Its an exciting morning with New England resorts reporting over 20 inches in northern Vermont (Stowe) and much less to the east towards NH and Maine. Significant snow is likely for the Sierra next week in a 3-4 storm punch with each one successively a bit stronger. Decent snow will also be falling in the northern Rockies especially Wednesday-Friday. The Front Range of Denver or areas south into New Mexico may get slammed by the end of next week.
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Short Term Forecast
Temperatures, as forecasted, hovered near the freezing mark in some areas of New England bringing a very widespread to snowfall totals this morning. Northern Vermont was our favored location (Cooler temps) where up to 20 plus inches has fallen as of 5 AM MST. Areas south and east had less. Sugarloaf reaped 12 inches (We highlighted them on a previous post) while Sunday River reported 6 (None last night). Snow showers are continuing this morning per radar with a decreasing trend by 11 AM (VT). Expect another 2-3 inches in northern Vermont. Snow density is heavy and winds are keeping some upper mountain lifts closed this morning.
Snow is continuing in the Sierra this morning with 6 inches at Sugarbowl and per telemetry 3 inches at 8,000 feet at Squaw. Kirkwood is reporting 3 inches overnight. Radar is still cranking over Truckee so expect some additional light snow this morning. Another burst of snow is likely for Sunday night to Monday (Moderate) before significant snow slams into the Sierra Tuesday night-Thursday in the extended forecast. Currently, if you are chasing pow stay on the western side of the lake and head north.
Meanwhile, if you're chasing powder in the Rockies, weakening moisture will reach the Wasatch late Saturday into Sunday. Models have downtrended slightly (3-6) through Sunday morning with some additional light snow during the AM daylight hours. However, the NAM is more bullish so it's possible that 6-9 inches fall by 11 AM Sunday. Let's sum it up with an unlikely overnight double-digit dump but it's possible that areas in northern Utah reap some decent rewards by mid-morning Sunday. I am keeping my expectations low with a hopeful surprise by lift openings. The highest amounts on my forecast will be for the Cottonwoods with less further north or east. Temps will be cooling so quality will be better than what has fallen in the past few days. Light snow will be falling in the Tetons however heavier snow is in the forecast for mid to late week.
For Colorado, weakening residual moisture with a good westerly flow (Decent direction for many mountains) will tease most areas along I-70 during Sunday. Models are ho-hum (2-4) for the most part except its possible that Steamboat reaps higher amounts. I would not be surprised for some areas in Colorado to sneak out more but It's not a system I would chase from afar. Monitor the webcams early Sunday and storm ski the teaser.
This gets exciting!
The most significant amount of snow next week will fall in the Sierra. The highest intensity will be from Tuesday night to Thursday mid-morning. It's possible that the peak happens from late Tuesday to late Wednesday with moderate snow continuing into Thursday. Storm skiing will be a good choice for Wednesday. However, winds will be strong at times with some lift closures likely at upper elevations. It's possible that the peaks in the winds have decreasing periods with perhaps AM openings and PM closings. I am not confident that things will be buttoned up for the entire period. Thursday offers less wind and new openings with perhaps less overnight snow (Still good). Temps start out on the warm side (6500-7,000 foot snow levels) and finish on the cold side (4500 snow levels by Wednesday or Thursday). It's a solid storm cycle.
Below: Solid amounts of snow through Thursday for the Sierra favoring the northern regions (High confidence).
The Rockies have several chase points. Tuesday-Wednesday sees the Sierra moisture stream northeast into Idaho. It's possible that Sun Valley or even Brundage score during this period (Slightly on the warm side but cooling by Wednesday). The Tetons also appear to reap rewards with SW winds and moisture aimed at the Cowboy State Wednesday. Southern Montana near Big Sky is also on my wildcard list. Winds move from a southerly, SW direction to more westerly by late Wednesday or Thursday. The Wasatch is favored later Wednesday into Thursday. Late next week, the models depict a northerly flow and colder air moving down from Montana. This will bring an uptick of snow for the Bridger and Big Sky. Wyoming may continue to see some additional snowfall. Colorado and New Mexico may grab deep rewards towards the Friday/Saturday timeframe. Currently, the signature looks to be more of an upslope event. Models are pumping out significant snow for the Front Range near Denver, Clear Creek, Summit County, and perhaps even Eagle.
Below: Total snowfall through Saturday afternoon for Colorado late next week (Low confidence being 7 days out).
Moisture in New Mexico will be deepening next weekend possibly favoring resorts near Santa Fe or Albuquerque It's too early to predict with confidence! I can feel the excitement brewing.
Below: Total snowfall for the Tetons through Friday morning. Peak snowfall may happen Wednesday or Thursday (moderate confidence).
Chases? I like the prospects of the Sierra at some point next week (Need to watch the winds). I like the odds of Sun Valley perhaps midweek or the Tetons. Liking the Wasatch in the Thursday timeframe and the Front Range of Colorado late week or the weekend. New Mexico is a solid contender for Saturday or Sunday as a wildcard (Upslope may favor areas east of the Ski areas).
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