CALIFORNIA DREAMING! ANOTHER STORM DUE MID WEEK WITH 8-13 INCHES FOR MANY NORTHERN SKI AREAS. THE CASCADES INCLUDING THE PANHANDLE OF IDAHO GRAB POW ABOVE 4,000 FEET
Summary- April 10, 2017
Snow has ended in the Rockies where the deepest overnight dump hit Alta and Snowbird of the season (17-20). NW flow and cold air really cranked some impressive amounts that make it difficult to forecast with orographics taking hold and dumping significant snow at higher elevations of the Cottonwoods. My last forecast was for 8-14 inches overnight which underscored the NW flow and cold air that really helped LCC score some high numbers. Other resorts generally stayed in that range. Resorts in Little Cottonwood (Alta, Snowbird) broke the 500 inch mark yesterday YTD. Brighton in BCC still leads the pack at 626 inches. This season has seen a majority of storms come in with SW wind directions that favor BCC and to some extend Snowbasin ski area. The last 2 days saw respectable amounts for both Powder and Snowbasin as well. Powder Mountain has officially closed for the season and went out with a bang. The week ahead looks chase worthy for the Sierra for Thursday and perhaps for the Oregon and Washington Cascades Wednesday and Thursday. Even the interior Panhandle of Idaho will do well over 4,000 feet this week. Late this weekend could see another storm for the Sierra!
Short Term Forecast
Light to moderate snow is falling in the southern Cascades this morning. 4 inches has fallen at Crystal that should continue into this afternoon before decreasing. Mount Hood and areas of the Oregon Cascades will also be riding some moderate pow today. Tuesday will see sun in Seattle (1st time in a month) before the next storm rolls in Wednesday night. Expect a wide area of 4-8 inches of additional snow Wednesday/Thursday with perhaps higher amounts over the Panhandle near Spokane. Best day to ride powder will be late today in the southern Cascades or early Thursday for most regions. Schweitzer Ski Area who closes this weekend could score some moderate or deep powder up high during this period. A fetch of moderate to heavy precipitation is aimed at the Eastern Cascades and Panhandle of Idaho (3500-4,000 snow levels) mid to late week! Significant rain will be falling at lower elevations.
The Sierra fires up again Wednesday night into Thursday where a moderate storm should land another 9-13 inches of snow for most areas around Lake Tahoe. This storm is not as robust as others this season however has some definite positives. Less wind, overnight snow, and amounts that are manageable from the snow safety perspective. Expect 7-9 inches for 1st chairs Thursday and an additional 2-4 during the day. Total snowfall from this storm should be in the 9-13 inch range. Snow levels will start slightly higher than the previous storm at or slightly below mountain pass level and sitting around the bases. Expect wet snow at lower elevations and perhaps medium density at the summits (5,000 feet by Thursday). The snow that falls on Thursday will be good quality (On top of medium heavy below). Winds will be an issue Wednesday with a diminishing trend for openings on Thursday. I suspect upper mountains will also pop by Thursday afternoon. On the last storm I predicted the highest amounts (5 feet) would fall over Mammoth (It happened). This storm looks to favor the northern Sierra.
Below: Total snowfall through Thursday afternoon- Sierra
The pattern seems to stay unsettled in the West with perhaps another storm for the Sierra that moves in Sunday/Monday and over the Rockies in the extended. Its too far out to make chase decision just yet so stay tuned as we gain better confidence by the middle or end of this week.
Below: Long range ensembles for early next week