California, Nevada, Iadho, Utah, and Wyoming are all under “Power Alert” | Image: WXBell | Cover Photo: Oregon Department of Transportation

[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]

Several low pressure systems are headed for the Sierra with each one progressively stronger through Wednesday next week. Those systems will weaken as they move through the 4 corners and spill north into Arizona, Southern Utah, and most of southwest Colorado this weekend. A split flow will direct another path of moisture to the north through Idaho and the Tetons especially late this weekend and again early next week. If your willing to chase between the Sierra and areas north in the Rockies you might come up in the White Room nearly every day through early next week. The final wave over the Sierra Wednesday may bring widespread snowfall to most of Utah and Colorado by late next week.

THIS POST IS IN MEMORY OF Joe Zuiches who tragically died while doing avalanche mitigation at Squaw Valley Ski area on January 24th. Joe was on the patrol since 2012 and left behind a wife and infant son. Family and friends have established the Joe Zuiches Memorial Fund through Go Fund Me to help cover funeral expenses.

Donate here: Joe Zuiches Memorial Fund


CA storm #1: The winter weather system is just entering the Tahoe this morning and will quickly provide a storm ski day favoring resorts in the Northern Sierra (North Lake and Interstate 80 near the crest see the highest amounts). This is a quick mover and will be NADA by evening. Expect a quick 6-9 inches at upper elevations of Sugar Bowl, Squaw and perhaps Kirkwood. Southern Sierra resorts (Mammoth) will see 2-5 inches. Chase north for the deepest pow today (Pre holiday crowd bonus).

The Cascades and northern Rockies will start to see colder air move in today bringing a quick 4-8 inches for many resorts (Perhaps higher) especially over Mount Baker. Models for areas from Stanley Idaho and north into McCall (Brundage) show decent snowfall today with up to 4-9 inches. Sun Valley sits just south of the main precipitation but should nab some light snow today. The Tetons will squeeze 2-4 inches out later today. Brundage might be a good option today (May have the mountain to yourself). Things get deeper so keep reading!

CA Storm #2: Moderate snow will pick up over the Sierra Friday morning and continue through Saturday morning. The bulk of moisture will hug the coast but decent spillover will be happening from Lake Tahoe through Mono County (Mammoth). I expect the southern Sierra to win the game by Saturday morning with up to 14 inches at the summits and 7 inches at the base. The northern Sierra near Lake Tahoe should see 5-10 inches. While amounts are not huge clearing may take place Saturday afternoon allowing resorts to open upper terrain and decreasing winds. Chases might include Kirkwood, Mount Rose, Mammoth or Diamond Peak. Do your best to avoid holiday crowds.

The split flow will shunt moisture south through Arizona and southern Colorado Saturday (light snow). The northern branch races through Idaho (Sun Valley could be a winner 6-11) Saturday night and Sunday. Sunday brings a good shot of chasing to the Tetons (4-8) or Wasatch(5-10) during the day. Snow will increase in Colorado Sunday night into Monday with moderate amounts in the 4 corners (4-8) and less up north. Winds shift to the west over Colorado Monday morning so spots long I-70 will be picking up light or moderate snowfall (your big dump waits until the extended forecast).

Chase wisely! My eyes are on the Sierra Friday/Saturday, Idaho late this weekend, and the Tetons and Wasatch for Sunday/Monday. Things get deeper in the extended forecast!


Heavy snowfall will close off the holiday weekend over the Sierra on Monday. Significant snow is likely through Tuesday (Entire Sierra range) before a final wave moves in on Wednesday. Expect 2- 3 feet or more at the highest elevations through Wednesday. “Last chair Monday and 1st chairs Tuesday and Wednesday will be deep.”

Total snowfall for the Sierra through Tuesday morning | Image: WXBell

The northern Rockies benefit Monday through Tuesday as heavy snow streams north into south-central Idaho, and most of Wyoming through Tuesday. The Cascades of Oregon and Washington will also see an uptick of moisture and colder temps early next week. The northern Wasatch is in the mix as a wildcard with more moisture in Wyoming.

Total snowfall through Tuesday morning (Begins today) over Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. | Image: WX Bell

The final wave over the Sierra Wednesday opens up as a broad through and should bring good westerly flow over most of the Rockies late Wednesday and Thursday. I like the chase potential for the Wasatch, Tetons, and most of Colorado on Thursday! Stay tuned!

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