CHASE RIGHT NOW TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST- FOLLOWED BY THE SIERRA LATE WEEK. THE CASCADES STAY DEEP ALL WEEK.
Summary. 1/23/18 PM report
Significant snow is falling in the Washington Cascades tonight that swoops south into Oregon and eventually The Sierra by Wednesday night. The northern and central Panhandle of Idaho will earn deep rewards into Wednesday. The Rockies get the wrung out leftovers Thursday/Friday
Short Term Forecast
7 inches fell at Stevens, Baker, and Crystal this afternoon (Mostly after 11AM) making for some great last chair turns at many resorts. We were at Stevens where colder temperatures (mid 20’s mid mountain) held snow quality to a high fun factor. Easterly winds on Stevens Pass helped to curb the warming that was seen at other ski areas today. That said, it’s likely temps will rise to freezing level at the bases tonight so densities will be higher by morning. Avalanche danger will rise considerably tonight so always check the Avalanche Forecast before venturing out. The slopes up top were semI deep (Reverse Powder Day) by 2PM. You may ask where we came up with “Reverse Powder Day”. We learned it at Baker (It may be a Baker only term) meaning no overnight pow. Its a powder day in reverse! We like it! sounds like something the Baker locals would think of. Don’t forget my favorite Granola on earth is from Erin Bakers in Bellingham WA. You need to try this to believe it especially the double chocolate.
Crystal had warmer temps with the upper mountain shut down due to winds. Winds decrease by Wednesday morning. Expect most lifts to spin at Crystal tomorrow. All ranges of the Cascades in Washington should see another 7-11 inches overnight. Storm totals should land in the 17-23 inch range by mid morning Wednesday. The Oregon Cascades will see 7-11 inches tonight about 4500 feet. Chase to the Idaho Panhandle for slightly cooler temperatures and 7-12 inches especially from Schweitzer into the central areas of the Panhandle (Lookout Pass) extending into Montana (Whitefish could score as well as moderate amounts at Montana Snowbowl). Snow quality will be very good especially in northern areas.
The Sierra grabs 12-15 inches above 7500 favoring the northern lake areas Wednesday night into Thursday. Whats to like? Overnight snow, respectable snow levels and double digits for your first chairs Thursday. Snow showers continue into Thursday morning. Models are showing a push of additional moderate moisture late Thursday into Friday so expect another shot of powder for 1st chairs again with colder temperatures. Total snow fall for the Sierra may reach 20 inches (Combined Thursday/Friday events). Higher elevation resorts like Kirkwood, Squaw, Mount Rose, Sugar Bowl may score the high end of this forecast. Both Thursday and Friday have good potential.
The Wasatch gets grazed with light or moderate snow (Nothing looks impressive at this point) with 3-7 inches at the highest elevations. It’s possible areas further north into Logan see the higher end of this forecast. Winds will be very gusty from the SW Wednesday night (Gusts to 90 MPH) so expect lift closures prior to the bulk of precipitation that arrives late Wednesday night and during the day Thursday (Storm ski Thursday 3-7 inches). The Tetons may nab a bit more snow earlier (Wednesday night versus early Thursday) so it’s possible you will have some light or moderate snow (3-6) for 1st chairs. Snow showers continue in the Tetons Thursday/Friday adding up slowly.
Colorado gets the tail end of the leftovers, wrung out moisture from the Cascades, Sierra, and northern Rockies late Thursday/Friday. This does not look like it will land more than light or moderate snowfall favoring the northern mountains (Not impressive).
Another push of moisture for the Washington Cascades happens Thursday night into Friday with very cold temps (Snow level 1,000 feet above sea level). That will most likely form some convergence bands over the central Washington Cascades for another 5-9 inches of snow. 1st chair Friday may score?
Yet another strong push of snowfall is likely for the Cascades on Saturday (Still cold air in place) for a final opportunity of decent quality freshies before warmer air and low elevation rain come into play on Sunday. The Saturday storm may favor Mount Baker with some significant snowfall but it’s too far out to predict with accuracy.
The Tetons stay active under westerly flow Friday-Saturday adding up snow totals for the week (Consistent waves of light snow late week and into the weekend). This may bring totals to decent double digits to close the work week.
I am still on the chase! It’s been Baker, Whistler, Baker, Stevens and tomorrow is still unknown.
See you on 1st chair! Powderchaser Steve
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