POWDER ALERT- HEAVY SNOW LIKELY IN MANY AREAS OF THE CASCADES AND ROCKIES IN THE NEXT 5 DAYS.
Summary 2/14/ 18 PM
The next 5 days are going to be deep especially in the Pacific Northwest, Wyoming, central Montana, areas of Colorado, and even the Wasatch gets into the action by early next week. New Mexico will see heavy snow just south of the Colorado border with a decent tease in other areas like Taos or Santa Fe. Higher snow totals in the Rockies including Utah and New Mexico will happen next week.
Short Term Forecast
Snow will increase over the Tetons tonight and Thursday. Models pump out 3-6 tonight with another 2-4 Thursday. Colder temps will enhance amounts (Higher snow ratios to water) so it’s likely 7-8 falls by 10 AM Thursday and additional 2-4 during the late morning early PM. Wind direction from the SW favors JHMR over Targhee, however a shift to the West Thursday will put both into equal play. Teton Pass will ride really good on Thursday! Expect all mountains of the Tetons to nab moderate to possibly deep amounts by late Thursday (5-10) and 4-7 at the bases. The Wasatch in Utah may see 3-5 inches at upper elevations especially the Cottonwoods by early Thursday.
In Colorado, moderate snow favors the Southern San Juans tonight and Thursday. Expect 3-6 tonight over Wolf Creek with double that by noon Thursday. SW winds in Colorado initially favor those areas before shifting west after daybreak Thursday. I’m torn with other deep spots early Thursday. I suspect the heaviest snow will be found in the San Juans (Southern zones favored perhaps near Wolf Creek or Purgatory, Silverton) for AM riding where PM riding may be best in far northern Colorado (Steamboat). Models show 12 inches plus for areas just east or north of Steamboat Ski area by late afternoon Thursday! That could land 3-6 inches over the Steamboat Ski area by 10AM Thursday, and higher amounts for last chair. Models are teasing me to believe deep snow will be not be falling east of Glenwood until perhaps 10 AM or later (Eagle County may be favored over Summit). Other hot spots may include Irwin Lodge (Near Crested Butte) and Aspen late Thursday AM through Friday. Moisture pushes north Thursday through the Gunnison Valley with a westerly wind shift (Could be good for CB). Its a similar pattern from the previous storm where the deepest snow was found on the western sections of Colorado. Overall, models are showing isolated deep spots north and south. They even show North winds Thursday night that could crank good snow near the Front Range including Rocky Mountain National Park.
I-70 and areas east of Eagle including Vail Pass, Beaver Creek and Summit, will deliver post frontal cold air and West NW orographics late Thursday morning through Friday morning. The models are not getting too excited east of Glenwood but it’s these sleeper cells that can crank out decent amounts especially late Thursday. Should I guess on amounts? The highest amounts may be found from Beaver Creek, Aspen, Steamboat (Similar to the last storm) Thursday with areas further east like Vail, Breckenridge playing catch up late Thursday or early Friday (Moisture decreasing). I would chase north or south in western Colorado Thursday morning and along I-70 in the afternoon or Friday morning.
This forecast gets very exciting! Moderate snow will be falling over a wide area of the Washington Cascades, southern BC, Whistler on Friday. Some warming will occur by mid day with mixed precipitation below 4,000 feet possible? Its should land in the 7-10 range during the day at many ski areas in Washington. Stevens and Crystal may be favored slightly over Baker? Snow tapers Friday night before returning again Saturday with a cooling trend.
The weekend brings heavier snow to the Cascades on Saturday/Sunday with 1-2 feet possible from Saturday through Sunday.. The heaviest precipitation most likely falls Saturday Temps will cool significantly Saturday afternoon through Sunday (500 foot snow levels) Post frontal convergence snow showers continuing into Sunday. Both Saturday and Sunday will be good powder days in the Cascades. Oregon should also do well with this pattern (They need snow) as moisture and cold air drops south. All that action moves east into the Panhandle of Idaho and Rockies.
Moderate to heavy snow is likely this weekend from the central Panhandle (Northern areas towards Schweitzer will have slightly lower amounts), into most of north-central Montana. Areas near Missoula will score a deep dump this weekend. The Tetons continue to score moderate powder all weekend with few breaks to speak about. Snow may increase Sunday as colder air pushes in to the Tetons. The Wasatch may earn a deep dump late Sunday or Monday. Colorado fares well early next week with moderate or heavy snow impacting most of the State. More on that storm in a future post.
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