POWDER ALERT- INTERIOR BC, NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA, TETONS (CREAM). DEEP SNOW BUT CAVEAT IS WARMING TEMPS FOLLOWED BY COLDER AIR LATE IN THE PERIOD.
Summary 2/2/18 PM REPORT
Temps stay cold in interior BC with moisture moving from the Pacific Northwest with a warming trend this weekend south of the Canada line. The Tetons are in position for 10-20 inches at the summits but will fall short on quality late this weekend (Decent tonight before warming Saturday) and lacking deepness at the base. I have been looking at chase spots for the weekend and can’t find any safe bet for high quality with the exception of BC, northern Montana that could have some beneficial POW for southern Montana by Sunday /Monday. Colorado is a strong contender near Steamboat (Summit). The Wasatch gets teased Monday might and Tuesday but not holding my breath on this one.
Short Term Forecast
Snow will increase over the Tetons tonight before decreasing Saturday morning. Expect another 5-7 inches for 1st chairs at the summit of JHMR and significantly less at mid mountain or the base. It’s possible that rain will be mixing with snow at the bases by late morning or afternoon Saturday as temps warm. Its currently 32 degrees at mid mountain of JHMR at press time. Targhee may benefit from higher base elevation but confidence on heavy snow is slightly less. If you’re in Jackson, get out early while temps are cool. Snow will continue lightly through the extended forecast period before turning heavy late Sunday. Warming will significantly rise the AVY danger through the weekend.
Snow increases over northern Montana Saturday with the possibility of moderate pow near Whitefish (3-6) during the day or evening. Action moves south towards the Missoula mountains during the afternoon where several inches will fall from Saturday-Sunday however temps will keep density high near the bases. Cold air is just 30-50 miles to the East! It may be 30 degrees in Missoula where it’s 15 degrees just east of the ski areas. Montana Snowbowl may land some surprises. Big Sky grabs light to moderate amounts while Bridger further north may see slightly higher amounts Saturday/Sunday. Snow picks up in southern and central Montana in the extended forecast on Sunday PM and early Monday. Monday may offer your deepest day in some spots of Montana for first chairs or last chair on Sunday (Empty slopes- Go Patriots).
Image: Total snowfall through Monday morning (ID, MT, WY). Healthy amounts central and north with respectable amounts in southern Montana. Red Lodge Mountain is a wildcard sitting in-between 2 deep areas just over the WY border. Tetons= deep cream up top.
Colorado has decent amounts of snow just north of Steamboat through the weekend. Steady light to moderate snow will be falling over Buffalo Pass (check out Steamboat Powder Cats) through the period with 2-5 inches at higher elevations every 12 hours. Its possible that some mountain ranges near Steamboat nab 20-25 inches by Tuesday morning. The ski area will see several periods of light or moderate events at the summit. I like tonight into Saturday and again Monday late AM into Tuesday. It’s likely there will be a few opportunities to ride deeper AM pow with Tuesday being your best bet.
Elsewhere in Colorado, you should find moderate amounts in Rocky Mountain National Park (Northern ranges favored) with lower amounts as you travel south towards I-70. Keep reading.
Image: Time stamp Sunday morning- Cold air is edging further south into Montana but staying east of the Tetons. Big Sky, Bridger and Montana Snowbowl are wildcards.
Cold arctic air finally swings south and west Sunday night into Tuesday. Chase Montana on Sunday night with moderate or heavy snow (Colder densities ) likely favoring spots just north of Bozeman. Its really hard to nail down amounts as any changes in the location of the cold front will significantly impact amounts. Currently the cold front may reach Bridger Bowl but stay just north of Big Sky. We had a similar pattern earlier this winter (Jackson forecasts were 10-20 inches and they scored 0). Big Sky scored 5-10 inches from that storm. I suspect it’s likely they land decent amounts by late Sunday and early Monday.
Jackson sees an uptick of moisture on the warm side of the storm until late Monday (Moisture is decreasing). Significant amounts of wet snow are likely at the summit.
The Wasatch grabs light snow on Monday followed by higher amounts for Tuesday morning (3-6 Cottonwoods and 2-4 elsewhere). Good NW flow and cold air with moisture lacking. That sometimes over performs but it’s not likely.
Colorado finally sees colder air on Monday night and Tuesday. Expect another moderate or heavy burst of snow for Steamboat with a good chance of 4-8 inches for much of the I-70 corridor.
There may be another cold front and a return of some snow mid to late next week for most of the Rockies and perhaps north Cascades. It may focus on Montana, Tetons and most of Colorado or northern New Mexico.
Models have not cooperated this season so my confidence is currently moderate for the extended forecast and higher for the short term.
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