Significant Snow Forecasted For Northern Rockies! [Powderchasers]

Significant Snow Forecasted For Northern Rockies! [Powderchasers]


Significant Snow Forecasted For Northern Rockies! [Powderchasers]


[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]


Summary  | October 29, 2018

Halloween will see colder temps and a tease of snowfall for the Front Range of Colorado.

Once the Ghosts have departed Wednesday might, moderate snow and a cool NW flow will bring a steady stream of light to moderate snow to most of the northern Rockies. Amounts will likely exceed 12-15 inches at the summits of some resorts by Friday. Alaska will see it’s first significant snowfall for Alyeska with light accumulations for Anchorage. Anchorage set a record for the latest seasonal Freeze hitting 32 degrees last night at midnight. Some parts of the Alps in Italy just scored 40-50 inches of snow!

Image: Total snowfall through Saturday morning for the west (Tropical Tidbits).

Short Term Forecast:

Precipitation was widespread on Sunday in the Pacific Northwest with mainly rain at mid or lower elevations. Most moisture will taper off today. Whistler Blackcomb benefited at higher elevations and per the snow camera, it looks like upper elevations picked up between 7-18cm.

Mt Baker was favored with SW winds on Sunday with colder temperatures. Snow telemetry is not registering any new accumulations, but it would not surprise me to hear about moderate snow at the summit. My hunch is that Crystal and Stevens nabbed some light snow at the summits. The Alaska mountains around Girdwood (Alyeska) could see decent accumulations later Monday through Tuesday with 4-10 inches expected at upper elevations. Anchorage will likely see its first flakes of the season with snow levels near sea level.

The Northern Rockies get a tease of powder Monday night/Tuesday over much of Montana and Wyoming (Light snow) including central Idaho. Cold air moving down from the north eventually gets into Colorado Tuesday morning kicking off moderate snow for locations favored in upslope flow (Rocky Mountain National Park, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass).  The latest models show deepest moisture just east or south of Denver.  North and NE winds will bring light snow to most of Summit County with moderate amounts likely along the front range foothills closest to Denver including Castle Rock (4-9).  Some snow will also be falling from Monarch to Wolf Creek albeit light.  

If your chasing powder, you might get lucky on Berthoud Pass but my confidence is on the low side. Best odds of snow will be during the day on Tuesday into the evening or Wednesday morning.  Snow will also be falling in New Mexico with up to a foot expected in the eastern mountains and 3-6 inches near Taos (Easterly flow may limit amounts).

University of Utah weather plumes for Berthoud Pass showing a mean 4-7 inches through Halloween day. Additional light snow will be falling In the extended. This may be overdone with a wide spread of the lines.

Extended Forecast:

Northwest Flow kicks in for the Rockies Wednesday-Friday.  That Is an ideal pattern for cold air orographics (Forcing of cold air on the mountain ranges creating lift and moisture) for many areas of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

The pattern this week is not overly moist, however contains the necessary ingredients for orographic accumulations that the models show as significant for some areas.  I am most bullish for Montana for both Big Sky and Bridger Bowl (*Bridger will have some advantages with this wind direction).  Expect 8-14 inches to fall in these areas with higher amounts at the summit.

The Tetons will also score powder for both JHMR, Teton Pass, and Grand Targhee. The heaviest snow will fall Wednesday night into Thursday (Moderate or heavy snow).

The Wasatch sits just south of the highest moisture.  Light snow will likely be falling from northern Utah to the Interstate 80 on Thursday (Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Park City,  Whisper Ridge). Models show the Cottonwoods might land 3-6 inches purely from NW wind orographics (Wildcard).  Powder Mountain also can do well with NW winds (Snowbasin prefers SW).   I am very confident for light snow in these areas with 30% confidence for moderate amounts at either Powder or the Cottonwood Canyons.

Colorado nabs NW flow late Wednesday through Friday. Expect steady light snow to continue into the late week time frame. The highest totals will be found on the western side of the Divide including Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, Steamboat and Snowmass.  The San Juans will see lighter amounts with Telluride also in the mix due to NW influence.   Amounts in areas favored by NW flow are likely to exceed 8-11 inches (Late Wednesday to Friday).


University of Utah weather plumes, Vail Pass- Steady light snow this week with a mean of 10-12 inches.  These plumes are often over done, so I am going conservative with the 8-11. Agreement is less due to wide spread of the mean (Darker lines).

University of Utah- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort- Higher confidence with tighter lines showing a mean of up to 20 inches throughout the week. I would scale that down somewhat but confidence is high on decent accumulations in the Tetons










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