What a great week it has been across many resorts of the West! The temperatures sure are chilly but it's worth it when most areas are reporting over a foot since Tuesday. The big story this weekend will be an abundance of snow across the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Lake Tahoe region. This is awesome news for the drought strickened areas of California.
Storm track, according to the American GFS, for this weekend. Source: Meteostar, analysis by OpenSnow.
Our Lake Tahoe Snow Forecaster Brian Allegretto is forecasting BIG totals for Friday night. This is due in large to colder temperatures and more moisture being pulled in from the Pacific. If the current storm track holds, the Lake Tahoe region will be the place to be for deep powder come Saturday morning. The CFS climate forecast for December is showing above average precipitation so things are looking bright heading into the winter months for the Lake Tahoe region. As the storm moves further west, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado will begin to see snowfall on Saturday and lasting through Sunday.
Total accumulated snowfall, according the American GFS, as of Sunday night. Source: WeatherBell.com, analysis by OpenSnow.
Even though the temperatures will be very cold, this system will lack the moisture needed to bring bigger totals to the inner West. Northern Utah, along with northern and central Colorado, will likely see 3-6" through Sunday while areas of southern Colorado and New Mexico will do better if the southerly storm track holds. Expect many of the resorts in Colorado and Utah to begin opening bigger sections of their mountains in the coming weeks with the plethera of natural snow and with the colder temperatures in place for around-the-clock snowmaking!
One more interesting piece of weather to note is the ice storm that will affect a very large area of the central and eastern United States through Friday. This could bring widespread power outages with difficult travel conditions to be expected.
The weather this week will be dominated by frigid temperatures and a multitude of snow across the western United States. An arctic airmass, which will bring below zero temperatures across most of the West this week, has already begun its march down from Canada into the Cascades of Washington and Oregon. Get prepared because this may be the coldest airmass that the Western US has seen in quite some time.
Temperature anomalies, according to the American GFS, as of midday Thursday. Source: WeatherBell.com
With the combination of a strong jet stream, cold temperatures, and abundant Pacific moisture, snow accumulations will range from 1 to 2 feet across much of the West and Upper Midwest through Thursday. To start, the Lake Tahoe region will receive 4 to 7 inches of snow beginning on Monday night and lasting through Tuesday night. This is great news for the areas struggling to find snow in the Lake Tahoe region. Get the latest details from our Lake Tahoe Snow Forecaster, Bryan Allegretto, in the Tahoe Daily Snow. Our attention now turns to Utah and Colorado where the best powder will be found this week.
Total snow accumulations, according to the American GFS, for the Western US as of Wednesday afternoon. Source: WeatherBell.com, analysis by OpenSnow.
Our Utah Snow Forecaster, Evan Thayer, is forecasting BIG totals for Utah through Wednesday night. The Wasatch mountains north of I-80 will likely see 6 to 12 inches, the Wasatch south of I-80 and north of Provo 8 to 14 inches, and the mountains of central/southern Utah 10 to 20 inches. The central and northern mountains of the Colorado Rockies will also see similar totals. A strong upper level jet stream, along with a stalled cold front, will bring snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches Tuesday night and 4 to 8 inches throughout the day Wednesday. As the upper level flow shifts Wednesday, the San Juans of southern Colorado will also join in with totals ranging from 8 to 12 inches. If you're looking for deep powder this week, the mountains of Utah and Colorado are where you want to be! We now turn our attention to the upper midwest where blizzard conditions will prevail throughout the middle of the week.
Total snow accumulations, according to the NAM, for the Upper Midwest as of Thursday morning. Source: WeatherBell.com, analysis by OpenSnow.
Accompanied by very strong winds and heavy snow, blizzard conditions will be present in many areas of the northern High Plains to the northern Great Lakes through the middle of the week. Expect up to a foot of snow for northern Minnesota and Michigan. Get the latest details from our Upper Midwest meteorologist, Andrew Murray, in the Upper Midwest Daily Snow as this storm develops.
In all, the western United States will be inundated with lots of snow and cold temperatures this week. What a great way to start our December!
Here at OpenSnow we not only love to bring you the best powder forecasts but also the occasional video of amateurs and professionals alike getting after snorkel deep powder. With that in mind, here are the nominees for the 14th Annual Powder Awards "Best Powder". The winners will be announced on Friday, Decemeber 6th at The Depot in Salt Lake City and via a live webcast at PowderAwards.com starting at 7:30PM MST. This years films up for the award are Way Of Life, Supervention, Into The Mind, and Valhalla. Now decide for yourself on who you think will win the 2013 award for "Best Powder".
Have a great weekend!
This map will update every day. The data comes from the SNOTEL network of remote backcountry weather stations.
This weekend is shaping up to be generally quiet across most of the United States. The storm that affected much of the East over the Thanksgiving holiday will clear but a cool trend will stay in place through the weekend. This is great news for snowmaking at resorts of the midwest and northeast.
Temperature anomaly, according to the American GFS, on Saturday morning. The term temperature anomaly means a departure from the long-term average. Source WeatherBell.com
The only potential for snow for this weekend is a quick-moving storm that will advance across the Northwest on Saturday and the Northern Rockies late Saturday night into Sunday. This is what meteorologists call a shortwave trough. It is a crinkle embedded in the general flow that creates energy (vorticity), which often ignites precipitation.
The quick-moving storm, or shortwave trough, according to the American GFS as of Saturday night. Source: TwisterData.com, analysis by OpenSnow.
Areas of Washington, Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming could see a quick 3 to 6 inches of snowfall with the northern mountains of Colorado also having the potential to pick up a swift 2 to 4 inches.
Total accumulated snowfall, accordiing to the GEM (Canadian model), through Sunday afternoon. Source: WeatherBell.com
Looking ahead into early next week, a pattern of cold and storminess is projected to settle over the West. This will be a big change compared to the relatively mild weather the West has seen this week. If the models stay on track, next week looks primed for snowfall all across the western United States.