A FOOT OF POW FOR THE SIERRA-TEASES IN THE ROCKIES- AND A GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR DEEP SNOW NEXT WEEKEND FOR MUCH OF THE WEST
Summary November 17, 2017 7PM MST
Light snow and rain falling in the Cascades currently. Warm air tonight will keep snow levels high in the PNW until late Sunday when Snow will be pick up in the afternoon above 4500 feet. Colder temps and perhaps deeper snow is likely for the upper elevations of Whistler. The Sierra gets a decent blast of a foot or more snow Sunday night/Monday at upper elevations. The Rockies get teased with all the holiday leftovers Monday/Tuesday. The extended forecast looks good for deep snow possible for the Sierra, and most of the central and southern Rockies in the 7 day forecast).
Short Term Forecast
The Cascades will continue to get a mixed bag of Rain and snow for the next 24 hours. Very warm air will be followed by a cold front that swings into the PNW Sunday afternoon/Monday. Expect 5-9 inches at upper elevations of the north Cascades (Baker) by Monday morning, 3-7 central (Snoqualmie, Stevens, Alpental) and 2-6 south (Crystal, White Pass) through Monday AM (Most snow will fall late Sunday to Monday with rain Sunday morning). Whistler summit may nab higher amounts! Additional snow will be falling late Monday night into Tuesday (4-9) in many areas of the Cascades.
The Sierra grabs a solid foot of snow for most resorts by mid morning Monday. Warm air in the Sierra and strong winds Sunday (Lift holds likely) will bring some rain to the bases and light snow to the summit. As the holiday traffic thins out Sunday night snow will begin falling after midnight at pass levels. Base areas may not see snow until daybreak with snow falling at all elevations throughout the early morning. Expect 2-4 inches at the bases and 8-12 inches at the summits of most of the northern Sierra by 10AM Monday. Mammoth may see higher amounts (5-7 base and 10-15 at the summit)! Winds will create blowing and drifting snow at summit locations Sunday night so expect some teaser snow reports Monday morning. The Good: High confidence for 12 inches of dense snow by Mid morning Monday. The Bad: Strong winds and mild temperatures Sunday may bring some mank for Monday or wind buff however winds will ease with the cold front early Monday. Upper mountain at Mammoth may stay buttoned up due to low visibility Monday.
Below: Snowfall totals over the Sierra Range through late Monday night (Peak snow fall will be late Sunday night-early Monday).
The Rockies get the holiday leftovers Monday/Tuesday. Snow will be falling from Big Sky to the Tetons on Monday morning above 8,000 feet. Rain/snow mix at the bases will migrate to all snow by late Monday with colder air working in from the north. Snow quickly dissipates behind the cold front. Expect 4-7 inches Monday (Dense) at upper elevations of the Tetons and perhaps a coating of 1-3 inches of lighter density after the lifts close. Ride late Monday or perhaps early Tuesday? I’m not sure it’s worth a long chase. JHMR is favored initially Monday with W, SW winds where Targhee mighty due better late PM into Tuesday (NW flow- Snow diminishing). Southern Montana resorts should land 3-5 inches.
The Wasatch and most of Colorado see light snow with the passage of the cold front late Monday night into Tuesday. It’s not impressive from an accumulation standpoint (1-4 inches). Snowmaking will be enhanced by the much colder temps. The next storm in the extended forecast could be a nice surprise for spots in the central or southern Rockies that have not seen much snow! The Wasatch may also get into the action. Keep reading.
Models are advertising a low pressure system dropping in from the Pacific Northwest taking a southern route over the Sierra next weekend. The GFS operational runs are not impressive (Gamble that far out) but the Euro is showing better signals for a decent system. Its possible that the Sierra grabs a decent cold storm pushing moisture into the Rockies late next weekend. That would impact a wide area of the west. It’s possible that the Wasatch, Arizona and the 4 corners regions become prime targets but we expect snow to be falling as far north as the Tetons (Perhaps less). Once the GFS and Euro come into better agreement confidence will be higher. At least it’s good news! Beyond next weekend or early the following week we may be stuck in high pressure for the West and a stormy pattern for the East Coast!
Below: Ensembles for late next weekend
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