POWDER WATCH: Sierra, Cascades, Rockies Could See FEET Of New Snow This Week

POWDER WATCH: Sierra, Cascades, Rockies Could See FEET Of New Snow This Week

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POWDER WATCH: Sierra, Cascades, Rockies Could See FEET Of New Snow This Week

The Sierra Crest could see up to 3 feet by Saturday morning | Image: NOAA

[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]

Several waves of energy will begin to impact the west beginning on Turkey Day this week.

This will be the first broad trough to impact a wide area including the Cascades, Sierra, and most of the Rockies. 2 feet or more is very likely in many areas by next weekend. This is all good news!

Low pressure is entering the Sierra by late Wednesday night or early Thursday

Short Term Forecast:

The heaviest snow may occur in The Sierra just in time for your Turkey dinner. You can snowshoe, CC Ski or if you’re living dangerously– attempt to ski tour Thursday morning. Another system will impact the Sierra Friday/Saturday. Expect 5-10 inches above 7,000 feet from storm #1 and another 5-10 inches for Friday/Saturday. This may be a better time to cautiously skin if you must (Upper elevations could be deep). Amounts at the summits will be higher.

Caveat: Model confidence is 50% on amounts being 3-5 days out. Amounts are likely to change as we get into the 2-3 day range. Model confidence on the welcome pattern change is high. An excess of 2 feet is likely in the 7 day forecast above 9,000 feet. Snow levels will be rising and lowering several times this week bringing much less snow to the base areas.

Total snowfall for the Sierra through Sunday morning. Both northern and southern resorts of the Sierra will do well. Mammoth may benefit from higher elevation and significant summit totals.

The Cascades will see a brush of storm #1 as it drops south into California Wednesday/Thursday. Light snow in the Cascades will turn heavy by Thursday night and Friday morning. Cold air will bring snow below the pass levels. 12+ inch totals are likely for Crystal, Stevens, Alpental, and Mt Baker. Baker may be favored initially with SW flow initially before winds switch to west (Stevens or Crystal score higher amounts late week). If resorts were open, the chase would be Baker late Thursday or early Friday followed by resorts further south Friday PM and Saturday. Oregon will score deep freshies from this storm Thursday and Friday. Bachelor and Mt Hood will score!

The Rockies earn deep rewards favoring Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Montana is a wildcard with lighter amounts at Big Sky (refresh). In northern Idaho, Schweitzer may benefit with heavier snow late this week. The bulk of moisture sets up over central Idaho favoring resorts towards Brundage and even Sun Valley scores moderate or deep snow late this week. SW winds will pump moisture into the Sawtooth’s late this week! Its about time! Montana is likely to benefit on Saturday with moisture streaming up from Wyoming into the southern regions near big Sky (5-10).

Below: Total snowfall through early Saturday morning for the northern Rockies.

The Wasatch and Tetons will score deep rewards from Thursday to Saturday. Light to moderate snowfall will occur Turkey day followed by a short break. Storm #2 enters that region early Friday morning and continues through Saturday. Snowfall may exceed 2 feet in the Tetons and Wasatch by Sunday. You may consider a chase to Targhee late Thursday or Friday, followed by the opening of JHMR on Saturday. Alta opens November 23rd. Brighton is currently open! It’s likely Saturday offers the best chase day.


Total snowfall for the Wasatch through Saturday morning. Wide area of deep snow for Utah!

Colorado offers a bit of a mystery as we’re nearly 7 days out on the model forecasts. It’s likely that the northern and central mountains pick up moderate or heavy leftovers for the weekend. Some light snow will be falling as early as Thursday, with a break on Friday. Heavier snow will arrive for Saturday/Sunday. The storm will be weakening somewhat as it drags over the Rockies. Steamboat, Aspen, Beaver Creek or resorts on the far western side of the Divide are my early picks. The GFS is much less bullish than the Euro models. The Euro is showing as much as 10-16 inches at many resorts by late Saturday including the northern San Juans (Telluride).

Crested Butte, Aspen, Steamboat, Silverton, Telluride, Vail, Beaver Creek and perhaps Breckenridge may come up with the highest amounts.

The GFS Is much less bullish. Most all ski areas in Colorado will see decent snowfall from this storm with some favoritism to the far western side of the State.

Extended Forecast:

There is likely to be a break in the action early next week. Models show a chance of additional weak or moderate storm systems entering the west mid or late the following week.

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