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By Powderchaser Steve, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago February 27, 2024

Cold Air Approaching Colorado- Epic Dumps In The Next 5 Days. Snorkels?

Summary

24-hour snow totals are very respectable for the Tetons and areas of Utah on Tuesday morning. Additional snow heavy at times is likely for Colorado on Tuesday with strong winds and low visibility (Light-density snow). The PNW gets crushed in the next 36 hours.

Update

This is a short post since I am on the chase currently in Utah. Overnight totals are respectable with BCC, and the Park City ranges coming up on top (10 inches).  Snow is falling in the Cottonwoods and will continue to add up, likely hitting double digits by 10 AM. Due to strong winds in Utah, you might be best off hitting lower-elevation resorts. 

DUMP OF THE DAY

Grand Targhee at 24 inches in 24 hours with 16 overnight. 

In Colorado, the action focussed on the southern (Wolf Creek at roughly 6 inches) and central mountains Monday night and is moving into the northern Regions with a very strong cold front.

Snow will intensify Tuesday mid-morning for all northern ski areas, especially along I-70 where 5-11 inches are possible through Tuesday evening. Vail Pass, Breck, Copper, Aspen, and WP are all in the hunt. Cold fronts as significant as this one can sometimes produce 3-4 inch per hour snowfall rates so upside surprises are possible. The front is currently just south of Steamboat early Tuesday morning. Thus far this storm has underperformed a bit especially in the southern mountains. CB where I expected good Monday night totals only reported 4 inches in 48 hours (OOPS). I thnk the warm air kept snow totals very low in the central and southern regions. 

The next 2 days look very impressive for the PNW with 20-30 inches likely for the Cascade Ranges. There is a warming trend for Wednesday morning that could create an upside-down layer in the snowpack. Cooling occurs late Wednesday to Thursday with additional high-quality powder. High snow totals are also noted for northern Idaho. 

Canada will also score some big numbers with 15 plus inches for Whistler and 7-15 for the interior! 

The Sierra is on tap for the biggest storm of the season (Could be record-breaking in terms of 48-hour totals) from Thursday night to Saturday. Strong winds will be an issue on Friday. I see 60-plus inch storm totals by late Saturday for much of the Sierra range. This might be a risky chase due to avy closures or the best and deepest run of your life. Things will open up on Saturday or Sunday. Expect road closures (100%). 

The east progression of the Sierra moisture is aimed at the Tetons Friday-Sunday and likely the Wasatch and a wide area of Colorado. I will update this in a later post. Some areas will grab 2 feet plus. 

Below Total snowfall through Thursday afternoon this week. You can see some impressive numbers in the PNW, Canada, and northern Idaho. Colorado and Utah on this map are primarily with the cold front on Tuesday.

Below: 3-day snowfall totals ending this Sunday, March 3. The Sierra gets clobbered while areas of the PNW continue to see snow moving into the Rockies. 

Bottom Line: Deep nearly everywhere in the west over the next 1-4 days. The deepest resort might not be the best chase. Multiple options from Canada, PNW, Sierra, and Rockies. Chase wisely avoiding winds, and in some cases too much snow for a resort to open. You can chase today in the Rockies, PNW Wednesday, Thursday, Sierra, PNW, and Rockies Friday Saturday, and Sunday.  Don't forget Canada also!  Finally. 

I am out the door. 

Powderchaser Steve 

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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