Report From Powderchasers
The cream out west will focus on the southern mountains of Utah and Colorado initially Thursday/Friday. Dense snow, heavy at times will peak at some point Thursday in the San Juans (Storm ski 3-7 inches) and continue into Friday. Models differ on exact locations for the highest snow. Currently, all data gives me low confidence for the northern San Juan range (Telluride- 2-5) and high confidence for strong bands of snow for areas north or east of Durango. Focus on Purgatory or Wolf Creek (Silverton should score but is closed). The winds are nearly optimal for Wolf Creek but lack much westerly component Southerly). I believe that might push things further west towards Red Mountain Pass. Regardless, plan on riding 6-11 inches for Friday morning (3-6 will have fallen Thursday). Lower amounts may be evident at lower elevations with the warmer temps at the bases.
For central and northern Colorado light snow Thursday (1-3) will uptick slightly on Friday. Moderate dense snow is possible above 9,000 feet for the I-70 corridor (3-6). highest amounts may focus on the western portion of I-70 from Aspen to Crested Butte with southerly flow pushing light or moderate amounts towards I-70. Higher amounts may fall west of Glenwood (Rain at all lower elevations). Summit will grab a light refresh.
Colorado grabs a break on Saturday before another system with cooler temps ramps up snow for Sunday and Monday. It’s likely that late Sunday and early Monday offer moderate to perhaps deeper pockets of medium density pow for the I-70 corridor in Colorado. Westerly winds should favor I-70, even Aspen before snow begins to favor the eastern sections of the Divide with a brief shift of winds to the N or NE. It’s a fast mover so my expectations are low for double digits but someone is likely to score a decent day with better quality either late Sunday or early Monday.
For Utah, I mentioned heading south for Thursday/Friday (Brian Head or Eagle Point). I am not sure which mountain favors S-SW wind directions. Both have decent elevations during these warmer storms.
The Wasatch will tease all week with wet snow above 8,000 feet (Stick to the Cottonwoods) primarily Thursday and Friday. No single deep event! Good cream up top with denser snow at the bases. Saturday may offer a break. I like Sunday’s timeframe with cooler temps and moderate snow falling late Saturday to Sunday midday. West winds will help orographics slightly. My early guess is 4-8 but that forecast is likely to change.
Even the Tetons and southern Montana are in the hunt for Sunday. Light to moderate snow is likely for both areas with higher amounts in the Tetons (4-6).
New England is in the spotlight for Saturday! Thanks to a reader Ryan Scanlon (“You’re neglecting the east”). Temps are the big wildcard for New England. One model keeps the mid and upper elevations of the mountains below freezing. The other shows slightly warmer temps. Regardless, I have high confidence for snowfall for New England Friday night and Saturday. The highest amounts are likely to fall in the central to northern areas of Vermont and New Hampshire. Warmer temps further east may bring less snow to resorts closer to the coast. Snowfall totals look respectable with 5-11 inches or more likely by 9 AM Saturday. Higher moisture along the coast Friday afternoon (Warm part of the storm) may bring more precipitation to Maine than the interior New England areas. It’s possible that the summit of Sugarloaf grabs an advantage. Cooler air works it’s the way from west to east late Friday night (West winds) so interior Vermont and New Hampshire get the early advantage on the cooler temps. Another storm with cool temps is possible early next week!
Bottom Line: Southerly moisture (Dense snow) will be deep Thursday and Friday (6-12) in the San Juan range. The Wasatch is on the northern edge and will get teased all week (1-3 at the bases- 4-8 summits-Rain at lower elevations of the I-80 corridor). Moderate snow possible for central Colorado Friday pushing further north along I-70 (Teaser but maybe a surprise by late Friday). Sunday could be decent for the Wasatch (Wildcard moderate amounts). Sunday or Monday increases snowfall for central and northern Colorado.
Below: Total snowfall through the week for both the west and east! The game wil be dodging the spring temps initially with cooler conditions for the West late this weekend. New England may score by Saturday at upper elevations.