POWDER ALERT- COLORADO, NEW MEXICO. POWDER WATCH ISSUED FOR THE CASCADES WHERE 20-30 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE
The Sierra is waking up with 5-10 inches for most mountain ranges through late Thursday. If you want double digits for Thursday, also consider the southern San Juans of Colorado. New Mexico could bring some surprises especially Santa Fe. The weekend looks cold with more light or moderate snow for the Wasatch and even deeper pow for the Cascades. That storm moves over western Idaho, Tetons, and continues good NW flow for most of Utah and Colorado.
Short Term Forecast
Heavy snow will be falling Wednesday night in a narrow area of the San Juan mountains of Colorado and northern New Mexico. Expect 8-11 inches by 10AM Thursday. I suspect Wolf Creek will come out winners. Areas towards Purgatory and Silverton will see lower amounts. Total snowfall by late Thursday on Wolf Creek Pass may exceed 15 inches. Its chase worthy if you leave Wednesday night. Best day to ride will be early Thursday. New Mexico will also see decent snowfall from Taos north favoring areas just west or near the Colorado border.
Below: Total snowfall for the San Juan range of Colorado through late Thursday. Add 25-30% for the colder temps and orographics that should land 10-14 inches at Wolf Creek and 5-9 elsewhere. NM looks deeper on the models! Lets hope.
The Sierra will grab its 2nd storm of the week with 5-9 inches over most mountain ranges on Thursday. The northern Sierra may be slightly favored but decent freshening will be occurring from Mammoth and areas north. Best time to ski will be during the day Thursday when snow is falling.
Models are increasing snowfall for northern and central Utah Thursday night and Friday. This may not show much in the way of moisture, however cold air and NW wind direction is likely to provide a “sneak up powder day” for Friday morning. Expect 4-8 inches in the Cottonwoods by late Friday and 3-6 elsewhere. Latest models showed some an increase from this morning’s runs.
In the Northwest, Portland Metro and even low elevations near Seattle grab light snowfall tonight. The mountains won’t see heavy snow until late Friday through the weekend. Moderate snow will be falling late Friday (2-4 inches during the day in the WA Cascades) with heavy snow likely at times Saturday/Sunday. Snow showers continue into Monday morning. Moderate snow is likely late Friday night into Saturday before tapering somewhat during the day (5-11 inches likely). The Oregon Cascades will see slightly lower amounts. Snow increases in the Cascades after midnight and bumps higher during the day Sunday. Peak snowfall may happen during lift openings Sunday through early PM. Snow showers will continue into Monday. Both Sunday/Monday offer great quality. Terrain not open Sunday will most likely open Monday. Total snowfall through the weekend will be 20-28 inches. Ride Saturday/Sunday/Monday. Sunday will be deepest.
Action from the PNW takes a path over central Idaho this weekend with consistent light or moderate snow for most of the northern Rockies favoring the Wasatch and most of Colorado. (No single deep event). Moisture is not deep but orographics (Cold air and NW wind direction) may bring higher amounts than the models are showing (Utah or Colorado could have some sneak up powder days). Moisture may be best late Sunday as the final wetter wave from the Cascades takes a northern path over the Rockies. The Tetons may be in good position by Monday. I also like Brundage for late this weekend. Someone will be reporting double digits late this weekend or early Monday.
The northern and central Rockies look somewhat active next week (continued trend for waves of light or moderate snow). Deeper moisture may take aim at the Sierra late next week.
If you want to get away from the frenzy of the weekend crowds Stellar Heli Skiing in BC (Just 4 hours north of Spokane) has a single seat available 2/24, 2/25, 2/26 and 2 seats open on March 1st and 2nd. Snow has been deep in those areas this season and the temps have stayed cold recently. Tell them Powderchasers sent you.
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