It's not over yet, but it's pretty close. This may be our last good storm and certainly our last cold storm that brought heavy lake effect snow showers over the Great Salt Lake today (Snowbird picked up another 4-7 inches on top of the 14-15 yesterday). Conditions from the tribe of chasers including a gang from Vail reported "Epic Baldy and Mineral" runs followed by everyone deserting the hill late in the day when snow intensity was at its peak. Snow is moving into the mountains of Colorado from the I-70 corridor through to the 4 corners near Telluride. This is the NW flow (Tail end) that has slammed the southern Cascades (Oregon), Tetons and Wasatch. Winds will shift to the north and northeast tonight pushing all moisture to the Front Range near Denver (South favored) and New Mexico on Saturday.
Short Term Forecast
Snow has been falling all day in the central Wasatch downwind of the great Salt Lake. Models show snow tapering to showers tonight with my best guess of 1-3 inches additional. Colorado is in the spotlight tonight with most moisture falling along or south of I-70. Breckenridge snow cams show 9-11 inches last night and another 2-4 fell during today (Lifts closed). Unlike other storms that skunked the ski terrain along the Divide (A Basin, WP and Loveland are still open) I believe 3-8 inches will fall along or near I-70 tonight. It's possible higher amounts may be found south of I-70. The foothills near Boulder and especially south of Denver could grab 8-12 inches or more by late Saturday. Significant snow will be falling on the eastern flanks of mountain peaks in Colorado (12-15 above 9,00 feet). Moisture pushes south into New Mexico early Saturday with significant snow favoring eastern zones. Snow showers continue through Saturday night especially south.
Total snow below into eastern Colorado through Saturday morning. Southern Summit is in the pink area that may push into A-Basin or Loveland for 1st chair powder Saturday. It's a strong wildcard.
North and NE winds in New Mexico could land significant snow in the eastern regions. Winds shift to the Northwest behind the main moisture band tonight pushing higher amounts west towards Taos Saturday mid morning. There will be some snow tonight at Taos (Closed) with a break in the action late. Snow may pick up again mid morning with the NW wind shifts. Santa Fe ski area (Closed) could reap higher totals however Taos will try and catch up late Saturday.
Another system may push into the northern Rockies (Tetons, Colorado) early next week. Nothing looks impressive at this time. High Pressure should take hold mid week.
I am ready for summer! I hate to say its over but we may be talking deep snow again next season if I don't post beyond today. Thanks for watching our custom chase cast. I average 700 inches of powder per season. This season was epic from the PNW, Sierra, Wasatch, Tetons, and to some extent Colorado who scored well in December. NEXT SEASON looks like a trend to El Nino. I am not going to put much hype on this as it shows trends with many exception years. El Nino could bring warmer temperatures to our regions versus La Nina however moisture bets are still in the air. I will check in next season with updates. I was speaking with Mount Baker Ski patrol today who reported 840 inches this season! I think it's the 2nd highest snow total they have seen in many years. The sierra scored huge numbers (200% of average in some spots).
Next season we will be scoring! Its the anticipation that's almost as good as the actual face shots. There is nothing better to waking up to feet of snow or a snow cam that's buried. In just another 5 months we will be talking powder again. See you next season.
Powderchaser Steve- Out for 2016/17
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