POWDER ALERT! CA, OR, WA, NV, UT, ID- TETONS ON WATCH
Summary 2/27/17 AM
It’s snowing as far south as Big Bear Ski (7 inches overnight) area this morning in Southern California, with significant snow expected for most of the Sierra later this week. The Cascades, areas of Idaho, and most of Utah will see decent dumps this week. Wyoming is a wildcard bet with leftovers not reaching Colorado until late this weekend.
Short Term Forecast
Above image: Big Bear Ski area in southern CA finally nabs powder!
If your chasing this week consider the Cascades for Thursday morning where 12 inches or more will await you in most mountain ranges of Oregon and Washington for 1st chair. Temps will be rising slightly compared to the super dry density they have seen in the past week, but still below pass levels.
The Sierra range will grab 2 systems this week with the action starting late Wednesday night. Expect moderate to heavy snow Thursday morning that continues into Friday morning. There may be a break in the action early Friday in the northern Sierra before the next system moves in by mid day or evening. The southern Sierra (Mammoth) may not see the heaviest snow until later Thursday morning that may continue into Friday morning. You may score deepness by late Thursday up north and chase south to Mammoth for Friday. Most all resorts in the Sierra will be reporting double digits by late Thursday night and Friday morning (1-2 feet).
Models differ on totals for the Panhandle of Idaho. The GFS wants to bring 12-18 inches into Schweitzer this week with the Euro showing less. Northern Idaho will grab several periods of light to moderate snow this entire week with at least a foot by Thursday afternoon. My confidence is high for a solid dump for Sun Valley this week especially Thursday (Storm ski). The set up for southern Idaho is ideal with southerly winds, strong moisture flowing into the Ketchum and Hailey areas most of Thursday and Friday. It’s possible that 9-18 inches fall in these areas! Brundage and areas north will see heavy snow mid to late week as well with similar or higher amounts.
Other chase points will be most of northern Utah where storm skiing Friday (2-4 on the snow report) morning may end up in the 6-10 inch range by last chairs at many resorts. Winds are initially from the south or SW so areas north towards Snowbasin or even Big Cottonwood may be favored. Light or moderate snow is going to continue in the Wasatch through the weekend with NW flow (Good for most resorts especially south of the Great Salt Lake or Powder Mountain further north. Expect totals to add up nicely by late Saturday (1-2 feet). There may not be a single double digit 12 hour period but the sum of Thursday-Saturday will be deep.
Wyoming is a wildcard with most action falling further south into Utah. Its possible the Tetons still nab 6-10 inches late this week especially late Thursday or Friday. It’s a strong contender.
Snow continues in the Sierra with storm #2 especially late Friday/Saturday. Expect another round of deep pow for 1st chairs on Saturday and perhaps Sunday morning. Most action tapers on Sunday when closed terrain from Friday-Saturday may pop. We would expect snow totals for the week to range from 3-5 feet in most areas above 7,000 feet. Lower elevations will be in the 2 foot range. Continue to chase to the Sierra Saturday and Sunday!
Snow showers continue this weekend in the Wasatch before moving into Colorado late Saturday or Sunday. Models are not exciting currently for the ski areas in Colorado, however that may change as we get closer. There will be moisture Sunday/Monday in Colorado with decent wind directions for many resorts (NW and West). We are keeping most of northern and central Colorado on my wildcard list for late weekend chases. Stay tuned. Powderchaser Steve
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