Report From Powderchasers

Summary  February 7, AM Report

Great day for Colorado as 10-18 inches landed at many resorts on Tuesday. Keystone was the overall winner and Telluride scored the wildcard with 12 inches. NW flow kicked in for Telluride yesterday giving them bonus powder especially yesterday morning (12 inches in 12 hours). The next 3-5 days will feature a lighter version of the last storm with warm temps in the Rockies followed by bitter cold temps as arctic air pushes in behind most of the moisture late week and weekend. Chases will be tricky once again dodging warm air that will impact most ski resorts until late week. Even northern Montana may see rain at the bases this week turning to all snow by Thursday afternoon.

Short Term Forecast

Light snow will be falling in the Tetons, northern Colorado and spots near Whitefish Montana that may see moderate amounts (2-5).  The chase could begin in Whitefish tonight and draw you south into the Tetons  on Friday.  If you want a safer bet, fly to the interior of BC this morning and ride powder near Revelstoke through Friday (5-10). Temps will be cooler with slightly better quality at the summits. Warm air initially this week will be followed by very cold temps late week with decreasing snowfall.

Below: Warm air over the western mountains time stamp late morning Thursday

Below:  Cooling trend pushing west and south by midnight Thursday (Montana)

Below: Very cold air over most of the mountain regions of the northern Rockies by Saturday morning

Whitefish will see an increase of snowfall by Thursday morning (Dense snow) before colder conditions bring a coating of fluff by afternoon.  Snow totals should range from 7-12 inches by late Thursday (Wednesday-Thursday totals). The highest amounts will be at upper elevations.  The caveat is warm air sticks around until Thursday morning so amounts and quality will vary elevation dependent. You should score 2-3 inches today and another 5-9 inches tonight and Thursday.  If the cold air arrives earlier on Thursday it could be  an even better score.  Higher amounts will fall east or north of the Whitefish ski area.  My associate took advantage of Great Northern Powder Guides, Cat Skiing yesterday north of Whitefish

In Wyoming expect a repeat at Jackson and Targhee with light snow today followed by warmer temps on Thursday. Snow at the bases will turn to rain on Thursday while moderate amounts fall at the summits (5-9).  Total snowfall at the summit of JHMR will range from 5-10 inches by late Thursday and 0-2 inches at the base (Mostly Wednesday before the warming occurs Thursday). Targhee will see lighter amounts (SW wind direction favors JHMR).   Cold air moves in Thursday night and Friday with light snow at all elevations expected for 1st chairs (This may be your best bet but certainly a wildcard on amounts).   Further north, Big Sky should see all snow however amounts will be lighter. Red Mountain Lodge in Carbon County Montana (Just over the WY line) is a strong wildcard for last chair Thursday or 1st chair Friday. 7-10 inches should fall in the mountains just west of the ski area with 4-8 inches likely for the resort. Any shift of moisture just 10-20 miles east will increase totals for Red Mountain Lodge.

Below: Total snowfall for Montana, Wyoming and Idaho through Friday night.

Colorado is in position to benefit this weekend with light or moderate snow favoring the northern mountains.  Currently it may favor the Continental Divide including Rocky Mountain National Park, Loveland, Winter Park, Eldora and eastern Summit County. Timing: Most snow will fall late Saturday morning through Sunday.  Last chair Saturday or 1st chair Sunday are your best bets with moderate amounts possible (3-6).  Snow is also likely in New Mexico near Ski Santa Fe who can do well with NE wind direction on Sunday.

Extended Forecast

Early next week shows discrepancy in models.  Another system will likely move into the west early next week. This may take a path further west. This may swoop into Nevada brushing the Sierra and take a path over central Utah before moving into Wyoming and Colorado. I have moderate confidence that Tuesday-Wednesday see some unsettled conditions with low confidence on track or amounts.  The ensembles are showing high pressure moving over the west in the long term where the operational models are trying to bring another system over much of the west by late next week (NW flow).  I have little to no confidence in any solution at this point, with my gut telling me we may be in for high pressure beyond the early next week system.

Powderchaser Steve

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