NOAA forecast radar for 12-6-18 | Image: NOAA

[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]


Light snow is moving into the northern and central mountains of Colorado this morning. That will continue through most of the day favoring resorts on the western side of I-70. I would be bullish for Vail today for 1-4 inches of freshening by last chair Wednesday. Steamboat or Aspen may also score similar amounts.

I completely missed the 7-10 inches that fell at Steamboat yesterday (Overnight Monday). The next several days will feature moderate snow for the San Juans and the southern Sierra. Next week will be deep in the Pacific Northwest (Finally). 3-4 feet are possible in the extended Powderchasers forecast.


Light snow continues in the northern and central mountains of Colorado today. If your really looking to chase some fresh, aim for Copper, Vail or resorts north to Steamboat. The further west of the Divide you travel the higher intensity snowfall. I would expect 3-4 inches by the close of lifts on Wednesday.

Moisture in Colorado decreases tonight in the northern mountains and increases in the southern San Juans Thursday. A quick moving system moving into California today will take a southerly track over the San Juan mountains Thursday. Models disagree on amounts with the GFS taking most moisture south of Wolf Creek into New Mexico, while the Euro a bit more bullish for Colorado. I would expect 4-8 inches for Wolf Creek by early Friday (Split snow from Thursday and Thursday evening), and 3-5 inches for resorts like Purgatory, Telluride, and Silverton. Telluride may see lower amounts due to SW wind direction (Likes NW best). If you chasing powder aim for Friday morning as your best bet. Light snow may still be falling when the lifts open Friday.

The Sierra is seeing light snow currently that will drop south later Wednesday. In the north resorts around Lake Tahoe will only see light or moderate amounts for the close of lifts Wednesday. The southern Sierra may sneak out 4-9 inches near Mammoth so Thursday morning may actually be a solid choice. That system is going to move into Colorado Thursday late AM through Friday as mentioned above.

Extended Forecast:

For the first time all season, I can be optimistic about the Cascade Ranges of Washington, Oregon, and coastal BC. Weak systems will begin impacting these areas this weekend. Systems will progressively get stronger next week especially Wednesday/Thursday. It’s possible that several feet of snow will have fallen in these areas next week. The Washington Cascades will see the highest amounts (2-4 feet). Whistler will also score some deep powder! Interior BC gets the leftovers that could add up to 1-2 feet

It’s a bit far out to throw out numbers so these will all be adjusted as we get closer. My optimism is very high on snow for the PNW. My confidence for 3-4 feet is sitting at 50% right now.

The moisture from the Pacific will weaken as it drags over the Rockies next week. My highest optimism currently is for most of central and northern Idaho with perhaps the Tetons as a wildcard.

–Powderchaser Steve

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