Good morning powder lovers. This is Powderchaser Steve with your Sunday morning synopsis on upcoming powder. It is not going to stop anytime soon with another moist atmospheric river headed for California. Prior to reading this forecast, please consider a donation to Powderchasers for the seasonal free forecasts to support our website and staff here.
The past several days have seen some very impressive snow totals with the last storm pounding the western Teton range, Northern Utah, and southern Montana near the Wyoming border. Utah grabbed 15 inches in 4 hours on Thursday with resorts in LCC closing early and reopening Friday with nearly 2 feet. nearly every resort in the Wasatch grabbed double digits. Our team ended up at Powder Mountain for both days where nearly 20 inches fell. Our sponsor, Beaver Mountain in Northern Utah grabbed 15 inches and it is snowing on Sunday morning. Be sure to support family-run ski areas and the Indy Pass which includes the Beav. Heavy snow bands are also being reported Sunday morning over the northern Wasatch Range (Snowbasin and Pow Mow). Snowbasin just nabbed an incredible 11 inches in the past 4 hours Sunday morning just prior to the lifts opening and still dumping.
Topping the list of winners is both Grand Targhee and Red Lodge Mountain who scored the deepest and coldest dump of the season! Targhee grabbed 35 inches in 48 hours and Red Lodge is reporting 44 inches mostly that fell over the past 2 days. Red Lodge opened with limited terrain on Saturday and will have a delayed opening on Sunday (Start driving now). The backside might open on Monday.
Below: Targhee- 35 inches in 2 days and more snow fell into Sunday. Deepest dump of the season and only 3 inches shy of the 500-inch benchmark.
Below: Double snorkel alert with 47 inches at Red Lodge Mountain, and they might open on Sunday. Check out the early season rates if you are renewing or purchasing your Ikon Pass this season below.
Below: Current SWE (Water if you melted all the snow) is well above normal for most areas of the west (283% in the Sierra, 200% or higher in the Wasatch, and 300% in extreme Southern Utah). The only areas below normal are the extreme northern areas of Washington, Montana, and Idaho but they are close to normal and have seen significant snow this season.
The week ahead features a moist system that comes ashore on the Oregon Coast and drops due south over a wide area of California. It will bring significant rain and upper-elevation snow to the coastal ranges of Northern California. For the Sierra range, this storm should start on Tuesday mid-morning and continue into early Wednesday morning. It has good potential for the last chair Tuesday or early Wednesday for the northern Sierra near Lake Tahoe. Further south, the deepest totals will fall Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning so look for Mammoth to report some deep numbers by then. Mammoth is digging out chairs daily using snow cats and announced “all lifts will open on Sunday”. Mammoth has received 667 inches this season at the main lodge and a whomping 840 inches at the summit. They are only a few inches away from an all-time record for that resort that will certainly be broken this week.
Below: Significant water totals upwards of 3 inches for extreme northern CA, and nearly 2 inches west of Lake Tahoe (Less on the eastern side). 1-1.5 inches noted for resorts on the western side of the lake with perhaps more on the western side of I-80 near Donner Summit. Southern Sierra should fare well with storm (14-28 inches).
For the remainder of the west, the system on Tuesday should bring some moderate snow to Oregon with perhaps deeper amounts further south towards Mt Ashland Ski Area. Heavy snowfall is on the models for extreme Northern California resorts extending through the entire Sierra Range (Tuesday to Wednesday). Winds are strong initially but decrease by Wednesday. Temps are prime for good quality. Chase Tuesday up north in Cali or southern Oregon. The last chairs in the northern Sierra could be good Tuesday. Chase to the northern or southern Sierra for Wednesday. Storm totals by Wednesday will likely be in the 14-28 inch range for areas of northern or central California.
That system pushes east over the Rockies initially with a southwest wind direction pushing moisture north into most of Utah, central and southern Idaho, Wyoming (Tetons), and southern Montana (Big Sky). Southern Utah and Northern Arizona should also do well with this storm. The timing Is best on Wednesday to Thursday for these regions, but snow will likely continue into Friday in some areas. Colorado scores decent totals in the San Juan Range extending up to Aspen for later Thursday to Friday. While we normally see Wolf Creek, Purgatory, and Silverton score deep numbers with SW flow (Initially winds are SW), there is a hint of a wind shift later this week to the NW. This will fare well for Telluride which is showing an uptick of snowfall Thursday night. There is also the wildcard for I-70 including Summit County to see an increase in snowfall for Thursday night or Friday with the wind shift to the NW. Bottom Line: Many regions see moderate snowfall mid too late this week that will likely add up above double digits spread out over 2 days. Northern and southern regions stand decent chances in Utah and Colorado with some solid wildcards for the Tetons and areas near Big Sky. If you chased from California to Colorado you could score powder days (Tuesday to Friday) every day. Snow totals might be spread out over 2 days versus any single 12-hour blockbuster totals.
Below: Strong cold front entering Oregon and the Sierra range Tuesday PM to Wednesday dropping 10K foot temps to -12C (10F). Spring is not in sight! Decent density snow will result for the Sierra and areas of Oregon.
Below: The Cottonwoods show a bonus event for Sunday to Monday (Some lake effect is possible) with 3-9 inches with another 2 moderate waves due mid to late week. Not any single blockbuster but good snow totals through Friday. Some upside potential exists. It’s dumping currently near Ogden Utah.
Below: Ensembles showing a decent event for the Eagle Point Ski area in Southern Utah Thursday March 30 to Friday March 31st. These ensembles are often on the bullish side so a reasonable expectation is 12-16 inches .
Below: Ensembles for Red Mountain Pass in Colorado pretty bullish for the Thursday to Friday period.
In the extended period, the unsettled pattern will likely continue into at least the 1st week of April. There are several systems that appear to favor the PNW, Sierra, and most of the central and Northern Rockies, including Idaho. We will get into details later but it’s safe to say, winter will continue.
Powderchaser Steve- @powderchasersteve on Instagram.
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