Report From Powderchasers
Snow is falling in the Western Cascades this morning as temperatures rise into the low 30’s at base areas. We hit Mount Baker yesterday who had 10-13 of medium density (Smooth butter with some fluff on top) from the night before. AVY danger is rising significantly with higher moisture content snow and strong winds. Winds today will crank to 55 MPH or higher with some upper wind closures likely this morning. If you get lucky winds will smooth things out with mank or butter turning better by the afternoon. Today features warmer air in the morning and another 4-8 inches at many resorts. Colder air will filter in late this morning dropping snow levels and improving quality by late afternoon. Total snowfall will be in the 8-10 inch range (4-5 fell last night at many resorts). Snowpack currently in the Pacific Northwest is very respectable as we have sampled the goods from Crystal up to Baker (Still looking to get to Stevens and Alpental). You might consider resorts in the central and northern Cascades for slightly colder temps at the base areas (Stevens or Baker) however Crystal benefits for higher elevations at the summit.
Beneficiaries from the PNW include central and northern Idaho and the Tetons. Light snow fell last night at many inland Cascade resorts including Schweitzer in Idaho who grabbed another 4 inches (5-9 in the past few days). Snow will continue in Idaho this morning into the afternoon (central areas like the Sawtooths near Stanley can do well) in many areas (Keep an eye on Brundage and any areas just south or Interstate 90 who had 4 last night and currently snowing).
NOAA posted 10-20 inches for the Tetons yesterday that got me researching a bit more (jumped me out of my chair). We think it’s overdone and are issuing isolated pockets of 7-13 inches likely for mid afternoon through late tonight. The highlighted snowfall will likely be from 1:30PM to 8PM. Therefore, last chair/tram today could be decent but 1st lifts in the morning might be better. The winds are West, SW which might favor JHMR a bit more than Targhee (Like NW flow). “Its really hard to nail down where that 13 inches is going to fall but my confidence is decent for a minimum of 5-10 and 30% chance of 11-14.” Lets hope for more and prove me wrong!
The Wasatch, southern Montana, and most of Colorado will only see light snow (Leftovers). Late this week looks very promising for many areas!
Extended: Significant storm is likely for most of California by Christmas Eve (Cold air and heavy snowfall). That system will push into the 4 corners late in the week and should provide a good blast of POW for many areas of the Wasatch, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and perhaps the Tetons this weekend!