Data from the National Climate Prediction Center at this point is teasing us to believe that December to January stands an equal chance of being below normal or above normal for snowfall for the Western States.  Latest model guidance suggests neither strong El Nino or LA Nina and a good bet for near normal snowfall or what weather climatologists say “Neutral pattern.” My thoughts are leaning towards a higher chance of DEEP in the Sierra and Southern Rockies especially by mid January early February. The history shows that many areas like the Wasatch and Northern Rockies can do well with both La Nina and El Nino.  Neutral may favor the Central Rockes slightly?


The East Coast and Mid Atlantic may see near normal snowfall this winter with slightly warmer temperatures.

Temperatures in the West will stay near to above normal with the exception of the Northwest where colder temps will kick in by mid winter.  The Rockies and northern Alaska might see above normal temperatures early this winter.

As a powderchaser I have learned never to rely on early data!  As we get closer to Fall reliability increases.  This info is an early heads up for those weather gurus that insist on looking at it.  The next update will be issued in Mid July.

Powderchaser Steve


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LONG RANGE FORECAST WINTER 2013/2014, 6.7 out of 10 based on 26 ratings
Posted in Forecasts


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  1. Best place to hit Dec 5th to get some powder? Was thinking the Oregon Cascades (Mount Hood, Timberline) any suggestions. Going to ride Dec 4 to 6 so looking for best accumulation on Sunday Dec 4th to hit Monday and Tuesday.

    • Hey BHD, where are you chasing from? I think you might be making the right call given the amount of base that Mt. Hood has. Could be great on Monday considering it would be a Monday without the weekend warriors a lot of new snow, and really cold temperatures. Possibly new terrain openings, which could mean deepness, poor snow coverage, or both. These are the lowest temps I have ever seen forecasted for Oregon. Grand Targhee Resort in Driggs, Idaho an hour from Jackson could be real deep by Monday morning as well. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort still needs more base given it is a steeper mountain than Grand Targhee. Is there something more appealing with Timberline compared to Mt. Hood Meadows this time of year? I have seen some great powder footage from Mt. Hood Meadows this season.

    • Initially 8000 feet under SW flow (Snowing pretty well on Monday in many areas up high). The snow level drops Monday night and Tuesday to 5500 however moisture is weaning. Total snow now for the Cottonwoods just tweaked higher to 6-10 inches in our books.

  2. Damn!! I totally planned an itinerary around this post from April 6-10. Shame on me for not connecting the dots! Thank goodness I didn’t prepay for the Hotel

    We’re here in Santa Barbara, CA and ready to take off from Apr 6-10….PC what might you suggest for where we could reroute for first time Powder seekers. I’ve never experienced the pow-goods yet, and was stoked to find your alerts/site here. Utmost goal for this trip, powder and being thick in the storm of it.

    Mammoth? Snowbird? Whistler? Snowmass/Aspen/Vail/Breckenridge?

    • DARN. So sorry about that. The next snow we see is monday-Wednesday over the Cascades. Snow levels will be above the base levels but lower to the bases late Tuesday. Might see a foot of wet snow on the upper peaks. After that I don’t see much until next weekend when I think you want to travel? Snow returns from the south pushing into the Sierra with 9,000 foot snow levels (Rain at the base). That storm pushes over the southern mountains of Colorado by next weekend as well (Sat or Sun). Warm air will bring high density snow but with higher elevations might score some powder. Wolf Creek if they are still open would be an early guess right now (High elevation). As we get closer please repost to me and I can narrow it down for you.

  3. So I am either super stoked or this April Fool’s cuts a little too deep…

    For the sake of my mind, please tell me if this an April Fool’s… If it is, then it doesn’t hurt to ask. If it isn’t, and we don’t go, then that would be terrible.

  4. Looking to dodge out of work- ?Where to go next Wednesday (27th)through Friday/Saturday? Utah, CO or elsewhere? Just got back from CO and had great POW.

  5. Hey guys,

    excited about the storms rolling in the west!!

    What is your opinion about the 2 storms this coming to the Sierra in the next days, do you think Mammoth and Tahoe will have similar amounts or Tahoe will do much better?

    Thanks a lot!!!

  6. Last posting. We have a one bedroom villa at Westgate Park City resort and Spa for November 29 – December 6th $400 for the week. Going rate is $1600 for the week. feel free to email me if you are interested. Should be awesome snow in Alta, Bird and Solitude

  7. Still not takers for our place at the Westgate Park City resort and Spa for November 29 – December 6th. Will lower the price to $400. Conditions should be good in the Park City area and great in Alta and Snowbird area. South facing aspects look to favor deeper.

  8. Anyone who is interested – have a 1 bedroom villa at the Westgate Park City resort and Spa for November 29 – December 6th. Snow should still be fantastic still. Offering it for $500 – goes for $1600.

    Feel free to email me if you’re interested. chrisatdubiadotme

  9. Photo of base area with snow on picnic tables is not Alpental, it’s SILVER FIR, (formerly Summit East, formerly Pacwest). Alpental is to the north and about 2500 vertical feet higher.

  10. Steve,

    Thoughts on Alta – Snowbird for March 21 – 30. Anything good on the horizon? Looking at the long term Euro and it shows a swath of moisture..Not sure though.

    • I am really liking the evening of the 24th and daytime 25th. Cold front and Westerly flow= good chance of decent snow. Most likely will be good since I am not in town on the 25th (Always happens when I am out of pocket).

  11. Steve,

    Taos is looking super deep for this weekend. I am chasing with a buddy Saturday (2/25) to Tuesday (3/3). We rented a 2 bedroom condo on the mountain so if your powder chasing adventures take you to Taos please know you have a place to crash at our pad (let me know and I can email you details).

    By the way I met you on the lift line at Blue Sky Basin earlier this season (right before Christmas). I knew I was in the right place when you showed up and the lift opened shortly thereafter!

    • I might end up there. Traveling with a buddy. Can you accommodate us tonight? Things look good for the next 3 days. I need to be slightly concerned with moisture streaming north and further west on Sunday? Wolf creek will get the deepest however Taos would be very good

      • We can’t check in till Saturday so you guys are more than welcome starting then. We are flying in this evening and staying at a motel in taos town tonight

    • CB can do well with SW flow. If the moisture gets that far north it will be very good. My confidence is 60% for 5-10 inches. Wolf and Durango will do better with southern influence. CB can sometimes do better than Telluride under SW flow. Not sure why Telluride did so good on the last storm! I would watch that POW Cam and make last minute chases.

  12. Hey Steve, I have a group of three guys with me and we’re willing to travel anywhere in the country for the deepest driest powder we can find this weekend. Can you give me your top three resorts in order. You’ll be our hero. From what I can gather I’m guessing its Colorado somewhere but I’d love you’re best pics.

    • Southern storm with SW flow pushes up to the Wasatch this weekend. Mountains in the San Juan’s are favored. However currently I am confident in moderate amounts in the Wasatch as well!

    • Sorry we left NM out since the bulk of the near term action is in Colorado. YES, NM will see snow. Heaviest will be in the NE third of the State. Santa Fe might see more? Taos gets snow primarily Sunday into Monday. Amounts could be respectable but not willing to guess just yet. Monday will be your best day to get 1st chair.

    • Good! Snow especially Friday night and then again Saturday afternoon/Sunday however by then most moisture is to the East. I think Saturday might be the best of the bunch?

  13. Will this most recent movement over the next 3-4 days bring anything but rain to PC area? I know better snow in LC canyon, but wondering even how they will fair with this front due to high temps. Any guess?

  14. Hi – do you have any insigh on how Snowbird / Alta will make out from the 13th-17th of Feb? I’m reading there will be a ridge moving in which will keep out all storms. Would appreciate your insight. Thanks!

    • Late response. Tough winter! Snow this weekend for sure but amounts will be light. Temps look cool for several days. Heavier storm likely in the 7 day extended forecast.

  15. any idea on when this crazy ridge is going to break down? any good news for northern CO…i will be at breckenridge from feb 11-18…i am being selfish, and just want some good cold snow. dont need 1000 inches. please give me some good news

  16. How is Beaver Mountain in Northern Utah looking? YOu always mention the larger corporate resorts just south of us… but The Beav often gets left out. Give some love to Utah’s best kept secret… a rad family owned resort: Beaver Mountain! Thanks for all you do!

    • We mention the Beaver often this year. In fact mentioned on my last post today and again last week. I have not been there but heard it is great.

    • Snowing with higher amounts in the northern areas. Snowbasin may get more however snow level will be high making density an issue. Southern Wasatch near snowbird should be better quality but less snow. Brighton May be a better call Colder by XMAS day and snowing at all elevations

  17. Treefrog,

    Red Lodge Mountain is good. Skied it yesterday from the top. The 9″ of new was much needed. The lower half of the mountain snow elves have been furious with the man made variety, and even without this latest dump they would have had enough to open. Half-price tickets on opening day make a great value!

    Be safe!


    • sorry for the late response. YES in a big way! Mammoth will do well but the moisture charts show more up north? I would think 1-2 feet a sure bet for you.

  18. Thanks for bringing attention to this gem of a place! The UP has been blasted by snow over the last several days. Indianhead and Blackjack are reporting 75″ over the last 7 days and 84″ for the season. Might be the most snow covered place in the country to date. Can’t wait to get out there!

      • Unfortunately, I’m stuck in IL, so not much to photograph…just been paying attention to snow reports while glued to resort web cams. Bohemia’s looking to open next weekend (earliest opening I can recall…they don’t make snow), so I’m planning to head up end of next month. I’ll send pics if we get pow!

  19. Boise Mtns got blasted again. Up to 18″ in last 36 hours in some places. So far Nov has been a huge month for us. Lets pray that it continues right on through April!

  20. PowderChasers

    We are planning our yearly trip, if you had to choose a state for a week in the West, which would you do? We go to Utah every year, my friends are talking about maybe changing it up to Washington. We usually go in February, but have tried march lately. Sorta like February better.

    With average conditions for February, and only 1 week, which would you choose: Washington or Utah?

    • Tough call! There really is no telling at this point. The data is showing average or slightly below average for the PNW. I love the NW and often chase from salt lake. I prefer Seattle over SLC and especially whistler. That said the odds might edge for Utah on snow. February generally is a reliable month at either spot. Book airfare to SLC and find a cheap RT flight to Seattle. This way you have the option either way. There are often very cheap fares in the winter from SLC to SEA

  21. Hows Grand targhee looking this for this week? i was supposed to head out there from San Francisco yesterday but my flight got delayed (i hope because of heavy snowfall).
    Thanks for everything you do!

  22. I’m in utah and planning on heading up to Jackson or bridged bowl for the 27th-30th. What would be the better pick? And what are the chance good for a system to roll on? Just let me know!

    • Tough call. Moderate moisture will be moving into the Wasatch on the 28th. The Tetons and southern Montana seem better on the 27th but continue to show snow on the 28th. The key is wind direction. The storm next week looks like SW flow which is good for the Tetons. Bridger Bowl does best with NW flow. I am not sure about Big Sky. Bridger got 10 inches yesterday under NW flow where Big Sky got zip. If you need to leave Utah my pick would be Jackson. This way you can chase back easily if things look better for Utah. SW flow favors Big Cottonwood and Snowbasin

  23. Wow! Almost makes me wish I lived in Washington! ALMOST! I love all my Utah snow! I can’t wait for the next pow day over the Rockies… I just have to heal fast from this dislocated elbow and I’ll be back in all that white gold. LOVE IT, LIVE IT!

  24. Thanks a lot. Hey another question. Thinking of a trip to Europe the 1st week of April only if things look good. Do you know of any good websites for powder forecasting in that area?, in English of course.

  25. I would hit the Wasatch this Tuesday. The only thing is that it wont be epic due to warm temps in the past several days, but 5-10 inches of snow will be likely. I would not chase long distance for this storm but if you have to use the ticket why not. Epic days are still to come but it might wait a week or two? Late March through April usually bring more good storms. One thing lacking this year has been cold air.

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