Snow forecast model for 12/3/17 | Image: NOAA | Cover Photo: Jan Tik

[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]


Summary 11/30/2017 AM Report

Models have flip flopped with every run and show some hope for the Rockies late this weekend and early next week. It’s not going to dump any double digit 24 hour “Get out of bed now” amounts but the sum totals over 48 hours may exceed a foot in some spots up north. The Pacific Northwest will continue to reap 2-3 systems this week with the strongest coming in Saturday/Sunday (5-10). If I were chasing consider Washington/Oregon/BC for the weekend and perhaps northern Idaho Sunday followed by the Tetons late Sunday/Monday. Utah could get a surprise but it’s unlikely more than 3-8 inches falls in the Wasatch. Colorado is a wildcard with a good chance of 2-5 inches in many areas of the northern mountains and if we get lucky higher amounts are possible

Short Term Forecast:

Light to moderate snow is falling over The Cascades (Mt Baker picked up another 5″ last night) that continues through most of the day favoring the northern areas (Light intensity). Another round of moisture edges into the Cascades Friday morning and continues through the weekend. I’m struggling to pinpoint the highest amounts but suspect most of the ski areas of the western Cascades picks up an additional 6-12 inches through Sunday morning. It’s possible higher amounts will be found at the summits. Moisture in Washington moves south Saturday over Oregon (light to moderate event) with cold air making its way into Northern California kicking off some snow showers perhaps north of Interstate 80. The best days to ride powder will most likely be last chair Friday or first chair Saturday however it will be lightly snowing into Sunday.

The Good: Snow is a certainty in most areas. Conditions improve into the weekend.

The Bad: Hard to nail the deepest amounts with no single overnight dump.

The Panhandle of Idaho Likely gets 5-10 inches Saturday/Sunday so look for some powder turns Sunday morning at Schweitzer. Areas south in Idaho including the Sawtooths will see light to moderate snowfall this weekend!

The models keep flip flopping on the Rockies but are creating a challenge that hopefully sorts out in the next 24-48 hours. I’t likely that the Tetons get light snow tonight (1-3) followed by moderate snow Sunday/Monday. There will be no single deep event but if your at Grand Targhee or Jackson Hole expect colder temperatures some light snow to start your Sunday and perhaps 3-6 inches by last chair. Some additional light good quality snow will fall Sunday nighty into Monday.

The Good: Snow is very likely as models are consistent.

The Bad: No single deep event but a chase downer of teasing periods of 2-4 inches but should be consistent and could hopefully add up?

Total snowfall through Monday morning over a good area of Idaho and Wyoming (no single deep event) | Image: WXBell

Utah models have lots of discrepancy. The Euro is demonstrating the highest amounts currently at 6-12″ in the Cottonwoods where the GFS is hunkering in at 2-4″. Its not common to see huge discrepancies but suspect better consensus in the next 24-48 hours. I suspect cold air and a quick shot of snow perhaps into the Salt Lake Valley begins Sunday morning and continues into the evening hours. I’m splitting the differences and forecasting 3-7 for the Cottonwoods, 1-4 for Park City and areas north in the Wasatch range. Most snow will fall during the day Sunday. Lets hope the Euro this morning was the correct solution!

Colorado has a better chance of seeing snowfall late Sunday into Monday. Some models show as much as 10 inches at Steamboat where others are at 2-5 inches. Cold air should kick off snow in most mountains Late Sunday into Monday. My forecast is going with a wide area of 2-5 inches favoring spots north or along I-70. Steamboat may reap higher amounts or perhaps Vail Pass with orographic NW winds. The Front Range will likely see snow late Monday or early Tuesday with a slow moving cold front that gets hung up in the Palmer Divide south of Denver. It’s possible that I-25 gets the brunt of the late Monday/Tuesday snowfall south of Denver.

Extended Forecast:

The extended forecast will bring a strong ridge of high pressure to most areas as these storm systems depart the West. The East coast is likely to earn some rewards that I will address on my next forecast.


I was having a discussion last night with my trustworthy chase consultant Luke Stone who works with me on my other forecast site. We pulled some data on Utah and found that low snowfall in November does not correlate well with annual averages. I will say that the amount of snow Utah has seen thus far this season is extremely rare. The issue is that currently we are stuck in high pressure and most of our systems have migrated to the north. As everyone knows pattern changes can happen quickly so to all my friends in the Wasatch I am by no means losing hope. It’s just not going to happen in the next 7-10 days.

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