow should favor resorts West of Vail Pass after midnight Monday with snow continuing into Tuesday. Moderate snow will be falling in most of the western mountains from Steamboat into Western Summit, Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen to Telluride Tuesday. Heavier snow may fall in the Aspen Valley as noted on models but it’s a wildcard at this point. Expect storm ski conditions Tuesday (4-7) at many resorts (Moderate with some heavy amounts possible in isolated areas west and south zones). An additional 5-8 inches is likely late Tuesday into early Wednesday (Points south and west). Last Chair Tuesday might be the pick here?
Snow in Colorado continues into Wednesday with a shift further East over the Front Range (Summit County included). NW flow might continue over the western mountains (Good for Steamboat, Vail, Breckenridge) with North flow setting up closer to Winter Park and the Front Range. I would expect a solid 5-11 inches through Wednesday at most front range resorts. 1st Chair Wednesday would be my choice as snow showers continue through the day. Areas along the Divide might be deepest.
The Chase? I think Utah is a safe bet for Tuesday morning in the central Wasatch range. Snow will be falling in Western Colorado (Areas from Beaver Creek south and west from Aspen to Telluride are favored). Snow levels in Colorado will be high so areas near the bases will see much less snow (storm skiing upper elevations). Last chair Tuesday might be a good bet (West or south of Beaver Creek).
On Wednesday I would target areas from Aspen east towards Summit County. Look for colder temps and a wide area of 6-12 inches for first chair. The Divide near Loveland or areas towards Granby should also reap rewards with northerly flow. Resorts along I-70 and south will be favored with northerly upslope flow.
I will issue a future update as conditions change. Be safe on the chase!
– Powderchaser Steve
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! There is a new Balaclava that is in production so please be patient as it’s due to us in the next 2-3 weeks. 10% gets donated to avalanche forecast centers in the West.
Donate here: Powderchasers Fund