[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]
Man what a pattern we are in. We first mentioned this Winter-like pattern a week ago, and so far it has delivered. 2+ FEET in Alberta, several inches at the upper elevations of Big Sky, Jackson Hole, and Alta, and the first snow of the season for many other places in Utah and Colorado.
In the image above, you can see the active pattern over the last few days and moving forward. The yellows and oranges indicate the rising air, which often leads to precipitation, associated with the numerous troughs that move through the Western US. We’ve had a couple storms move through fairly quickly, seen above at the start of the loop, followed by a deeper and stronger trough that sticks around for a few days. Once that area of low pressure moves through yet another faster moving system is possible.
So what does this all mean for us? On Saturday some light snow will be possible across central Idaho and western Montana, with moderate snow in the upper elevations of the Cascades. Crystal Mountain could see around 3-6 inches up top.
In the water vapor image above, you can see the highly amplified ridge in the Pacific Ocean and trough that will bring the winter weather digging in to the Western US.
The San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado are going to see some heavy snow from Saturday to Monday. The flow will be primarily out of the S and SW, which favors WOLF CREEK and SILVERTON. These areas will see 4-12″ during that period. Some warm temps may limit totals at lower elevations, but where it stays cold, above 12k feet, it will be deep by Monday evening. There’s enough moisture and lift with this storm to produce decent totals at TELLURIDE too. There could be an inch or two in town and several at the resort. Some higher elevations of the San Juans could get well over a foot of snow.
The northern mountains of Colorado will see snow during this period as well. Snow won’t be as focused as it is on the San Juans, but a widespread 3-6″ is likely through Monday. Overall, the snow will come in waves during this event, which may allow for some melting with the warmer temps in between stronger bursts of snow, especially in the northern mountains.
Utah saw its first snow of the season on Thursday, first in the Uintas followed by upper elevations at Brian Head and Eagle Point. This morning brought first snows to the Cottonwoods, with 3-6″ at Alta by mid morning. The snow will continue in Utah this weekend. Snow levels will hover between 7k-8k with the heaviest snow falling in the Uintas as well as central/southern Utah. EAGLE POINT and BRIAN HEAD could see another 4-8″ by midday Monday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see totals of 12″ at the summits especially for Eagle. Winds will mainly be out of the N and NE which isn’t favorable for the Cottonwoods, however another 3-6″ is likely for ALTA, SNOWBIRD, SOLITUDE and BRIGHTON.
This storm will bring widespread snow to most of Wyoming as well, with the Big Horn and Wind River ranges getting hammered. Northern Arizona, specifically the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff, could see a few inches of snow at upper elevations. Looking at you ARIZONA SNOWBOWL. Another significant snowstorm will target the West on the heels of this event. The models vary on how this will play out, but significant snow is once again possible for Montana, Utah, and Colorado. The snow from this event could last from Tuesday to the end of the week. We will post an update on next week’s storm as we get closer to the event. The pattern looks to finally become less active for the West towards the end of the week and next weekend.
Enjoy the snow everyone!
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