The Unofficial Pow: Epic Alert Issued For PNW, Sierra, Utah, Northern Rockies

The Unofficial Pow: Epic Alert Issued For PNW, Sierra, Utah, Northern Rockies


The Unofficial Pow: Epic Alert Issued For PNW, Sierra, Utah, Northern Rockies



[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]


SUMMARY: The chase crew headed to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort yesterday. 6 inches of dry blower (Sunk to the bottom surface) quickly turned into a “Sneak up powder day” as I suspected with up to 12-14 inches by 4PM. Mid mountain was wind loading while the peak was scoured just outside the tram. We heard Grand Targhee also scored. The snow Tel and snow reports were underestimating the amounts due to wind. The next 5 days is so active that I am not sure where to begin! Chase to the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Sierra, Tetons, early this weekend and consider the Wasatch early next week. You can’t go wrong in any of these areas over the next 5 days. Colorado will do best early and mid next week especially Tuesday / Wednesday.


Jackson Hole Mountain- Base February 2, 2017 Sneak up powder day PHOTO: Powderchasers

CHASE PACIFIC NORTHWEST: Light snow turns heavy through today with 5-10 inches expected in most areas favoring perhaps southern resorts (White Pass, Crystal) and the far north near Baker.

Heavy snow would keep me in the PNW (Oregon and WA Cascades) for Saturday-Monday with generally 6-10 inches each 24 hour period. Total snowfall should range in the 20-30 inch range by late Monday. Temps are warmer on Saturday and early Sunday but dropping mid day Sunday/Monday. Snow quality will be best mid Sunday or early Monday. Forget the bottom surface that has been sitting idle by late Saturday or Sunday as it will be gone with all the dense snow followed by lighter density late this weekend. Epic Alert hoisted for Sunday/Monday.”

All resorts will do well from this system from Baker, Stevens, Alpental, White Pass, Crystal including the Eastern Cascades, Mount Hood, and to a slighter lesser extent Bachelor. I might favor resorts near Mount Hood or spots near Crystal, White Pass or Mount Baker but it’s going to be a fairly even spread.

The Eastern Cascades will reap rewards including northern Idaho near Schweitzer where several inches will fall through Monday. Expect 15-25 inch storm totals for these resorts or more by late Monday.

CHASE NORTHERN ROCKIES: The Tetons and most of Idaho are on my short list for this weekend. Models have downtrended slightly over the Tetons and increased moisture over central and southern Idaho. Expect 6-9 inches tonight in the Tetons, 7-12 for Sun Valley and 9-14 for Brundage through late Saturday morning. Snow continues in the Tetons Saturday with total amounts from 12-14 inches by late Saturday. “I think Idaho resorts will win by 5PM.” The Wasatch grabs the leftovers as well as northern Colorado that could formulate some surprises (Alta- 5-7, Steamboat-5-10, Winter Park 3-7, and less along I-70 and south).

CHASE SIERRA: Snow is falling currently with very strong winds. Kirkwood reported 8 inches this morning (1/2 from yesterday). Expect a wide area of 9-13 inches today with wind holds on upper mountain elevations. Snow might favor the northern Sierra slightly over the south however colder temps at Mammoth may keep quality on the better side. Tonight snow tapers in the south but redevelops along the Sierra Crest near Lake Tahoe (Northern resorts favored). Expect another 4-8 inches tonight bringing storm totals in the 12-22 inch range by Saturday morning. Winds will still be strong Saturday so expect further delays on lifts perhaps easing late morning or afternoon. Light snow showers may continue into the weekend.

Total snowfall through Monday afternoon. | Image: WeatherBell

Total snowfall through Monday afternoon. | Image: WeatherBell


Moderate to strong system system pushes into the Sierra Sunday night/Monday with another quick hit of 9-14 inches of snow and strong winds. That system has huge bonus points for the Rockies Monday-Wednesday. “Heavy moisture will focus on most of Idaho (Schweitzer is getting buried), south through Sun Valley (9-15). The Wasatch will grab moderate to heavy snow Monday AM through Tuesday morning (7-14) The Tetons will be in scoring position Monday AM through early evening.” Montana is on the short list with moisture at it’s best Monday night and early Tuesday (Big Sky, Bridger- 4-9 inches overnight).

Colorado will be under Westerly flow especially Tuesday morning where moderate snow will be falling over most resorts. Areas near Crested Butte might be favored (6-12) however spots like Monarch and isolated spots in Summit and Eagle Counties could be close (Beaver Creek, Breckenridge like West flow). Confidence is high for moderate to perhaps heavy snow in many spots of Colorado early next week.

Another system pushes into the Sierra Tuesday which pushes another moderate round of snow into the Wasatch, Southern Idaho, Tetons and Colorado midweek.

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