NORTHWEST FLOW IS DELIVERING FEET OF SNOW TO THE NORTHERN ROCKIES THAT CRANKS NEXT IN CENTRAL WYOMING, NORTHEAST COLORADO, NEW MEXICO AND THE WASATCH REAPING MAGIC POWDER FROM COLD AIR, LAKE EFFECT AND CONTINUED MODERATE SNOWFALL
Summary -April 27, 4PM MST
Significant snow fell in many areas over the past few days. Grand Targhee (closed) picked up 17 inches with the Wasatch in the 11-14 inch range! NW flow cranked out impressive snow in the Rockies that will continue into Friday albeit lighter 12 hour periods. I was at Loveland yesterday where 9 inches of blower made for some epic turns on the Ridge Chair (Opened at 0930) with light winds and decent visibility. At 13,000 its pretty tough not to get good quality snow! Loveland has scored several powder days this week. From Loveland I chased to Snowbird last night where epic conditions prevailed for the limited terrain that was open. For those that missed today you have more opportunities this week! Avalanche danger off piste is rising rapidly with strong wind loading! Ski patrol took a ride today at Snowbird with air bag deployment keeping him afloat in the upper Peruvian side of the mountain (No injuries or burial). Be aware! I assume similar hazards exist in the Tetons. “Know before you go”
Below: My tracks at Loveland Ski area April 26- Ridge Chair hike terrain
Short Term Forecast
Light to moderate snow showers will lighten up in the Tetons this evening and push East towards central Wyoming. The highest amounts are winding down near Targhee and Jackson. Mountain locations in central Wyoming will grab 10-20 inches through Friday! Light snow is expected to continue in the Tetons but nothing like the previous 2.
The Wasatch shows light precipitation tonight on models (3-5) however cold air and NW flow could present some very respectable wildcards. The Wildcard is 5-10 tonight. My thoughts are to split things in the middle with 4-7 inches likely additional tonight for early lifts on Friday. “Its likely there will be a break in the action early Friday before snow intensifies again mid to late AM or early PM in the Wasatch. Most of the snowfall will be convective (Can dump 2 inches in a short amount of time) so it’s hard to nail down amounts. Look for an additional 3-7 inches late AM Friday through early PM. Storm totals in the Wasatch, including today will range in the 19-24 inch range. Ride Friday AM and again last chair could deliver some refills and new terrain openings. With a short break early Friday it’s possible that avalanche control can get a jump on things before additional waves move in late AM.
Colorado stays in a very moist pattern. Light snow will continue in Summit County tonight (2-5) with heavier amounts towards Vail Pass, Steamboat, an the Flat Tops (tapering late tonight). The further east you go the more snow you may find on I-70 from Summit to Eagle. Heavy snow from central Wyoming with northerly winds will quickly slam into Colorado favoring the Front Range Friday night. Models show a decent band of snow for Summit (4-8) Friday night with 10-14 inches further east towards Boulder, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Snow will be falling in the metro areas (Grassy surfaces) with the heaviest over the Palmer Divide south of Denver (Travel impacts likely). Most snow will focus along or east of the Continental Divide. Look for chases to Loveland, Winter Park (Last weekend), or areas north of Interstate 70 as your best odds currently. If the system pushes any further West than spots in Summit County will reap higher rewards, Latest model trends show some moderate snow for areas West of the Divide also so A Basin and spots along I-70 To Vail (Closed) will reap some moderate rewards. It’s also possible that most snow falls just east of the Divide and most ski areas however Its not likely.
Below: Significant moisture in central Wyoming Friday morning is going to push south into Colorado and New Mexico.
New Mexico! We can’t believe that New Mexico nabs powder in late April but it’s going to happen. Cold air and moisture zoom from Colorado after midnight Friday through late Saturday. Significant snow will fall in northern New Mexico through Saturday (12 plus inches) at the highest peaks. Winds are North Friday night and NE Saturday. If you hiking I might watch Santa Fe (Closed) Taos (Closed) is a strong wildcard. NW winds would be better there but north winds could still reap rewards. They are not favored with Easterly flow.
Most areas should clear out by Sunday. Next week shows a continued trend for light or moderate snow for the northern Rockies from Wyoming into Colorado. Nothing stands out as “Significant” however some freshening is likely. It’s likely Utah gets clipped but most action will be East. Highlights for these events will be Monday and again Wednesday (My Birthday).
I will keep posting if it keeps snowing. This will likely be my last week! The 5AM wake up calls and then chasing is not an easy task! I am out of pocket for the next several days so if you score powder great! I will miss out in the action.
High Pressure should take hold of the West mid next week. Models hint at a break down of the ridge perhaps late next week in the west but nothing stands out to me currently.
Below: High Pressure mid next week!
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