POWDER ALERT MAINE/NEW HAMPSHIRE- THE WEST GETS 2 STORMS WITH NEXT WEEK LOOKING DEEPER FOR THE SIERRA AND SOUTHERN ROCKIES
Summary JANUARY 3, 2017 AM REPORT
Short Term Forecast
Significant snowfall will be occurring Thursday in New England with 9-14 inches (Drifting) in areas closest to the coast. If your chasing powder you will need to get in position tonight as tomorrow will make travel difficult to nearly impossible in some areas. The inland ski resorts such as Sunday River or Sugarloaf will see the highest amounts in the 5-10 inch range. Depending on the track of the storm. These amounts may end up slightly lower or higher (5-8 is a sure bet with 7-12 not impossible). Areas such as Wildcat or North Conway will be “Wildcards” as 4-8 inches is likely. Areas further west into Vermont should still see snowfall 3-6 or more depending on how far west the storm tracks. Any variation to the track of a Nor Easter can make for significant differences in snowfall. I would not be surprised to see a foot or more at some eastern ski areas this weekend (MA and ME favored).
In the west, snow amounts for the Sierra have “Fizzled” for Thursday/Friday but still in play for the weekend. The GFS is taking the bullish route with 4-9 inches likely for the Sierra (Southern areas of the lake or Mammoth favored) while the Euro is much less. My best guess without model consensus is 3-6 inches for most locations primarily on Saturday. Areas to the south may be favored.
The Rockies grab snow Saturday PM/Sunday AM with significant discrepancies in the models. The highest snowfalls will most likely be found in the Tetons (4-8), northern San Juan’s of Colorado (4-8) and areas from Crested Butte through Aspen. The mountains further east may see less. Northwest flow kicks in behind the front mid day Sunday so areas along I-70 will try and catch up with a wide area of of 3-5 inches found at most resorts in Summit, Eagle, Grand, and Rout Counties. Peak riding times will be Sunday morning for powder. Light snow may continue Sunday night into Monday. My best guess on Utah is 2-5 inches in the Park City mountains with perhaps 4-7 in the Cottonwoods near Alta. Even New Mexico as well as Wolf Creek get some action this weekend but amounts will be light. The Good: Moderate now is likely in many areas this weekend in the west. The Bad: Models are not providing good consensus on amounts.
Below is a plume from the University of Utah Atmospheric Sciences showing the wide discrepancies of model data for the summit of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The weekend is showing an average of around 10 inches with fairly good consensus of the outlying models (Tighter lines brings better consensus). I hesitate to share these ensemble plumes as they are often overdone.
Below is the same data points for Park City base area (Notice the wide discrepancies from 1-10 inches providing me less confidence on the average of 4-5 inches).
Here is one more plume for Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan’s of Colorado this weekend with an average of 10 inches (remember these plumes are often overdone).
This map above clearly shows wide variability but it’s likely the San Juan’s grab moderate snowfall this weekend (Northern areas are favored).
Some good news!
A significant system may move into the Sierra by mid next week. That may take a southerly route over the 4 corners of Colorado/Arizona/New Mexico with some moisture shunting north into areas of central or northern Utah and most of Colorado. Its too far out to gain confidence on exact track but confidence increasing on a decent low for midweek. New England grabs moderate or heavy snow (blower) early next week favoring the northern ranges of the Green and White Mountains. This will be a chase worthy event early next week. Below is an ensemble run for mid next week showing the deeper low forming off the California Coast.
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