Well.... here it comes. This will definitely be the largest storm of the season so far. And probably one of the colder AR events in quite a while. There is alot of uncertainty associated with this storm which is why I am only cautiously optimistic and not doing cartwheels in the street. Let's get into it!
Short Term Forecast
The storm from Sunday and into Monday came out basically as expected. Tamarack reported storm totals of 8 inches, Brundage with 10, and Bogus with 4 inches.
You all should be familiar with the set up at this point. Moisture will start flowing into our region late this evening and will continue to stream in from the southwest through the day on Thursday and into Thursday evening. As stated above.... snowfall totals are all over the place. So what do we know? We know that temperatures look good. Snow levels will peak at around 4500ft on Wednesday afternoon. We also know that the most conservative forecasts are for at least an inch and a half of liquid from late tonight into Thursday night. Off the bat (assuming a 12:1 snow to liquid ratio), without even digging deep into the models, at a MINIMUM we can expect 18 inches of snow in the mountains over the next 3 days (ending on Friday morning).
Digging into some of the models we start to see a couple things. In the short range ensemble forecast for Big Creek summit (which I typically use to forecast Brundage/Tamarack), the lowest mean is 30 inches and the highest mean is right at 35 inches.
I think these numbers are a bit aggressive. However, I will say that Tamarack and Brundage should easily see 2 feet from this evening through Thursday and into Friday morning. Our internal forecast systems think tomorrow will see much lower totals than Thursday. Just looking at the short range models now, I think that we see similar totals both days with maybe a slight bit more on Thursday.
Sun Valley is going to get absolutely rocked. They do very, very well under a southwest flow. The same graph shown above but for SV is below.
They have similar low end as the northern locations, but their high end is right around 40 inches. I never underestimate how well SV can do in a set up like this. I expect to see lower numbers tomorrow than overnight tomorrow night and through the day Thursday. But still.... low end we are looking at a few feet with a high end of 3 feet plus.
Bogus could see lesser amounts than the two locations for a couple reasons. And these are the reasons why Bogus doesn't do as well in general. Altitude and temperatures. Really altitude being the primary issue. I don't see that being as much of an issue though with this storm. Temps will be low and the storm is coming in from a really good direction for Bogus (southwest). Our internal forecasts are not nearly as bullish as I am. But still.... to be conservative I like 12-18 inches for Bogus as well. Again, as with Sun Valley, lesser amounts on Wednesday with higher totals on Thursday.
Overall this is going to be a great storm for us. Check out the eye candy below from the NAM 3k!
COLD! Which is awesome for snow preservation. Looks like we get a bit of something from Sunday through Tuesday which will add more fluff to a really good early season base. Not alot of agreement though so let's hold off on details for now.
I would steer clear of the backcountry for now. Heck, I would steer clear of driving in the mountains unless you absolutely have to. If you are going to venture out into the backcountry definitely keep it on the mellow side and always pay attention to your avalanche centers. If you don't know.... don't go.