Total snowfall for NE through Wednesday mid-morning. Higher amounts possible with higher snow ratios possible with the colder temps (Map is 15:1). | Image: WXBell

[Forecast courtesy of Powderchasers]


Decent cold dump for New England Tuesday night will bring great turning conditions for the East coast for Wednesday. An Atmospheric River will set up over California later this week with 1-2 feet of snow for the weekend. The bulk of moisture drags south into the 4 corners of AZ/CO with southerly winds pushing pow north as far north as the Tetons (Lighter amounts the further north you travel). Next week may continue a colder and moist pattern for some areas, especially the 4 corners.

Short Term Forecast:

Snowfall for Colorado ended late AM Monday with amounts in my original forecast with resorts closest to the Front Range in the 2-5 inch range. Further west significantly lower amounts fell.

New England would be a great spot to chase this week with a bonus overnight dump expected for freshness on Wednesday. Temps are cold so quality will be high. Models are consistent with 7-12 inches likely for most ski areas for 1st chair Wednesday. it’s possible that higher amounts fall near the Berkshires and near North Conway or western Maine where models show the higher ends of the ranges. Chase today as roads will be slick tonight through Wednesday with the colder temps. Even Boston grabs snowfall tonight.

In the West, a teaser will brush The Sierra this Thursday (*not chase worthy) before a much wetter system sets up for Friday night-Sunday. Temps are on the warmish side through Saturday morning with snow level around 6500-7,000 feet through late Friday. Temps will cool Saturday with higher quality on the tail end of storm #1 for some decent density on top of the heavier snow. It’s challenging to predict how much snow will fall once the cold air arrives after midnight Friday. Even with 6500-foot snow levels initially, snow can fall to the bases near 5,000 (Freezing level is often 1,000 feet below the actual snow level when precip is falling). Prepare to ride the Sierra Saturday morning with 9-13 inches of new snow on the ground.

The southern Sierra near Mammoth Mountain will see higher amounts (12-20). The models are in some disagreement with amounts. The Euro shows higher amounts (Trend is higher), where the GFS slightly downtrended. if the Euro is correct, it’s possible that higher amounts get reported. I split the difference in my forecast above. Additional snow is likely Sunday/Monday in the extended forecast.

Total snowfall in the Sierra through Sunday morning. The Euro not shown here has higher amounts (1-2 feet). Riding Saturday and Sunday may offer decent quality with colder temps on the latter period. | Image: WXBell

The Pacific Northwest including British Columbia grabs 6-12 inches Friday and Saturday. Snow levels drop by Saturday, especially in the northern Cascades and BC. The most significant snow for Whistler and the interior of BC should happen on Friday. The northern Cascades of WA will see moderate snowfall Friday. Snow continues in the Cascades Friday night favoring the northern Cascades near Mt Baker (10-15 inch storm totals). Prepare to ride late Friday or early Saturday. Whistler Friday including the interior BC resorts should also be worth chasing.

The Rockies will be addressed in the extended forecast below.

Extended Forecast:

Additional snow is likely for the Sierra Saturday night and Sunday. It’s possible that storm #1 and the additional snow through the weekend offer little breaks. Colder air Sunday/Monday should offer higher quality. Monday offers some decrease in precip for the Sierra. Total snowfall from Friday-Monday may exceed 2-3 feet at the upper elevations.

For the rest of the west, the northern trough in The Cascades brings a good shot of 5-12 inches to the northern Panhandle of Idaho Saturday before dragging across northern Montana (Light to moderate amounts).

The southern branch of moisture in the Sierra spreads east over Arizona Saturday (*northern AZ may score), and most of the intermountain west by late Saturday and Sunday.

With S or SW wind direction it’s possible that Sun Valley scores some moderate POW Saturday before the storm moves east into the Wasatch and Tetons. Sunday will offer fresh pow for the Wasatch (Moderate amounts) that will continue albeit lighter through Monday. It’s possible 10-15 inches fall between Sunday-Tuesday with no single double-digit dump in a 12 hour period (Sunday may be close). Those amounts will favor Big Cottonwood Canyon and perhaps the summit of Deer Valley or Snowbasin who are favored with SW flow. Temps are on the warmish side, so lower amounts are likely at lower elevations.

The Tetons and even southern Montana will see moisture stream north. Amounts may be less than Utah however respectable from Sunday-Tuesday (5-10). Sunday or Monday may offer your best odds.

In Colorado, the 4 corners are favored Sunday-Tuesday. Sunday may offer a good storm ski day with some new snow for the lifts opening near Wolf Creek, Purgatory, Silverton or Telluride. Additional snow will fall during the day Sunday. Models show that the Sierra storm #2 (Sunday) moves east over the 4 corners of AZ/CO/and New Mexico by Monday or Tuesday next week. That might bring an even higher push of snowfall to Colorado and New Mexico (Taos). The southern Mountains will most likely be favored. Amounts might be significant by late Monday or Tuesday.

Enjoy the powder everyone!

— Powderchaser Steve

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