[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]
Happy Halloween everyone! The Ghosts have arrived, landing moderate snow in many areas of Colorado this morning. It’s early on Wednesday and from the looks of most webcams, 4-9 inches fell in many areas of Summit County with 11″ at Breckenridge, 8-9″ at Winter Park.
In New Mexico Taos and Santa Fe scored big time with 10-12 inches being reported up top and still dumping. We forecasted similar amounts yesterday for our updated Colorado forecast (The 11 is on the high side) and also highlighted Monarch. Monarch has not reported but we suspect decent amounts there as well.
Most snow along I-70 is weaning this morning, however, snow will continue in the southern mountains Wednesday morning (Including northern NM). The pattern shifts to colder temps and NW flow for the next 5 days. This will usher in several rounds of light to moderate snow, occasionally heavy in the northern Rockies through Monday. Some areas may see 12-20 inches or more by late Monday night.
Snow will pick up in Montana just in time for the Trick or Treaters from Bridger to Big Sky (3-6 inches). The Tetons will see higher amounts, especially at the summit (6-9) through Thursday morning.
That migrates into Colorado Thursday with light orographic snow showers impacting most mountains west of the Divide (North-Central mountains are favored). Expect Vail, Aspen, and most of Summit to be reporting light or moderate amounts through Thursday evening. Orographics (Not overly moist) alone with NW winds, colder temps will keep amounts below advisory criteria (Powder Alert) however can often deliver surprise totals. The next in several series of systems will be stronger in the extended forecast. Amounts will be deep by Sunday or Monday!
Snow showers continue in the Tetons Thursday while Montana dries out. The next wave of moisture will arrive Thursday night/Friday for south/central Montana (Big Sky, Bridger, Red Lodge Mountain). Expect some fresh powder for Friday morning in these areas (Light to moderate amounts). If I were on the chase, this may offer the best opportunity for some 1st tracks. The chase will then continue in the extended forecast to the Tetons and Colorado (See extended).
The Wasatch sits just south of the heaviest moisture this week. Some snow is likely with the heaviest amounts north of Interstate 80 (Logan Summit, Beaver Mountain) in the next 48 hours. The Cottonwoods south of I-80 will see weak orographics through Friday (light snow) possibly picking up Saturday morning and again Monday. 5-day totals may exceed 4-8 inches? Higher amounts might occur near Powder Mountain or areas north to Logan like Beaver Mountain.
A stronger system tracks over the Tetons late Friday into Saturday pushing into Colorado later in the period. This system may bring 5-10 inches to many mountains from Grand Targhee, and Jackson. Similar amounts may occur for most northern and central mountains of Colorado Saturday. I’m liking Steamboat, Snowmass, Vail, Breckenridge for the highest amounts (*benefit from NW flow), but all ranges of the Rockies will see decent amounts by late Saturday. If your riding open resorts on Saturday in Colorado, there is a good chance you will be storm skiing.
Another strong push of cold air and NW orographic lift will hit Montana and Wyoming on Sunday. Moderate to occasionally heavy snow will be found in these areas by late Sunday. Colorado grabs these freshies late Sunday/Monday. This push of moisture late in the weekend or Monday may deliver the best chase of the week!
It’s a wild week ahead! Enjoy the powder everyone!
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— Powderchaser Steve