Look Out Rockies-- We've Got Snow Next Week For UT, CO, ID, And CA

Look Out Rockies-- We've Got Snow Next Week For UT, CO, ID, And CA


Look Out Rockies-- We've Got Snow Next Week For UT, CO, ID, And CA


The Pacific is definitely active but timing and snowfall forecasts are far from confident | Image: NOAA

[Forecast Courtesy Of Powderchasers]


– Summary. November 27, 2017

I don’t usually like to go out beyond 5 days as models are only somewhat reliable. So what do I like about this particular long range outlook?

Related: NOAA Forecasting La Nina For 2017/18 | Ski Resorts That Should Get Above Average Snowfall

There is colder air and moisture that will move into the west later this weekend. It’s likely that moisture moves in somewhere over the Pacific Northwest quickly dropping into the Sierra by Saturday/Sunday before swinging into the Wasatch, Tetons, and the 4 corners including Colorado and New Mexico. I will address this in the extended forecast.

*Models will certainly change but I’m being optimistic a bit far in advance than normal.

Short Term Forecast:

Taking a quick look at snow totals this morning (Automated data) there appears to be 7 inches at 9,000 feet for Mammoth (Still snowing moderately), 4-6 inches at 8,000 feet at Squaw with low confidence on the summits (Most likely higher amounts since temps stayed warm even at 8,000 late yesterday when the moisture began). Mammoth was gusting to 90MPH at the summit this morning. Additional snow will be falling this morning especially the further south you travel in the Sierra. I would expect another 4-7 inches to fall south of the Lake. “Some resorts might not make the foot we forecasted” with a wide array of low numbers at low elevations and decent numbers near the peaks. Snow reports might be on the lowish side since mid mountain elevations may have come up short. Mammoth is reporting 7-12 inches from mid to the summit (Wind holds likely) as of 8AM MST.

The Tetons will get a quick blast of wet snow today (3-5) followed by 1-2 inches of frosting tonight (Colder). “It might be enough just to sneak out a creamy finish to the day with last chairs being my pick for Targhee or JHMR.” First Chairs Tuesday will offer a light coating of fluff with colder temps. The Wasatch and most of Colorado see a quick moving cold front that should land 2-5 inches for the Cottonwoods, 1-3 inches- Park City and areas north and perhaps higher amounts the further south you travel towards Brian Head (Wildcard).

Colorado has decent wind directions for precipitation (NW- or North flow) so many areas will be reporting light snow tonight with generally 2-4 inches. I am more bullish for the I-70 corridor and areas south with moisture extending into Telluride, Aspen, Monarch and perhaps even Wolf Creek (Wildcard) that might pick up higher amounts if we are lucky. Next week looks better for Colorado so keep reading!

The Cascades nab a decent shot of snowfall late tonight and Tuesday especially the northern areas near Mt Baker. Most snow will fall during the morning and afternoon hours Tuesday so overnight snow will be limited. Expect 5-10 inches at Baker by last chair and 3-7 at Stevens on Tuesday (May be chase worthy). Crystal may end up in the 2-5 range?

The Good: Decent moisture Tuesday.

The Bad: Winds, snow level is creeping up slightly Tuesday AM (Mixed precipitation possible early before changing back to all snow late AM). Not much overnight snow Monday so reports will be on the low end when you wake up Tuesday morning.

Extended Forecast:

It’s likely that the Sierra nabs another foot or more of freshies late this weekend with a good consolidated system over spreading a wide area of the Rockies. The Wasatch may nab double digits especially Sunday/Monday (Day 7 in the forecast period) with decent amounts in the Tetons, southern Montana, Idaho and most of Colorado. The current model trend puts the highest totals in the San Juans for Colorado (15-20 inches) with moisture streaming north into the above mentioned areas.

A decent trough will enter the west this weekend | Image: WX Bell

“We believe that southern areas of the Rockies will do best but thats not to prevent decent numbers extending from the Wasatch into southern Wyoming or Idaho.” Early next week may also see a path of snow extend into the Eastern Plains of Colorado (Denver may be impacted early next week). Wildcards are possible for Arizona Ski Bowl,Taos, and Ski Santa Fe.

The Good: Decent system coming ashore for the west coast this weekend with cold air.

The Bad: Models this far out will change so pinpointing your best chases is a bit risky on this forecast. Moderate confidence on amounts currently.

You can see moisture streaming in beginning late this weekend into early next week per the GFS which holds low to moderate confidence this far out | Image: Tropical Tidbits

The period beyond the weekend/early next week storm in the west appears to migrate to high pressure for most of the West for at least 5-7 days (Blocking high). The East coast Is likely to see a stormy period while the west dries out! It’s possible that New England land decent snows during this period (Day 9-14 in the extended forecast).

— Powderchaser Steve

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