[Forecast Courtesy of Powderchasers]
Summary. 12/27/2017 AM Report
Models continue to advertise significant moisture will continue in the Northwest and northern Rockies this week into Saturday. The highest period of snowfall will occur Friday/Saturday with a cold front. Flip flopping snow levels in the Northwest will bring rain to bases at times on Thursday or early Friday. The Tetons continue to reap light snow each day this week perhaps turning moderate late in the short term forecast.
EPIC ALERT: Erie, PA just broke the state record with 60 inches of snowfall over a 2 day period! Who would like that to hit their ski are right now?!?!?
Snow moves into the Pacific Northwest Thursday morning primarily focused in the northern and central Cascade regions. Snow levels should be at the bases so expect 3-8″ during the morning at Stevens Pass and Mt Baker with perhaps 2-5″ at Crystal Mountain. This may be a good opportunity to get out before warm air impacts conditions Thursday night or Friday morning. Snow levels will rise Thursday night and Friday (5,000-5500 feet south and 4,000 feet north) with an increase of moisture especially in the southern Cascades. Rain and snow continue heavy at times Friday morning. Mt Baker may stay colder in the north so consider a chase for moderate snow falling during the day (*Mixed precipitation at the base is possible). Snow levels drop significantly late Friday night and early Saturday with moisture decreasing by 11AM. Expect 4-8 inches of good quality snow for your 1st turns Saturday especially in the southern or central Cascades. Total snowfall in the Cascades should be 1-2 feet at upper elevations through the week especially above 6,000 feet. It’s possible that your turns Friday morning or Saturday morning are much deeper at the summits of both Crystal and Stevens (Less at the base). Best chase days will be Thursday (Still cool) and again Saturday (Cold) with the tail end of the moisture.
Action moves into the Panhandle of Idaho Thursday-Saturday. Peak snowfall and colder air will happen Friday afternoon through Saturday. Warm prefrontal moisture is likely Wednesday nighty into Thursday. Moisture appears highest south of Interstate 90 (Central or southern Panhandle) extending into central Montana (5-10″) through Thursday night. Moderate snow will be falling over northern Panhandle mountains through Thursday night (3-7). Snow will increase Friday night into Saturday for all mountains of the Panhandle with colder air. Expect an additional 5-10″ in many locations including Schweitzer for 1st chair Saturday. Total snowfall for the week may run 12-24″ (Highest in the SE Panhandle). 12-15 inches are also in the chase cards for Montana especially near Missoula Friday or Saturday. Schweitzer may see weekly totals in the 8-14 inches (Late week picks).
The Rockies continue to reap rewards from Red Lodge to JHMR. The Euro model shows best moisture near Red Lodge Mountain while the GFS shows decent moisture for Big Sky and The Tetons. My thoughts are 12-18″ for Red Lodge Mountain and 7-10 inches for Big Sky primarily Wednesday to Saturday. The most significant period of snow will be Friday/Saturday so consider last chair Friday and 1st chair Saturday. Snow will continue in these areas into Sunday morning. Storm totals may exceed 2 feet just above the Wyoming border. My best guess for the Tetons is 2-3″ each day this week with perhaps 5-10″ from Friday afternoon through Saturday. It has snowed nearly every day this week in the Tetons with intensity increasing as we approach the weekend. Storm totals in the Tetons on the GFS are showing 1-2 feet. The Euro is showing 8-12 inches. I suspect weekly totals will be 10-15 inches through Sunday (Peaks late week and the weekend). There may be no single double digit event within any 24 hour period. Temps warm late this week (Upside down) before cooling for the weekend.
Leftovers edge over northern Utah and Colorado Saturday/Sunday with nothing worth a chase (sorry for the bad news). The northern Mountains of Colorado could nab 3-5 inches late this weekend?
High pressure returns next week for most of the west. long term models show a trend for snow to possibly return sometime in the 2nd week of January.
– Powderchaser Steve
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