3-5 FEET LIKLEY THIS WEEK FOR THE SIERRA WITH EVEN HIGHER AMONTS POSSIBLE ABOVE 8,000 FEET
Summary 3/10/18 AM
The Cascades nabbed 10-20 inches Thursday/Friday which came in wet and ended with good density cold goodness. I refer to that as the couch cushion where you can let it rip and still get face shots from the dry on top. Crystal skied that way yesterday with anything from deep wind protected 10-15 inches to let it rip only to be let down by a ice bump underneath. The upper mountain skied great where lower elevations were dense. The week ahead brings 2-3 storms into the Sierra that spreads leftovers over much of the Rockies. Its going to be deep by Friday with perhaps 3-5 feet in the Sierra. Some spots may exceed that amount, however models this far out are likely to change. We have seen some deep Sierra Storms fizzle this season but i’t unlikely the case this week.
Short Term Forecast
Light snow will be falling over the Sierra Saturday favoring southern resorts around Tahoe to Mono County. (Mammoth could see 3-7 inches above 8,000 feet). Light to moderate pow can be found in northern New England where you can chase to Stowe or Jay Peak for another 4-7 inches Saturday night. Mount Snow in Vermont nabbed 3 feet in the past several days!
The next moderate to strong weather system rolls into the Sierra late Tuesday into Wednesday. Warmer temps and windy conditions Tuesday night will eventually turn cooler by Wednesday dropping snow levels to base areas. Amounts are likely to be in the “Foot” range for 1st chairs Wednesday above 8,000 feet and lower near the bases. Winds could create some issues Wednesday morning with a decrease likely during the day. The Pacific Northwest will also reap some snowfall with 3500-4,000 foot snow levels bringing a return of some moderate snow to many areas of Oregon and Washington. That system quickly races through Idaho and the northern Rockies including the Wasatch on Wednesday while weakening (Light to moderate amounts).
The next system that moves ashore from the Pacific will be stronger and colder. This system impacts the Sierra on Thursday/Friday with heavy snow (2 feet or more). Snow lingers into Friday night over most of the Sierra with Mammoth continuing to see snow showers on Saturday (Day 7 in the forecast period). Confidence of a decent storm this week for the Sierra is high (90%). Confidence in 2-3 feet is 80% with 4-5 feet confidence at 45%. I have some confidence in an excess of 5-6 feet through Saturday at the summits especially near Mammoth. The Good: 2 storms that linger from late Tuesday to Saturday. The Bad: Some wind at times and initially warm temperatures through Wednesday morning. Can I mention crowds! Aim for some of the smaller resorts like Sugar Bowl, Diamond Peak, Sierra at Tahoe or even June Mountain near Mammoth. Homewood and Heavenly may also see less crowds. They also do better with winds.
Below: Total snowfall over the Sierra through next Saturday morning. Models this far out will change so take this map with caution! They will trend lower or higher as we get closer. The purple colors further south towards Mammoth are exceeding 4-5 feet.
Below: When you look at total moisture for the Sierra you are seeing significant amounts of upwards of 5 inches of liquid in many areas through next Saturday. The maximum Precipitation is 8 inches in a small area in the southern Sierra. These maps will be changing as we closer to the events. If this holds up we will be looking at March Madness.
The rest of the west: The 2nd system from the Sierra pushes inland over a wide area of the Rockies Friday-Saturday. It’s too far out to predict with any confidence who is going to see heavy snow east of the Sierra. Current model trends show a decent blob of moisture streaming into southern and central Idaho. The main low is most likely going to take a southern route favoring the 4 corners that may reap decent rewards by late next week. The Wasatch will likely see a foot or more spread out over several days this week. My confidence for any single deep event is low. My hunch is leaning on Idaho, Utah or Colorado late next week especially southern areas. Anyone is fair game at this point with some surprises likely. The main low is most likely shifting south with leftovers spinning north.
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