Significant snow has fallen over most of north/central Colorado as NW flow set up Thursday night and Friday. 3 inch per hour snowfall rates were common in Summit County where Breckenridge is reporting 18 inches in the past 48 hours (Mainly early Friday AM through the day with some last night). Other notable winners are Copper (14 inches), A-Basin (10 inches) and decent amounts at Vail where it's rumored more of the bowls are opening today. The Tetons, where I chased to Targhee grabbed 9-12 inches Thursday night for for some great conditions on Friday morning. The next 5 days features some teasing high elevation snow for the Pacific Northwest and Sierra. Whats important for this post is the 5-7 day period where a moderate to strong system will bring colder temps to most of the west and good quality snow. A large portion of the west will be reporting snowfall by the end of next week.
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Short Term Forecast
If you live in the New England head to Whiteface or Jay Peak where 2-5 inches fell overnight. Freezing rain fell early this morning, and it's expected to change back to snow during the day. It's possible 5-9 inches of snow will fall through late this evening in northern Vermont or Eastern New York. Don't expect great quality, but it's going to freshen up the slopes nicely with some dense snow.
In the west my short term forecast is not exciting. The best conditions this morning will be found in Colorado (Its about time). New terrain openings are likely in many areas. Significant snow that fell Friday (9-18 inches) and into the early evening should still be fresh. Look for rope drops as they are going to be happening at many of the resorts today to get new terrain open just in time for the MLK holiday. In the Tetons some lower faces opened at Jackson yesterday, and the infamous "Hobacks" are real close. You may see that happen this weekend?
Below: Breckenridge Ski area Powder Cam at its peak yesterday evening.
Early next week features 4000-4500 foot snow levels in the Pacific Northwest with light to moderate snow Tuesday/Wednesday. Its possible that Wednesday morning delivers a powder day with 4-9 inches of new snow. Whistler may deserve watching with slightly cooler temps and continuous light to moderate snow next week at the summit (cooling mid to late week). The Sierra gets teased early next week (Wednesday morning high elevation powder) with warm temps and some light or moderate snowfall at upper elevations. Some upper elevation resorts may report some decent numbers by Wednesday at the summits.
The most exciting news is in the extended forecast so keep reading.
Below: Low pressure and cold air swing into the west late next week.
Finally, some cold air is going to drive down from Canada over most of the west late next week. My chase hot spots might include the Cascades on Thursday/Friday (OR, WA), with moisture pushing into the Sierra. Lake Tahoe finally will see low elevation snow with cold air moving in for Thursday morning. Its hard to speculate on amounts this far out. My early guess is a foot or more for the Sierra with similar amounts in the Cascades (Wednesday night-Friday). Snow levels in Tahoe will start out warm and finish cold (Right side up pow). The Panhandle of Idaho grab moderate snow mid to late next week especially near Schweitzer (5-10). There may not be a single deep overnight event in the Panhandle.
The cold front moves into the Rockies Thursday/Friday with a foot of snow likely for many mountain locations late week. The Tetons and southern Montana see most of the action late Thursday night into Friday (Moderate dumps). The Wasatch will be close behind. Sun Valley (We mentioned them on our last post) who picked up 10 inches on the last storm will also be on my watch list. In Utah, I suspect a decent event over most of the mountain ranges including Park City (Just in time for the Sundance Film Festival that starts Thursday).
Colorado grabs snow Friday night into Saturday. Good West/NW flow could score powder for many locations including Telluride as moisture drops south. Even Arizona Snowbowl should get freshies late next week. They just scored double digits this week!
Below: Total 7 day snowfall in the west ending next Saturday morning (Everyone is in the game).
Its too far out to speculate amounts so stay tuned to the chase if you want to score powder! I have managed to grab double digits most of this season with no single event as epic (Mainly due to higher snow levels and winds). My primary missed chases include the 2 feet at Jay Peak several weeks ago and the 2 feet that fell over Stevens Pass earlier this week. Hopefully Joel Gratz (He's skiing today) grabs some fresh powder in Colorado (I am speculating that he is getting an early ups chair somewhere this morning). I may head out on my mountain bike this morning in Salt Lake.
New England should see some moderate powder mid to late next week (5-9).
See you on first chair that I managed to miss at Grand Targhee yesterday (Drove the long way from Jackson 2-2.5 hours with Teton Pass closed).
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