Heavy snow continues for the Wasatch on Friday with a potent cold system entering the PNW and Canada for Friday night to Sunday. This will overspread many areas of Idaho and the Rockies by Saturday PM to Tuesday. 20-40 additional inches are possible. This is not a pre April Fools Joke.
Short Term Forecast
Its dumping big time for day #2 in the Wasatch Range. On Thursday 9-15 inches fell from Park City, Snowbasin, and the Cottonwoods. Alta had a power outage Sunday night so the web cam showed 1 inch of snow as well as snow telemetry. That may have resulted in fewer crowds on Thursday. Conditions were epic with bottomless medium density snow that was on the hero end of things versus cold smoke.
Currently at 5AM in Utah there is anywhere from 9-15 inches on most automated telemetry sites and its still puking dry pow over Utah with single digit temps. Alta Collins is at 15, PCMR 9-10, and Powder and Snowbasin in the 10-15 inch range. The Cottonwoods are at 35 inches currently in the past 48 hours! Strong winds in LCC (Road is closed) will keep the resorts closed this morning (My hunch), and the road likely will have extensive delays if it opens at all (My hunch). 9AM Update- OMG- Snow cams are buried, 22 inches overnight (2nd time in a week) at Snowbasin, 20-25 inches at Alta (Estimated overnight), high winds, BCC and LCC are closed. This is an epic storm, but if you are up in the canyons maybe not so epic with interlodge like I am. Winds are still gusting to 65 MPH in the upper Cottonwoods.
Below: Powder Mountain is at 12 overnight and still dumping! Storm totals in 48 hours are 2 feet.
In chasing powder, I am very optimistic for the Pacific Northwest (OR and WA) coastal resorts in Canada, and most of Idaho over the next 24-48 hours. Baker will be slammed with 2 feet plus, Stevens 9-15, and Crystal in the 10-17 inch range (A bit of a wildcard). Very cold air and lots of moisture will make Saturday morning epic for nearly all western Cascade Ski Areas extending into Whistler (Slightly lower amounts). Snow will continue Saturday into Sunday albeit lower intensity making Sunday another pow day. Timing is perfect with this storm.
Below: Short term high resolution models (Good confidence) shows very good snow totals for the entire Cascade Range Friday/Saturday. Idaho is catching up later Friday night into Saturday morning when snow intensifies.
Moisture streams into Idaho Saturday/Sunday with northern areas near Schweitzer picking up 9-12 inches and much heavier totals noted for the central Panhandle (Ski Lookout will be in full burial), and western Idaho near the McCall areas. Sun Valley is just south of the heaviest moisture but should see a moderate dump. Idaho would be a fantastic chase.
Well it keeps getting better in the Teton Range as the slow freight train that has continuously kept snow falling over Wyoming continues Friday/Saturday unleashing bigger totals for Saturday night (6-11). As mentioned on a previous forecast, it will keep snowing so 5-7 day totals will exceed 3 feet In the Teton Range.
The Wasatch hits the nail again with the above mentioned dump continuing Friday and decreasing by afternoon. Snow showers redevelop Sunday morning and ramp up for what appears to be an epic dump again for Sunday PM to Tuesday. An additional 3-4 feet is possible. Winter is not ending! April is coming in with a bang.
Below: Deep low pressure noted over the Rockies Monday night centered over Utah pushing moisture over a wide range of the west (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, northern or central areas of Colorado favored).
Colorado scored some moderate pow Friday morning as forecasted with Sunlight and Telluride leading the pack with 9-10 inches. The bulk of moisture stayed west and as I mentioned previously Telluride does well with NW winds. Breckenridge is at 7 inches where I believe my original forecast for the I-70 corridor was 5-10.
The system from the PNW this weekend tracks over Utah pushing deep snowfall into the Beehive State Sunday PM to Tuesday. As mentioned above moisture pushes north into Wyoming and tracks due north over the Dakotas. Colorado is on the cusp with the GFS keeping amounts in the 4-9 inch range with the European models showing higher totals. I am going with a more bullish solution for the I-70 corridor with 7-15 inches at some point from Monday to Tuesday. Some snow might linger into Wednesday. Northern areas near Steamboat or areas on the western corridor (Aspen) might see higher totals. The models are still not in total agreement so these totals could be pushed up or down.
Below: The low responsible for these deep totals is tracking north over Wyoming and the Dakotas (I-80 in Wyoming will be a mess).
We might start to dry out a bit mid to late next week.
Below: April 8th shows a ridge building over the west with some low pressure possibly forming for southern California and Mexico.
Bottom Line: So many directions to turn, chase, and ride deep powder from the PNW, Rockies, Idaho with 2 storms to watch through Wednesday. Cold temps. Not an April fools joke.
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See you on the first chair, if it opens!