Report From Powderchasers

Summary JANUAY 11, 17, AM REPORT

The last storm played out as I forecasted with the highest amounts found from Beaver Creek (10 inches this morning) through to Purgatory (7-9) and Telluride (11). The Tetons and Wasatch scored 9-15 inches of wet snow where Stevens Pass reaped 15 inches of medium density yesterday that I wished I chased for. The next 24 hours will feature 1-2 feet of wet snow for the Cascades, Central Panhandle of Idaho, with 7-14 inches likely for the Tetons and isolated areas of Montana. I like the looks of models for late next week with a warm start to the week finishing cold.

Short Term Forecast

Snow is falling over the Washington Cascades this morning with warming temperatures (Some mixed rain likely over Interstate 90- Snowqualmie Pass late in the day).  Most ski areas will see all snow through the morning with a possible change to rain in southern areas (Crystal) at the bases by 2PM. Significant dense snow will fall through Friday morning (2 feet in many areas above 5,000 feet).  The central and southern zones will see the highest amounts (Stevens to Crystal).  If you are there, grab morning chairs before the temps warm and be rewarded with 3-7 inches new that fell overnight. Significant snow will fall today!  Tomorrow may feature extended delays with avalanche control work and another 2-4 inches of drier density snow.   Avalanche danger is going to be very high tomorrow in the Cascades if you are venturing into the backcountry. 

The Panhandle of Idaho will score 15-20 inches near Lookout Pass with perhaps 6-10 at Schweitzer.  Best times to ski will be last chairs today and first chairs Friday. Montana also is on the wildcard list for spots near Missoula (5-10). Sun Valley should land some light snow late today/tonight (3-6).

The Rockies score in the north, especially the Tetons where another overnight dump of 5-9 inches is likely.  2-4 inches will fall today after 12 PM. The last storm came in heavy and ended a bit lighter Wednesday morning (Some wind impaction and density issues). Tonight will be a few degrees colder (NOAA has it being 5-10 degrees colder) which will bring snow to the bases (Targhee stayed all snow on the last system).  I suspect snow will be falling at lower elevations but don’t expect much impact on roads with 29-32 degree temps tonight. Caveat:  strong winds tonight will create drifted snow (waves at Targhee) with medium to heavy dense snow that may produce some variable conditions. “Its not an epic chase but may be worth it out of desperation for pow”. This storm should help out the lower faces of Jackson Hole that still need another 1-2 feet. Total snowfall in the Tetons from today through Friday should be 9-12 inches.

Below: It feels so good to see Beaver Creek score some overnight powder this morning (Since 3PM primarily).


Montana will see snowfall near Big Sky with 4-9 inches split between today and tonight (Ski late today and early tomorrow).  Red Lodge Mountain may see higher amounts to the East. Montana Snowbowl is my wildcard pick.

Light-moderate snow zips over north-central Colorado Friday morning (after midnight Thursday) and teases them with 3-6 inches over most mountain ranges along I-70.  I suspect areas west and north (Steamboat/Beaver Creek/Aspen) may score the highest amounts.  Someone may land more than 6 inches but thats anyones guess (Models show a few spots in the 6-10 but it may be overdone). Plan on waking up early and skiing some fresh powder Friday morning.

In Utah Snowbird, Brighton, Powder Mountain, Eagle Point (Southern) were all winners with between 11-18 inches. Look for new terrain to open at the Bird perhaps by this weekend. The next storm will graze the northern areas of the Wasatch with a Beaver mountain near Logan the only resort to watch tomorrow morning (2-5).

Below: Total snowfall in the west through Friday night.

Extended Forecast

High pressure this weekend gives way to an open fire hose next week in the Pacific Northwest. Warm temperatures may keep chases down to a minimum early next week with models showing colder air by Wednesday/Thursday.  Its possible that a large system evolve late next week overspreading the Cascades (High confidence) and Sierra (Moderate confidence) before sweeping over the Rockies next Friday/Saturday.  Its a ways out so details are unclear.  High confidence exists for an active period especially late next week. Chase mode will be in full effect.

Below are the ensembles below for next Thursday showing deep low pressure in the Pacific Northwest

BELOW is the ensembles for Friday as the deep low moves down over the Sierra and Rockies next week (Lets hope).

Powderchaser Steve

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