SUMMARY: The storm performed as forecasted for Colorado with 17-20 inches (Silverton and Purgatory), being reported in the southern mountains and significantly less up north (Steamboat at 6). Wolf Creek has not reported with suspicion of similar amounts. The Sierra is getting pounded with 10-20 inches last night and colder temps, albeit strong winds. Snow continues in the Sierra with slightly decreasing winds with the colder air and additional moisture for the central Rockies.
FORECAST: Snow is ending in many locations this morning in the Rockies. Jackson kicked in last night with 9-12 inches, however, it was warm until the final few inches (upper 20’s even at higher elevations during the bulk of moisture). Expect deep cream over the entire range of the mountain with some mank lower down (Let it rip hero cream with some light frosting on top). The same scenario occurred in the Wasatch with areas favored by SW flow coming out ahead (Brighton at 8 inches). Elsewhere in the Wasatch, rain was mixed with snow at lower elevations below 7,000 feet. If your chasing, don’t expect faceshots unless you really push it, but the cream will make for some great snowboard surf or fat ski fun.
Snow increases by late afternoon in the Wasatch and will favor spots that do well with NW flow. Moisture totals look to be healthy for the Cottonwoods and perhaps even Powder Mountain who can benefit from this wind direction. Park City is favored on the Canyons side with 5-10 inches likely by Saturday morning (Overnight snow). In the Cottonwoods expect higher amounts with snow showers lingering into Saturday. Total amounts in the Cottonwoods will likely exceed 15 inches by the close of lifts on Saturday. Some snow showers will linger into Sunday (Light). The Tetons are chase worthy Friday afternoon through Saturday morning with another 6-12 inches of high-quality snow likely. Targhee may be favored over JHMR on this round but both will be close.
The Sierra continues to ramp up in a big way (Squaw telemetry is at 15 inches overnight this morning with cold temps). Another 10-15 inches is likely Friday, 5-10 Friday night and similar additions on Saturday. Snow showers will still be falling Saturday night into Sunday. Total additional snowfall for the Sierra through Sunday will be 20-35 inches. Storm totals that include last night will exceed 4-5 feet. Winds are strong this morning with a slight decrease by PM (Upper terrain may stay closed at many areas). Winds are moderate to strong on Saturday with better odds of fewer lift issues especially late AM. Expect to ride Friday, Saturday, and Sunday if you want to score some deep. Be prepared for your favorite terrain to not open today or even Saturday but odds increase as the time ticks on. Temps stay cold through the period.
Below: Additional snowfall for the Sierra Friday morning to late Saturday night. The northern Sierra around Lake Tahoe may be favored over the south (Both will reap deep rewards).
The Pacific Northwest scored 9 inches of blower pow at Baker last night with less to the south. Snow showers continue all weekend with freshenings likely Friday at most resorts (2-5) and again for Saturday/Sunday (light snow).
Below: Open Snow Pacific Northwest forecaster “Larry Schick” shoveling his car out at Crystal Mountain last Tuesday.
Colorado who scored big time in the south will grab leftovers from Utah overnight Friday into Saturday. Currently, amounts seem to fall into the 4-8 inch range. Winds start out from the SW Friday night with snow showers that may first start falling in the southern mountains (Additional light snow for the 4 corners). Saturday morning drags a cold front with a shift of winds to the NW and some brief bands of heavy snow start falling in the northern mountains. This will favor resorts along or north of I-70 especially Vail, Breckenridge, Highlands, and possibly Steamboat. The moisture is fast moving and not impressive on the model runs. Orographics (Cold air and optimal wind direction) may compensate for the lack of moisture on the models. My best guess is generally 3-6 inches for most mountains (Storm ski Saturday) with some pockets of 5-10 inches in favored areas for NW flow (Wildcards). A record amount of single day rainfall fell in Grand Junction yesterday (.43 inches) which broke an all-time statistic from 1943!
Some moisture is possible in the 4 corners early next week. Easterly upslope flow is possible in southern Colorado (southern foothills) Monday. Winds may switch to the SW by Monday night and put down some light snow in the eastern San Juans.
A decent storm is possible for the Pacific Northwest towards the middle of next week. This may filter in additional snow for the Sierra and Rockies for mid to late week. The 2nd week in the extended forecast looks to remain somewhat active with a drying trend to close out February.
If you want to get away from the crowds or simply step back into the old days of skiing take the extra mile and visit Beaver Mountain in Utah.