Powder Watch Issued For Just About Everywhere!

Powder Watch Issued For Just About Everywhere!

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Powder Watch Issued For Just About Everywhere!

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Cover Image: Homewood Mountain Resort | Image: Sierra-at-Tahoe

Cover Image: Homewood Mountain Resort | Image: Sierra-at-Tahoe

Report From Powderchasers

SUMMARY: 

Snow is continuing in the Sierra (14 additional inches at Squaw overnight) with temps hovering at freezing near the bases and mid to high 20’s at the summits. The Tetons slowed down last night with another good shot of moisture headed there for Wednesday/Thursday. Idaho continues to score in isolated areas. Temps are warm with the exception of Montana where Big Sky scored 11 inches in the past 24 hours. Warm temps continue until Thursday PM/Friday when a sharp cool down impacts the intermountain west. Colorado may end up winning the powder game late this week with 1-2 feet likely by late Sunday.

FORECAST:

It’s pretty much a repeat forecast with a stationary front continuing to pump an Atmospheric River of moisture into the northern Sierra extending into Idaho and Wyoming.  Sun Valley may finally score higher amounts (6-7 last night) where winds are more favorable for (SE) today. Temps are warm so it’s wet snow at lower elevations and pretty dense at upper elevations.

For the Tetons, snow will increase on Wednesday with another 5-9 inches during the day before decreasing at night.  Snow will increase again Thursday with an additional 5-9 inches.  Temps continue to stay on the warm side for the Tetons so AVY danger will continue to rise.  Temps will slowly cool late Wednesday into Thursday (2-3 degree drop) before dropping significantly Thursday night. Expect 10-16 additional inches by Thursday afternoon with the warmer temps and 2-5 inches of colder frosting Thursday night/Friday (Could be really fun riding on Friday morning).  It’s likely that February will go down as the deepest month in history for either Jackson or the Ski Resort but this is not official yet.

Snow will continue albeit lighter 24-hour totals for most of the Sierra.  Temps will keep snow levels around 6500 feet but with convective showers, it will drive the freezing levels lower (Most bases). Another 2 feet or more of snowfall is likely through Thursday night.  Winds appear to be strong Wednesday (Wind holds likely) before decreasing on Thursday.  There may be a break in the precipitation late Thursday into Friday so if you’re aiming for open terrain that might be a good window.  Thursday may also offer some windows with decreasing winds.  Yet, another storm moves in with similar snow levels for the weekend!  Most resorts in Tahoe have set all-time February records!

FINALLY, we can talk about Utah and Colorado.  Models show a tease of light moisture for Thursday before a stronger but quick moving cold front drags moderate snowfall to most of northern Utah for Friday morning.  You will most likely awaken to 7-11 inches in the Cottonwoods and 4-9 inches in the Park City area (Canyons side may be favored).  Similar or less amounts may fall in the northern Wasatch near Powder Mountain, with less at Snowbasin.  West winds are a decent flow to most areas of Utah however models still point to a bit higher amounts south of the Great Salt Lake.

In Colorado, I have high confidence for ample amounts of snowfall, especially in the extended forecast. In the near term, Thursday teases will turn into a moderate dump likey favoring the northern mountains.  Models only lead me to believe wide areas of 3-6 inches and isolated pockets of 5-10 inches possible closer to the Wyoming border.  Steamboat would be close if that moisture drops slightly further south.  Aspen also may see slightly higher amounts?  I will narrow the Friday totals in on the post tomorrow. Keep reading below for the extended forecast.

EXTENDED:

The Sierracontinues to grab snowfall this weekend (Ditto Ditto Ditto).   Pacific Moisture streams over the intermountain west taking a more southerly route over south-central Utah, and a wide area of Colorado.  Some moisture will stream north into the Wasatch especially early Saturday.  Moderate amounts are likely with warmer temps and SW wind direction (Northern Wasatch sometimes scores with this pattern).  I like the Friday storm better due to colder temps, but some sneak up powder is certainly worth watching for the Saturday/Sunday event as an unsettled pattern of snow showers continues this weekend. Totals in the Wasatch between the Friday and weekend storm will likely exceed 15-18 inches (only good overnight dump likely to be for Friday morning).

Below:Total snowfall for Alta showing mean snow totals (Dark blue and red lines) somewhere in the 10-18 inch range mainly from Friday to Sunday. Confidence is only moderate at this point with some model ensembles coming in lower.

Coloradowho may see some favortism in the north on Friday gets deeper rewards for all areas along I-70 and south for Saturday/Sunday/Monday.  It’s likely that you will score moderate snow at some point during the day Saturday that intensifies late.  Totals for most of Colorado are coming in with 12-20 inches for many resorts.  The highest amounts may be found in the central and northern mountains with less in the southern San Juans.  The northern San Juan mountains (Telluride) may sneak out decent amounts.  Best days to ride will be storm ski Saturday, deeper Sunday, and some leftovers continuing into Monday.  Remember, Friday?  Someone might score up north for Friday morning.

Below:Total snowfall for Colorado through late Sunday.  Highest totals may be found along I-70, Summit, Eagle, Pitkin and even Gunnison Counties.  Decent amounts into Grand County near Berthoud Pass and Winter Park.  High confidence in a good dump for most of northern and central Colorado!

Enjoy the powder everyone.  If you’re in the deep today, remember tree well immersions are a real hazard (Stay away from the bases of trees as they will suck you in). I had to unbury a guy last year who went head first into a well.  Ride with a whistle on your jacket! Ski with a partner!  Never venture into the backcountry without the knowledge and a partner.

Powderchaser Steve

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