Chase Powder Daily Snow

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By Powderchaser Steve, Forecaster Posted 2 months ago December 7, 2023

Updated Totals For The PNW/UT/WY and Colorado


This will serve as quick update to this mornings chase powder forecast. Slower timing for Wyoming, and perhaps slightly deeper for the Cottonwoods.


In looking at the chase, I am torn between the Tetons and the Wasatch currently. The Tetons picked up 7 inches at the upper elevations of JHMR as of 3PM Thursday. Targhee has 4-5 inches with snow still falling. These numbers are in line with my forecast. The next wave for the Tetons will intensify just prior to daybreak on Friday (Similar to today's timing) with colder temps. Winds are westerly initially favoring Teton Pass and JHMR before shifting to the NNW. That might push higher intensity snowfall to Targhee mid morning with better totals at JHMR early morning. 

I think that an additional 5-9 inches is what will fall from 3AM Friday to 2PM. The timing might be a bit slow to get anything significant for first chairs (gamble). Being midweek (Friday is the new weekend), it might be worth a chase to the Tetons for some storm skiing Friday. Storm totals combined with Thursday/Friday totals will be 9-15 inches. 

The models in the Wasatch favor the northern areas near Logan. Beaver mountain might big totals by 8AM Friday (Closed to uphill while they prepare the mountain). The Cottonwoods will see 4-6 inches by 9AM with an additional 4-10 by 6PM. Some models keep the higher totals over the northern Wasatch from Ogden to Logan. Get up early and check the webcams. 

Strong winds will be an issue at Snowbird early Friday but will decrease by afternoon. If upper terrain stays closed all morning, it might be really good when it opens (Reg only currently at the Bird). BCC, Northern Wasatch, or Alta in LCC might be the better picks. Tough call on Friday? Wyoming, Utah, Stage in between?  

The PNW is on track for 6-10 inches for Stevens Pass, White Pass, with lower totals noted for Snoqualmie. Baker grabs 5-7 inches. Further south the totals seem to increase especially at Timberline and Mt Hood. Most of the snow will fall Thursday night into Friday before decreasing. A stronger system moves in Saturday with a warming trend late Saturday night (Double Digits)

For Colorado, there appears to be an uptick in totals for the Aspen area mountains Friday to Saturday. Widespread totals of 5-9 inches are possible with the higher amounts in the Elk Range.

Below:Totals through Friday night at 10:1 snow ratios. This short term model (RRFS) might be a bit overdone (Experimental short term model).  This model depicts a bit less snow in the Cottonwoods with higher totals further north. The Tetons should do well by midday Friday. 

Previous Forecast issued at 6AM Below. 

This will be a short post as I travel back to Utah from Colorado this morning. Telemetry at Palisades is showing 8 inches at 8,000 feet, and it's possible that higher amounts are hitting the peaks. This storm will be weaning by midday Thursday. I don't have any other snow totals currently, but it's good to talk about Tahoe again. Areas on the north side of the lake most likely scored the highest totals. 

Below: Telemetry at Palisades (8K) showing 8 inches and it is likely still snowing. 

If you're chasing in the PNW very cold temps are plunging snow levels to 2,000 feet on Thursday. Significant snowfall is likely for the Cascades through Saturday with the strongest periods on Thursday and again  Saturday to Sunday.  Cold air convergence zones are possible over Stevens Pass Thursday/Friday with some resorts likely reporting 8-13 inches by late Thursday night. Ride Friday (Temporary break) or Saturday  (Storm ski with event #2). 

It's tough to predict what the surface will feel like in the PNW after a pure rain to deep freeze event in the past few days.  This storm comes in cold and finishes warm on Saturday (Not Ideal). Warmer temps rise the snow levels Saturday late PM above 4500 feet. Bottom Line: Deep pow for Thursday-Saturday with colder temps.  Ride Friday or early Saturday. Oregon will see the warmer temps  on Saturday. Rain is possible at the bases at some point late Saturday evening as the snow level rises to 4000-4200 feet. Totals could exceed an additional 15 inches (Saturday) in many areas favoring the central Cascades of WA followed by areas to the south into Oregon. The warm up will occur later Saturday with some cooler air noted for Sunday morning (The good news is that the bump up in temps might only be for a brief period Saturday evening). Sunday might also deliver some good deep creamy pow. 

Idaho chases will be primo for the central panhandle (MT border) near Ski Lookout (could be deep) or towards McCall. The highest snow totals will likely land south of McCall (Tamarack) and extend to Stanley Thursday to Friday. Sun Valley gets leftovers. 

I would consider a chase to Wyoming on Thursday with storm skiing (4-7) for the Tetons (Warm and windy), followed by a second system due for Friday morning (Colder and lighter density). It's more of a day event on Thursday versus overnight. 3-4 inches are on telemetry at Targhee as of 6AM Thursday with snow continuing in the Tetons through mid morning. The 2nd wave hits Thursday night (Peaking 2AM to 10AM Friday) with another 4-9 inches. Bottom Line: Decent totals in the Tetons favoring northern areas into southern Yellowstone. Ski Areas grab 2 days of 4-8 inches. Friday might offer the best day with drier density and less wind. I think Targhee will be deeper than JHMR? Northern Tetons near the Yellowstone entrance will grab higher totals. 

For Utah the 2 part storm will arrive Thursday (Light to moderate amounts) favoring the northern Wasatch Range. Friday morning will offer better odds of 4-8 inches for first chair/tram and another 5-10 inches possible from AM Friday to late PM. NW flow will keep the Cottonwoods going with snow showers into Saturday morning. Totals? My gut tells me 6-12 for the northern Wasatch Mountains (Beaver, Snowbasin, Pow Mow) and 5-9 inches for the Wasatch Back (PCMR-Canyons side deeper). Last Chair Friday might be your best run. 

In Colorado, nothing stands out as deep currently for Friday/Saturday but that could change. Generally I'm seeing 4-8 inches favoring the northern and central ranges. NW flow could offer a surprise for Saturday morning. 

Below: Snowfall through Friday night favoring the the PNW, Idaho and the northern Rockies including Whitefish in Montana (less snow for the central or southern MT Range). Chase from Idaho to the Tetons or Wasatch for Thursday/Friday. Sierra on Thursday morning? PNW deepest Thursday to Friday and again Saturday (Warmer and heavier precipitation). Map is from late Thursday to midnight Friday. Additional snow is possible for the Cottonwoods in Utah and  Colorado into Saturday.. 

Flight time! I will provide an update later Thursday if I see any significant changes. Still low tide in most areas so be careful out there. There might not be any perfect solution if you are looking for that 10-12 inch overnight dump. Sum totals will be healthy by late Friday in the Rockies and the PNW by later Saturday (2 events). 

Powderchaser Steve 


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About Our Forecaster

Powderchaser Steve


Powderchaser Steve has over 45 years of experience chasing storms based on his weather and local knowledge of resorts on both the East and West Coasts. His snow intel will likely land him at the deepest resort and almost never missing "First Chair" in the process. Follow "The Chase" on OpenSnow to find out where the deepest snow may be falling.

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