Powder Alert: MT, UT, WY | Powder Watch: Colorado

Powder Alert: MT, UT, WY | Powder Watch: Colorado

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Powder Alert: MT, UT, WY | Powder Watch: Colorado

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[Cover Photo: Steve Jurvetson]

Special thanks to Phunkshun Wear based in Colorado for sponsoring this forecast. They provide amazing solutions for technical fabrics that protect your face while on the slopes (Made in Colorado).

Synopsis:

Every season some ski areas that are still open get some significant dumps in April and sometimes early May. For some reason these storms are hard to nail down with snowfall totals dependent on diurnal heating mixing with colder air aloft as well as warmer moist air being drawn from the south. The next storm has a nice moisture feed from the south that will stream up towards the Wasatch, Tetons, and southern Montana Thursday-Saturday. A cold front drops down from the north late this week taking warm southerly winds (Dense snow) to medium density. The mountains in Southern Montana and the northern Wasatch could do well. Colorado is our wildcard with some models showing decent snow in the south San Juans (Wolf Creek) and others taking most moisture south and East towards the NE corner of NM and southern Colorado. As details iron out I will update this forecast.

Details:

Remember to check with your ski areas before venturing on a chase! I believe most resorts in Wyoming are closed with the exception of Grand Targhee. Light to moderate snow will be falling over the upper peaks of Whistler Blackcomb on Tuesday and Wednesday. Higher elevations could grab 4-9 inches of snowfall through the period. Our social media director in Squamish and will be riding WB on Tuesday “Go Canada.”

Snow will break out over the Wasatch of Utah early Thursday albeit light. By mid day intensity increases as snow levels drop (Wet snow early Thursday followed by medium density late). I would expect 5-8 inches during the day above 8,000 feet. Snow continues into the evening with a wind shift to the NW. Moderate snow (Drier density) may taper off late evening and resume again on Friday (light to moderate). Total snowfall through Friday should be in the 7-12 inch range. There may be breaks in the action making no single deep day but continuing to improve. Best days to ride would be late Thursday or early Friday. Moisture continues this weekend with unfavorable wind directions for the ski resorts. NE or North winds could produce significant snowfall (9-18″) in the Uinta range or areas to the East of Park City. Some snowfall will be falling in the Wasatch as well but amounts will be lighter (Perhaps some surprises). Total 3-4 day snowfall over the Wasatch range of ski areas should be decent but perhaps no single deep 12 hour dump.

Moisture will be feeding the Tetons Thursday/Friday (5-10 inches above 8500 feet). Southern Montana where Big Sky is still open should fare well especially AM Friday through early Saturday. Warmer winds initially from the SW turn N or NW by late Friday. This could spell for 5-11 inches or more through the period. Storm ski Friday and catch refills on Saturday. It won’t be Cold Montana smoke but who cares– it’s mid April.

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Colorado:

The last to see the storm and presenting the most mystery to my forecast. One model (GFS) shows decent snow over the southern San Juans (Wolf Creek) by Saturday morning. Another model (Euro) takes most moisture south and east over NE NM and SE Colorado. Low pressure will be spinning over the 4 corners through Monday. I am very confident that heavy snow will be falling over the East side of the Divide especially this weekend. I have moderate confidence that the San Juans near Wolf Creek Pass will grab 4-6 inches for Saturday morning (Lower confidence for 6-11). The Front range resorts near Denver are a wildcard. Monarch likes NW or West flow but sits on the Divide making Easterly flow a wildcard (Sometimes they get skunked and other times with stronger East winds can luck out). Eldora likes upslope flow but sits on the north side of the storm (closed for the season). I will update the forecast in a few days but right now keep an eye out for A-Basin, Breckenridge, Monarch and Wolf Creek this weekend (Wolf might be best early Saturday).

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