The Unofficial POW: Spring Weather Gives Way To Snow | Alerts For The Sierra Followed By Rockies

The Unofficial POW: Spring Weather Gives Way To Snow | Alerts For The Sierra Followed By Rockies


The Unofficial POW: Spring Weather Gives Way To Snow | Alerts For The Sierra Followed By Rockies


NOAA Radar Forecast For Thursday | Image: NOAA

SUMMARY: The only spot in the West that has logged much snow this week has been British Columbia where up to 2 feet has fallen in the past 7 days. The Cascades of Washington grabbed cold temperatures and several 2-4 inch teases. Temps have been summer like in Boulder (My post location) with upper 70’s along the front range. Models are all targeting the Sierra Tuesday and again Saturday this week with good leftovers aimed at southern Utah, Arizona and Colorado for Wednesday-Friday. A stronger system will push into the Sierra Saturday and might bring a better chance of snow for northern Utah and the Tetons late week. Teases will be happening early this week in central Idaho and the Tetons with several days of light snow above 8,000 feet.


Snow will begin falling in the Sierra just after midnight Monday and continue into Tuesday. Warm temps initially will keep most snowfall contained to terrain above 7,000 feet. First chair Tuesday may be on the light side where mid day or late day will be deeper. Currently most models agree on 5-11 inches (Highest amounts above 7,000 feet). There may be deeper amounts over Mammoth as moisture takes a southerly route and higher elevation peaks. My chase might hold off until Saturday when deeper snow is in the extended forecast with colder temperatures.

Snow from the Sierra splits with light snow aiming at the northern Wasatch, central Idaho and the Tetons. This moisture is weak but might freshen upper terrain somewhat Tuesday night/Wednesday especially the higher peaks of the Tetons (2-5).

The southern split has more moisture and works its way over most of central and northern Arizona Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Moderate snow is possible above 9,000 feet in southern Utah and perhaps isolated spots in Arizona. Colorado is a strong contender for moderate or heavy snow late Wednesday night (southern mountains) into Thursday. Central Utah near Price (Soldier summit could also score with leftovers just reaching the southern or central Wasatch as well (Lighter amounts). The models disagree on amounts! When I average out the data I have moderate confidence for 5-10 inches for both the southern mountains (Silverton, Wolf Creek, Durango being favored) for late Wednesday night through mid day Thursday. The Euro which we can’t share on this post depicts heavy snow for the Front Range resorts on the eastern side of Summit County and the Continental Divide (Loveland, Winter Park). This will most likely happen Thursday/Friday so last chair at resorts closest to Denver Thursday or 1st chair Friday might be solid bets. Remember, the models don’t agree currently (Future updates). If I split the model differences I am bullish for Aspen. Wind direction early Thursday provides good coverage for Colorado starting from the SW (4 corners) and quickly switching from the West and Northwest late AM/PM. This really puts everyone on watch in Colorado. My target resorts right now will be Wolf Creek, Aspen, Crested Butte, followed by most of Summit County extending into the Front Range. You might be able to chase to the 4 corners early Thursday and grab last chair in the central mountains (Monarch) or 1st chair Friday near Denver. Updates will be issued!

Extended Forecast:

A deeper system moves into the Sierra beginning late Friday. Warm initial moisture Friday night will be followed by colder temperatures Saturday for most of the Sierra. This system might favor resorts in the northern Sierra. Early estimates are 10-16 inches at upper elevations with some higher amounts near the Sierra Crest. 1st Chair Saturday with some storm skiing in the morning might provide a reminder of what the White Room looks like. Don’t expect blower as temps will hover in the 30’s at the bases and the 20’s at upper peaks. Warm temps Friday night could produce a wet cushion for the medium density that falls Saturday.

Moisture for the next 7 days (Cumulative) for the West

That system takes a due Easterly path over the Wasatch, Tetons, southern Montana and Colorado during the weekend. Amounts will most likely be moderate for many areas with colder air pushing snow to the Valley near Salt Lake by late Saturday night. I’m not going to speculate on amounts at this point with high confidence in the moderate range.

Another system late this week will continue to push light to moderate snow into the Cascades. Some spots might tweak out some decent snow from Tuesday-Friday. Idaho could benefit from the PNW troughs as well as the storm over the Sierra that works north late this week.

Target chases for late week will be the Sierra (Saturday) followed by perhaps central Idaho, Wasatch, or Tetons late Saturday/Sunday. Colorado might be in the mix late this weekend or Monday the following week.


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