Chase Powder Daily Snow

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By Powderchaser Steve, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago February 23, 2024

EPIC ALERT- 3-5 Feet In the Next 7 Days

Summary

A series of storms will overspread the Pacific Northwest, BC and much of the Rockies peaking Sunday-Tuesday (Storm #1) with a continued surge of moisture aimed at the mountains mid to late next week. This system starts out very warm and windy ending with bitter cold temps. Snow continues mid to late next week.

Short Term Forecast

Previous Chase: On the last storm in Utah Wednesday, I mentioned keeping a close eye on the northern mountains ("Don't flood the Cottonwoods"). LCC was closed for control work Wednesday morning (4 inches new) while it was dumping 2-3 inches per hour at both Cherry Creek and Beaver. I was actually at the LCC closure originally and bailed for Beaver Mountain. By mid-morning, at least 15-17 inches had fallen and I can say it might have been one of the deepest days of my season (10-12 overnight and storm skiing in the morning).

Below: My trip to Beaver Mountain on Wednesday morning. 

Mountains in southern Utah also scored double digits while the Cottonwoods played catch-up during the day Wednesday per my forecast. Then on Wednesday night, Steamboat scored a double-digit surprise for fresh turns on Thursday.  

Next Chase- PNW, Rockies-BC wildcards, Sierra wildcard for snow Monday morning (?). 

Temps are warming significantly in the Rockies this weekend with near or above freezing temps at many upper peaks. It will feel like spring skiing today in many areas. 

A very strong system will overspread the PNW Sunday along with dense snow and winds (Mixed rain at the passes) Very cold air from Alaska will push over the Cascades Sunday night lowering snow levels from 3500 feet to nearly 250 feet by Monday (Significant drop). Winds will ease on Monday but stay on the strong side. 

Bottom line PNW:  Strong winds Sunday with snowfall favoring the northern Cascades (Baker) and Stevens Pass (Moderate totals by 3 PM Sunday). Some lifts may stay closed due to winds. Less snow to the south initially. 

Cold front Sunday night and heavy snowfall continuing into Monday morning (Winds slowly decreasing). 20 plus inches likely for the northern and Central Cascades (Stevens and Snoqualmie Pass), with 7-14 inches for Crystal. Areas of northern Oregon are also favored with 8-12 inches by Monday. I am not sure if the winds Sunday/Sunday night will create issues for Monday (Quality). Expect some pass closures (75% confident) for Monday morning for avalanche control. You will have smoothing wet snow Sunday with wind and cold blower Sunday night (Not sure how this will ride). 

Below: Total WA/OR/BC snowfall showing 2 feet plus for the central and northern Cascades (I-90 corridor to Stevens Pass will be deepest), hefty totals for Baker up north, and decent totals into western BC for Monday morning. Snow starts a bit earlier on Sunday for Canada and the northern Cascades near Baker (Storm ski). Oregon will favor the northern mountains for Monday (8-14).

Rockies, Idaho

For the rest of the west, the heaviest snow aims at the panhandle of northern and central Idaho extending into northern Montana and areas east towards Glacier National Park (Whitefish could do well). Areas north towards Sandpoint will grab slightly lower amounts. McCall area mountains will see snow in Idaho with a higher focus just east. Ski Lookout on the Panhandle will be deep with the Montana Snowbowl coming in with moderate totals by Monday. 

In the Tetons, the main game starts on Monday with moderate totals every 12 hours through Tuesday morning. Expect 7-14 inches from Monday to Tuesday starting warm and finishing very cold. Your best ride times might be late Monday but especially Tuesday morning with the colder air. 

Utah grabs deeper totals with very windy conditions from the SW (Lift issues at higher peaks) Monday and high snow levels (Rain possibly below 7000 feet). A strong cold front enters Utah Monday night lowering snow levels to the Valley Floor. Tuesday morning will be a full-on powder day with 10-20 inches in the Cottonwoods with moderate to strong winds from the NW. The cold front combined with the very warm wet snow leading into Monday could create some interesting conditions (Might be supreme right side up or some freezing below). Winds Monday night into early Tuesday may also factor into play in some higher-elevation resorts. Areas around Park City and north to Ogden should see totals in the 9-15 inch range primarily Monday night with the colder air. 

Below: Decent totals for the panhandle of Idaho by Monday and NE Montana. Moderate snow for the Bozeman area mountains with higher totals in the Tetons (Monday to Tuesday). Western Idaho may also do pretty well with higher totals east. 

Below: The cold front reaches Wyoming Monday afternoon and into Utah by late Monday night improving quality and snow ratios, plus intensity. Temps will drop 20-30 degrees with this arctic air! 

Below: U of U graph showing the intense snowfall Monday PM into Tuesday (High PI rates). I think 12-15 overnight is reasonable on top of the wet snow that falls on Monday. Winds will be strong, especially on Monday, Monday night, and early Tuesday. 

Colorado grabs action on Monday late AM to Tuesday mid-morning. The system starts with SW winds favoring the central mountains from Crested Butte to Aspen and works north to Steamboat (Monday). Winds shift to the NW by Tuesday pushing a bit more action east and north into the I-70 and Front Range resorts. I expect some hefty totals (12-18 for CB, Steamboat, Aspen) with the San Juan Range a wildcard (GFS is bullish for 9-15 while the European shows less). On the I-70 corridor including Vail and Summit, I would expect 7-11 inches. It's still a bit far out to gain accuracy so my confidence Is moderate at this point. 

Chases: PNW, BC, Rockies, Sierra Wildard. You can chase from the PNW Monday to the Rockies for Tuesday and "repeat it all midweek" 

Extended Forecast

A series of storms will keep conditions unsettled for the PNW with significant totals expected mid to late next week. Some of this will work into the Rockies. I will not focus on details since so much is going on in the short term. 

Below: 24-hour snowfall totals at 10:1 (Likely will likely be deeper than shown) from Wednesday, February 28 to Saturday, March 2nd. You can see many 24-hour periods of snowfall favoring the PNW, BC (Western areas favored), and eventually the Sierra range later in the period. Snowfall totals in the PNW next week could exceed 3-4 feet—details in a later post. 

Powderchaser Steve 

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About Our Forecaster

Powderchaser Steve

Forecaster

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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