The Sierras Are About To Get Slammed, AGAIN! (Powder Forecast)

The Sierras Are About To Get Slammed, AGAIN! (Powder Forecast)

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The Sierras Are About To Get Slammed, AGAIN! (Powder Forecast)


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The endless parade of deep storms continues for the west with several options to ride deep snow in the next 5 days. The Sierra gets clobbered late this weekend with the Rockies seeing decent amounts favoring the northern and central regions. The PNW will be deep by Friday. You could chase from the PNW, to the Sierra or the Rockies with multiple deep days. Snow continues albeit lighter intensity into the middle of next week.


Some big winners for Thursday morning!

Arizona Snowbowl- 36 inches

Wolf Creek 15-20 inches

Mount Lemmon (Tucson AZ) 13 inches (WOW southern AZ pow)

The chase on Wednesday took me to Snowbird where LCC had closed once again with 3-4 inches from the previous night. Many locals have given up on the road closures so once things opened the crowds were not bad. Snowbird opened High Baldy with the first tram and Mineral Basin by 11:30 AM. These areas were closed with the 2 feet previously and rode as good as things get (Bluebird Mineral laps).

The PNW is underway currently with snow falling in most areas of coastal BC extending into the Washington Cascades. As of 7 AM MST, Thursday 2-4 inches were on the snow telemetry sites mainly in the northern and central western Cascades. Snow will intensify Thursday and spread further south by 1 PM (Southern Washington). A Puget Sound Convergence Zone will likely form over the I-90 corridor Thursday evening and Stevens Pass. Look for 15-25 inches storm totals for these areas and 9-15 inches further south (Crystal, White Pass). You can ride pow by midday Thursday and the first chair on Friday. Oregon grabs their goods primarily Thursday night into Friday morning with a focus of 12 plus inches for the northern areas. This is a cold storm but has 1 caveat (Strong winds Thursday decreasing some for Friday). Very strong winds Thursday afternoon could limit lift openings at upper elevations and also create some havoc on the actual quality. If they decrease early enough Friday it will be primo!

Below: Total snowfall for the PNW is going to be deep by late Friday (Northern or central regions are likely to see the highest totals, especially the I-90 corridor).

Elsewhere in the west, this system will overspread northern Idaho (Sandpoint) and the Panhandle of Idaho with a fast mover Friday (Moderate snowfall) that takes a northern route over the Tetons. Expect storm skiing Friday for JHMR with this quick hitter (5-10 inches by the last chair). Northern Colorado may also be a good place to chase powder with Steamboat the most likely winner Friday/Friday evening.

The Snorkel Alert is hoisted for the Sierra where a potent system will bring 20-30 inches for much of the area. The timing of this storm is from late Saturday to early Monday. Expect strong winds with this storm, especially Saturday and Sunday (Upper lifts will have impacts, as well as snow quality in exposed areas). I also would expect closures on I-80 due to wind and light-density blowing snow. Saturday or Sunday could be a gamble with some decrease in winds and snow intensity on Monday. Snow showers will continue albeit lighter into Tuesday.

Below: The Sierra will be hammered again with 20-30 inches of snow (Cold temps- with some wind issues) making this historic event even better (February and March Madness). Prime time to ride will be Sunday and Monday, extending to Tuesday as more terrain opens with some additional snowfall.

From the Sierra, this storm makes a push east over the Wasatch Range by Sunday morning. This system looks hopeful for deep powder late this weekend into Monday (12-20). The Tetons will be on the northern end of the best moisture but will squeeze out moderate amounts late Saturday/Sunday. I am a bit less optimistic for Montana, however, there are some decent totals noted near Red Lodge and areas east. Expect additional road closures in Utah as early as Saturday night.

Finally, Colorado looks to reap deep rewards favoring the northern mountains starting Sunday near Rabbit Ears Pass with your best chase for Monday morning. The winds shift to the NE over the Front Range Monday-Tuesday which might produce some deep numbers for areas near the Divide. My highest confidence next week is for areas north of I-70 (Eldora, WP, Steamboat, RMNP). You might score west of the Divide Monday and east of the Divide Tuesday. There should also be some decent snow in the Front Range metro areas.

New England will be in the spotlight primarily Friday to Saturday with a significant storm that should land 12-20 inches for many areas (Southern or central might be the deepest, but there will be few losers).

Extended Forecast:

Below: You can see the storm favoring the Sierra this weekend stretching east over the northern Rockies. This map is for March 7th, Tuesday as snow showers might continue for the Sierra and areas east.

Below: It’s possible that storminess continues for the PNW and northern Rockies noted by ensembles for late next week (lower confidence that far out). Map is March 10th.

High pressure is noted on March 13th for the west. This is in the range of very low confidence being nearly 2 weeks out. We shall see what happens.

Follow my chases on Instagram @powderchasersteve for the latest updates and my passion for travel and photos.

See you on the first chair Friday.

Powderchaser Steve

Featured Image Credit: Sierra-at-Tahoe

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