The Sierra is a clear winner in the past several days with Mammoth Mountain reporting another 12 inches last night and currently snowing. Mammoth has seen 56 inches of snowfall in December which compares to 24 inches last season. Moderate snow is on the way for the Sierra Tuesday night and Wednesday. Light snowfall is a sure bet for the Cascades, Tetons, and Colorado this week with a chance of a low end alert for southern Colorado and northern New Mexico Thursday.
A surprise 8-10 inches of freshies fell onVail Sunday night (On top of 6 from Saturday). Deep Faceshots in the back bowls as well as the front side on the upper mountain kept everyone smiling. That was a surprise dump that was not in the forecast. The locals were on it including myself. That might have been one of the best days of the season?My chase this week took me to Aspen Highlands on Sunday where nearly a foot of fresh fell making for near epic conditions on the upper mountain. Highland Bowl is open as well as a few sections of the steepest terrain on Steeplechase.
SIERRA: Snow will overspread the Tahoe Basin tonight and Wednesday with generally 4-8 inches in most areas. Lake level snow is likely (2-4). Heavier bands of snow might set up in the southern Sierra near Mammoth. Another moderate storm possible Saturday which is trending further north with each model run (Northern CA favored perhaps northern Sierra near I-80). Stay tuned for updates. Colder temperatures likely.
CASCADES: Light snow will be falling this week to the bases helping to freshen things up from a slow start to the season. Heavy snow likely by Friday as cold air and decent moisture blasts through the Northwest including Whistler through Saturday morning. That storm moves into most of Idaho and eventually Montana and the Tetons late in the week. After a break Saturday another storm rolls into the Cascades Sunday/Monday with warmer air and increasing snow levels (Rain at the bases). Cold air returns early next week with an increasing chance of snowfall from Whistler through the Cascades for much of the period.
ROCKIES: The best action in the near term will be found over the 4 corners Wednesday night/Thursday (UT, NV, AZ,CO) where 4-8 inches will fall from Flagstaff, Durango, Wolf Creek, and Taos. Winds shift to the NW on Thursday migrating snowfall from the 4 corners into central and northern Colorado. It will be snowing at many resorts Thursday however amounts will most likely remain light.
The Tetons: will benefit from light snow this week with a slight increase this weekend. The weekend storm will also benefit areas of southern Montana. Heavier snow is possible early next week as a cold front stalls over the Tetons (several light to moderate events) before moving south midweek over Utah and Colorado.
XMAS POWDER DAY? Forecasting over a week out is always a gamble! All hats could be off the table by this time next week but lets go for it! The trend for the West will be colder temperatures and a good chance of heavy snowfall extending into most of the Rockies. Cold air will kick off decent snowfall over Idaho, Nevada Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico,Arizona and Colorado. The Sierra may also see snowfall on the back side of the front (wildcard). The East Coast might see a decent dump over northern Maine. Remember, predictions this far out can be a gamble! Think Powder!