20 INCHES OF POW IN NEW ENGLAND! THE WESTERN RIDGE IS SLOWING RETREATING
Summary– December 13 -0800 MST
As I forecasted several day ago, the central and southern mountains of Vermont were in the bullseye of a much needed dump! Up to 20 inches being reported at Killington, 15 at Mount Snow, and generally 12 inches from Jay Peak, and most of New Hampshire and Maine Resorts. The West slowly gets active with each period of snowfall generally increasing as we get towards the end of December and into January. The first tease of Rocky Mountain Pow will occur tonight and again this weekend with slightly higher amounts. January looks much better for the West!
Short Term Forecast:
If you chasing in New England, additional snowfall will develop this afternoon over the northern mountains of Vermont with NW flow orographics (Cold air, W, NW winds pushing moist layers of the lower atmosphere up agains the northern Green Mountains). Jay Peak and Stowe could pick up another 2-5 inches before 7PM when all action weans. Winds are keeping many resorts buttoned up today so powder that’s missed today will be available tomorrow morning at many northern resorts with new openings. Storm totals in New England will range from 15-25 inches with more snow expected mid next week!
The Rockies may offer some chase opportunities this week with a light freshening tonight and perhaps moderate amounts by the weekend?
In the Rockies, a tease of 1-3 inches grazes Big Sky today moving into the Tetons tonight (1-3). Snow begins in Colorado after midnight with slightly higher amounts along I-70 especially closer to the Continental Divide (Loveland, Winter Park). Some resorts in Colorado may report 3-5 inches by Thursday morning including the Summits of much of the higher terrain with the majority in the 1-3 inch range. “If NW flow continues it’s possible that Vail and Breckenridge report slightly higher numbers.” Overall it’s not an impressive system. The areas north of I-70 may end winning the tease game.
As mentioned above, each fast moving system will bring slightly higher snow potential. Another system rolls in quickly over the Northern Rockies this weekend coating the panhandle of Idaho (2-4) and central portions (3-5 near Brundage) before zipping over Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. This system will most likely land 3-5 or more inches for the Tetons and southern Montana before grazing Utah (2-4) and enhancing somewhat over Colorado. It’s not clear to me where this low sets up over Colorado. One model shows 3-4 inches for most of the northern Mountains while the GFS takes it further south with some upslope (Easterly winds) that could create higher amounts along the Front Range closest to Denver. It’s also likely New Mexico gets some action from this event. Most snowfall in the northern Rockies happens Friday night into Saturday where Colorado action begins late Saturday into Sunday (Overnight tease). The Chase: If your desperate for some powder consider central Idaho or the Tetons Saturday and perhaps Colorado on Sunday (Resorts closest to the Continental Divide).
Below: Total snowfall for Colorado and New Mexico from today through Sunday is shown below (Northern ranges are favored somewhat). This map includes snow from tonight as well as this weekend.
In the extended forecast below I will highlight some long term model data that brings a glimmer of hope for much of the West for January. Also, the Pacific Northwest gets very active next week as well as interior Canada. Several feet may fall by Wednesday night in the northern Cascades and Canada.
The Pacific Northwest gets active beginning this weekend with some light events grazing most of the Cascades (Not impressive). Action increases next Tuesday-Thursday with model data showing several feet of snow for the northern Cascades. This might extend into Whistler as well as the interior BC.
“I suspect 2-3 feet Is likely Tuesday-Thursday in far northern Washington (SW flow) before winds shift NW Wednesday night driving a moderate dump into the central and southern Cascades.” That system will drive over the Rockies at some point just prior to Christmas Eve late next week (Weakening).
Here is total snowfall for the west from today through mid next week (several feet noted in the far northern Cascades and BC).
In the series of frames below confidence is good that the high pressure ridge retreats in the west. The timing of events or exact set up of who gets the most snow is with much less confidence at this point and can be narrowed in as we get within 7-10 days of a storm.
Below: January 2nd ensembles showing a return of low pressure to the west with the ridge retreating north
January 8th ensembles below looking optimistic for the west
January 10th ensembles below continuing to show low pressure in the west
New England also gets active again next week for more powder especially Tuesday night into Wednesday (5-11 inches). Thanks for following the chase forecast. “See you on first chair” Please consider donating to Powderchasers.
Please feed our Powder Bank for the forecasts.
NEW donation program where we have partnered with Point 6 socks (Top of the line merino pro) for ski socks on all donations $50 or more. Please help feed our powder forecasters! These socks are sweet and Powderchasers top pick ($25 value). Specify your foot size in the comment section on the donation link. (10% of all donations goes to 3 Avalanche centers in the West- NWAC, CO, UT). support these groups plus our powderchasers forecasts.