EPIC WATCH: Sierra, Rockies, Oregon Cascades 2-3 FEET LIKELY

EPIC WATCH: Sierra, Rockies, Oregon Cascades 2-3 FEET LIKELY


EPIC WATCH: Sierra, Rockies, Oregon Cascades 2-3 FEET LIKELY


Powderchasers Steve

Powderchaser Steve- Mount Baker -overnight snow 12/11/16

Report From Powderchasers

Synopsis:   Significant storm system is going to land over the Sierra, northern California-Southern Oregon, central and southern Idaho, Tetons, southern Montana mid week and eventually spread into the Wasatch of Utah and most of Colorado late this week including the 4 corners into New Mexico.

Powderchasers was deep in the White room this weekend both at Crystal Mountain and Mount Baker. We scored 12-18 inches at Crystal and 1 monster dump at Baker on Sunday (18-19 overnight).   Snow was light- medium density due to a stalled cold front bringing mountain temperatures into the low 20’s and snow levels to Sea level. Coverage at both of these resorts was mid winter conditions with rare blower powder that we found at Crystal on Saturday.  Other notable winners were the Tetons, and certain spots in northern Utah who picked up 20-30 inches in 48 hours (Snowbasin, Powder, Park City, Deer Valley). Sun Valley also nabbed respectable amounts and the next storm is likely to bring them significant snowfall Wednesday or Thursday!  Colorado surprised many of us as Steamboat nabbed 19 inches with many resorts coming up short except for high amounts at Breckenridge, A Basin, Keystone, Copper, Eldora, Monarch (9-15 inches).

Snow weather map
Moisture deepens Wednesday in northern California and southern Oregon (Bachelor)
The Week ahead:   I am going to summarize resorts in one section here and have more details as we get closer to the events.  Models are likely to change somewhat but our “confidence is high for very deep snow in many areas of the West.”  Light to moderate snow is falling tonight and Tuesday in the northern Sierra and Tetons

Some spots may see 11-15 inches of snowfall by Thursday morning.  Moisture also spreads over southern and central Idaho under southerly flow (Sun Valley and Brundage could see 12-15 inches or more) early Wednesday and in the Tetons Wed PM. “Heavy snow will crank in the Tetons Wednesday night and Thursday (12-24 inches likely through Friday).”Significant accumulations will be taking place this week starting out warm and ending cold (Tetons).”

The Sierra (Tahoe basin) finally gets into the action Thursday night and Friday.  Heavy moisture will be falling above 8500 early in the storm cycle before snow levels crash with a strong cold front Friday morning (Base level snow).  My early guess is 12-17 inches are likely over much of the Sierra including southern areas to Mammoth by late Friday. Higher amounts are likely above 9,000 feet! Base areas could see a mix of rain early in the storm cycle turning to all snow by late in the week with colder air.

Rockies:  Deep snow continues in the Tetons, central Idaho, and perhaps southern Montana (Wildcard) late this week (Slightly high snow levels with southerly flow) as a cold front finally reaches Wyoming late Thursday or Friday AM (Lowering snow levels and creating epic fluff on the deep medium density below).  That cold front will drop over the Wasatch of Utah by daybreak Friday enhancing snowfall in all areas of northern Utah (12 plus).

Colorado grabs teaser snowfall Thursday (3-7 inches possible north of I-70).  Snowfall intensifies late Friday/Saturday with cold air and epic events likely for many spots from Aspen through the San Juan’s.  “It’s possible that areas that saw little snow on the last storm get completely dumped on this weekend.”  I see early estimates of 6-10 inches for most of the northern mountains including I-70.  It’s very possible that spots near Aspen, Crested Butte see higher amounts (10-16).  It’s likely that the 4 corners  get 12-20 inches (Wolf Creek) or more!  Arizona resorts as well as New Mexico are solid players here.  We are putting Taos ski area well into play (9-14 inches) this weekend.


A more detailed forecast will follow as details emerge.  Epic Watches are the time to start planning chases.  Chases likely will include Sun Valley, Brundage, Bachelor, Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee mid- week.  Late week will feature spots in the Sierra, Wasatch or continuing snow for the Tetons.  The Weekend may include central or southern Colorado (Thursday teaser up north but heavy snow all areas this weekend).  New Mexico may end our chase pick by Sunday.. Its hard to nail down 5 days out but confidence is high in significant dumps in many areas.

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