As I forecasted several day ago, the central and southern mountains of Vermont were in the bullseye of a much needed dump! up to 20 inches being reported at Killington, 15 at Mount Snow, and generally 12 inches from Jay Peak, and most of New Hampshire and Maine Resorts. The West slowly gets active with each period of snowfall generally increasing as we get towards the end of December and into January. The first tease of Rocky Mountain Pow will occur Wednesday night and again this weekend with slightly higher amounts. January looks much better for the West!
The hunt is on! Are you ready?
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Short Term Forecast
If you chasing in New England, additional snowfall will develop on Wednesday over the northern mountains of Vermont with NW flow orographics (Cold air, W, NW winds pushing moist layers of the lower atmosphere up agains the northern Green Mountains). Jay Peak and Stowe could pick up another 2-5 inches Wednesday night when all action weans. Winds are keeping many resorts buttoned up on Wednesday so powder that's missed Wednesday will be available Thursday morning at many northern resorts with new openings. Storm totals in New England will range from 15-25 inches with more snow expected mid next week!
The Rockies may offer some chase opportunities this week with a light freshening Wednesday night and perhaps moderate amounts by the weekend?
In the Rockies, a tease of 1-3 inches grazes Big Sky Wednesday moving into the Tetons Wednesday night (1-3).
Snow begins in Colorado after midnight with slightly higher amounts along I-70 especially closer to the Continental Divide (Loveland, Winter Park). Some resorts in Colorado may report 3-5 inches by Thursday morning including the Summits of much of the higher terrain with the majority in the 1-3 inch range. If NW flow continues it's possible that Vail and Breckenridge report slightly higher numbers. Overall it's not an impressive system. The areas north of I-70 may end up winning the tease game.
As mentioned above, each fast moving system will bring slightly higher snow potential.
Another system rolls in quickly over the Northern Rockies this weekend coating the panhandle of Idaho (2-4) and central portions (3-5 near Brundage) before zipping over Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. This system will most likely land 3-5 or more inches for the Tetons and southern Montana before grazing Utah (2-4) and enhancing somewhat over Colorado. It's not clear to me where this low sets up over Colorado. One model shows 3-4 inches for most of the northern Mountains while the GFS takes it further south with some upslope (Easterly winds) that could create higher amounts along the Front Range closest to Denver. It's also likely New Mexico gets some action from this event. Most snowfall in the northern Rockies happens Friday night into Saturday while Colorado action begins late Saturday into Sunday (overnight tease).
The Chase: If you're desperate for some powder consider central Idaho or the Tetons Saturday and perhaps Colorado on Sunday (resorts closest to the Continental Divide).
Total snowfall for Colorado and New Mexico from Wednesday through Sunday is shown below (northern ranges are somewhat favored).
In the extended forecast below I will highlight some long-term model data that brings a glimmer of hope for much of the West for January. Also, the Pacific Northwest gets very active next week as well as interior Canada. Several feet may fall by Wednesday night in the northern Cascades and Canada.
The Pacific Northwest gets active beginning this weekend with some light events grazing most of the Cascades (not impressive). Action increases next Tuesday-Thursday with model data showing several feet of snow for the northern Cascades. This might extend into Whistler as well as the interior of British Columbia.
I suspect 2-3 feet Is likely Tuesday-Thursday in far northern Washington (SW flow) before winds shift to blow from the northwest on Wednesday night, driving a moderate dump into the central and southern Cascades. That system will drive over the Rockies at some point late next week.
Here is total snowfall for the west from Wednesday through the middle of next week (several feet noted in the far northern Cascades and BC).
New England will also get active once again next week with more powder especially Tuesday night into Wednesday (5-11 inches).
In the series of frames below, I have moderate confidence that the high pressure ridge retreats in the west. I have much lower confidence in the timing or exact set up of which areas will get the most snow, and we can narrow that down as we get within 7-10 days of a storm.
Below: The ridge of high pressure over the west slowly flattens as the flow will turn more westerly in early January.
Below: January 8th continues to show an unsettled pattern for the west
Below: January 10th ensembles continue to show low pressure possible in the West
Thanks for following the chase forecast. "See you on first chair"
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