Heavy wet snow fell late yesterday and last night over the Cascades. Snow tel sites show 11 inches at Crystal and 13 at Baker. Most snow at Mount Baker fell during the day yesterday where at Crystal it was primarily since the lifts closed. Temps are warming so expect cream cheese conditions with perhaps some rainfall at the bases after 10AM this morning. Whistler scored big time with 21 inches in the past 24 hours! The Rockies get the leftovers with my focus for the deepest snow in the Tetons. Idaho should reap moderate amounts on the northern side of Sun Valley while Colorado gets the last of the leftovers tonight.
Short Term Forecast
The Pacific Northwest snow levels that rose overnight may come down slightly again this morning (Slight cooling) before rising significantly late today through most of this week. The upper elevations of Crystal may be a good bet this morning with a smooth layer of 11 inches up in Green Valley. Later today and mid week, rain will be falling at most locations until perhaps after the holiday where some colder westerly flow is possible on the extended forecast. Baker benefited from some colder air yesterday being further north with decent freshies late yesterday and again this morning (13 inches).
If your chasing in the Rockies consider 1st chair at Targhee or early tracks on Tetons Pass where 5-9 inches are likely by Tuesday morning. Wind direction may favor Teton Pass and Jackson (Not open), but Targhee benefits from higher base elevation with snow levels running high. There is a decent amount of snow showing up on models in the Sawtooths on the northern edge of Sun Valley. We suspect SV will nab some upper elevation freshies (2-5) from late this morning through the evening hours. Higher amounts will be found north of Galena Summit. The Good: More base building for the Tetons- primarily late PM or overnight snow. The Bad: High snow levels creep in late tonight and Tuesday morning creating cream on top of lighter density snow (Upside down). Its possible that avalanche danger will be rising by tomorrow morning. Amounts will be on the moderate spectrum.
Colorado gets leftovers very early Tuesday morning that continue until mid day. Models don't show more than 2-4 inches at most locations with perhaps slightly higher amounts towards the passes between Rifle and Craig. Most mountains along I-70 and north will be favored but it's a fast moving system so don't expect deepness.
Warm air and high snow levels persist through much of this week in the West. One exception might be a cold front that gets hung up over Canada during Thanksgiving where light or moderate high elevation snow and low elevation rain is likely at Whistler before dropping south over northern Montana Friday (Some snow is likely). Interior BC will also see some chances of snow late this week! Amounts could be on the moderate side. The Cascades especially near Mount Baker may reap some light rewards for Turkey day (High elevation snow) with slightly cooler temperatures.
Below: Late Thursday-early Friday GFS ensembles- some moisture likely in BC and perhaps the Cascades (Colder air is north in BC)
The cold air that heads south Friday retreats north again for the weekend. Some high elevation snow is likely again for the Tetons (Warm) by late Friday. The Pacific Northwest may stay somewhat active?
The long term ensembles show some hints of colder air and a better chance for the west to see snowfall in the 7-10 day period (Next week). It's possible that the Sierra and Rockies get back in the game but too far out for confidence. I am watching this closely!
Below: Early next week. 7 day GFS ensembles showing a retreat of cold air south and perhaps additional snow for the west. The East coast grabs a cold front and some light or moderate snow is possible early next week.
Thanks for following the Chase Forecast! Powderchaser Steve - See you on first chair!
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