- Snow starts on Saturday night and continues through Tuesday morning
- Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday AM should be powder days for most mtns
- Maybe a break late Tuesday through Wednesday
- Another storm likely on Thursday, Thanksgiving day
Thursday and Friday will be dry and partly-to-mostly cloudy days. I can't rule out a snow shower at some point, especially over the San Juans on Friday and Friday evening, but it won't be a big deal.
Saturday will be a day with increasing clouds and afternoon breeziness, and I think we'll get a few snow showers before the sun goes down.
Saturday night is when the main action starts. A strong cold front plus good moisture will bring a quick 3-6 inches to most areas from Saturday evening through Sunday morning. Most mountains will see this, with only Durango and Wolf Creek likely seeing less as a wind from the northwest isn't as favorable for them.
Sunday morning will offer soft, powdery turns, and snow showers should continue through most of the day. These showers could be very heavy (dumping!) for 10-20 minutes, and then let up with a brief peek at the sun, and then another heavy shower, etc. Expect about 2-4 inches during the day.
From Sunday night through Tuesday morning additional snow will fall for areas favored by northwest flow. This includes Telluride and Silverton in the San Juans, Irwin, Monarch, and Aspen in the central mountains, and the mountains near and north of I-70. Vail, Copper, Breckenridge, Loveland, and Steamboat all seem to do quite well with northwest flow. Add Berthoud Pass, Cameron Pass, and Buffalo Pass in there as well for backcountry areas that are favored. If you're planning to be in the backcountry, keep in mind there will be a lot of new snow and wind-deposited snow, so be smart about avalanche risk and check with CAIC first.
Total snowfall between Saturday night and Tuesday morning should be about 10-12 inches at the low end with likely 18+ inches if things come together nicely. Often the models can underestimate the accumulations from northwest flow by 2x, so the over-production of snow is a real possibility for these favored spots, though I'd rather forecast a more conservative amount of snow and be thrilled if the atmosphere works additional magic. It's still hard for me to time the waves of heaviest snow between Sunday night and Tuesday morning, but both Monday and Tuesday AM should offer plenty of pow.
Here's a look at the snow forecast associated with the northwest flow early next week. If you're heading north to Grand Targhee next week, conditions should be primo. And Jackson opens on Thanksgiving and it might be a pow day.
We could get a break in the snow next Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, but then we'll likely see another storm on Thanksgiving day. By the time November ends, I think most of the state will be near or above average in terms of snow-water-equivalent on the ground, with the highest percentages in the northern part of the state.
The long range into early December continues to look active across the west. I'll look at this more after we get through the fun of early next week:-)