[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]
Update — 2/8/18 AM
It’s in the 60’s today in Denver with spring fever and mountain biking taking place on the Front Range (I am riding Table Mountain this afternoon). The forecast from yesterday is still on track with models in good agreement this morning. Warm air is still impacting most of the mountains in the west (32 degrees at Whitefish base, 40 degrees at JHMR). Is this really February?
Temps will be significantly colder in all mountains of the Rockies by Friday or Saturday. Cold air will move into Northern Montana by noon today with snow increasing during the day. The highest amounts will be confined to areas north and east of Whitefish. Whitefish ski area should nab 3-5 inches during the day and additional light snow tonight (Bitter cold temps by Friday). Expect dense snow this morning, medium by noon, and blower by night. Areas further north especially near Glacier National Park will see higher amounts (7-12). Winds may create significant blowing and drifting snow. Blizzard conditions and dangerous wind chills will exist in north central Montana tonight and Friday.
Meanwhile in BC, Revelstoke nabbed 10 inches overnight with snow continuing through the day. Very windy conditions are likely to keep some lifts on hold today. Clearing is likely by Friday. Cooler temps to the valley floor have prevailed with light snow in town. Hopefully you chased there for opening this morning.
For the rest of the west snow we don’t see any long term chase options. Short term chases are in the cards for light to moderate snow over Bridger Bowl Thursday night into Friday (3-6″) with less expected at Big Sky (2-4″). Your best bets are first chairs on Friday. Jackson and Targhee will see an increase of light snow through Saturday. Best days to ride may be Friday as temps cool and 2-3 inches overnight Thursday add another 2-3 inches during the day (Good quality). Snow continues into Saturday morning with bitter cold temps (Single digits at the summit). There is no 3 hour period of heavy snow, however the sum of the next 2 days may approach 5-9 inches. Aim for Friday late AM through Saturday but don’t expect deep (You will get blower light fluff by late Friday or early Saturday).
In Colorado we are bullish for the southern San Juan mountains. The northern Front Range resorts near Denver are a wildcard. NW winds favor Telluride, however shifting to the West or SW during the event that may push moisture further south towards Purgatory and Wolf Creek. Overall my gut tells me Telluride will score Saturday late AM through late Saturday night (Combined day and evening snow- 6-10 inches). Light snow will be falling over most of the northern mountains of Colorado Saturday morning (1-3 inches on the snow reports) with an additional 2-5 during the day. The highest amounts are likely to fall north of I-70 in Rocky Mountain National Park, Winter Park, and possibly Eldora by late Saturday in the 3-6 inch range (Higher amounts in Rocky Mountain National Park). Snow increases in the south Saturday PM through midnight. Other medium hot spots may include Aspen with 4-6 or more by late Saturday or early Sunday. Crested Butte is a solid contender late AM Saturday through Sunday (4-6). The southern San Juans will see the highest totals by Sunday morning.
You may be able to ride Saturday north of I-70 and score powder again Sunday by chasing south. You may not get overnight double digits at any single resort but will get double powder days.
New Mexico is in the game plan for Sunday as light or moderate snow will tease many areas that have seen little of no snow all season (*can someone comment on how the resorts are holding up?).
In the extended forecast, I don’t see anything significant next week. There is a chance the Pacific Northwest gets teased late week. In the following week it’s possible that additional systems work into the northern Rockies but too far out for confidence.
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