What a sneak up powder day! I was in position last night in Steamboat with a 4 AM wake up call kicking me out of bed! The moisture that was originally forecast to hang north towards Wyoming crept further south through the night skipping over the Boat and setting up just south of I-70. Highlands scored 7-12 inches where Breckenridge, the clear winner as of noon has over 15 inches of cold freshies! Breckenridge was deep, however, a sharp cool down sent my board to the bottom surface that was rock solid (Don't you love it when you miss a powder day and someone posts something negative). I also missed Imperial, Whales tail and the TBAR (Went back to work). Hmm. Can someone post the conditions please in those above mentioned areas?
The Utah resorts did not impress with the exception of Brighton who reported 7 inches this morning. Also, Deer Valley and Park City outperformed Little Cottonwood (4-5). Winds and models showed more snow falling with SW or S flow which helped Big Cottonwood as well as the \"Wasatch Back\" (DV, PC, Uinta Range). Models showed more snow in the Heber Valley than the Cottonwoods (Backside). My forecast was 3-7 inches which is in line with what fell last night, however surprised to only see Alta at 2 inches. The next 48 hours will bring another 7-12 inches but a bit \"boring\" with 3-7 late Friday night and another better burst of moderate snow late Saturday into Sunday. Higher amounts are likely in central and southern Utah where the low-pressure system is focussed. In the Wasatch, I like Sunday morning the best! Winds are a bit more favorable switching to the west of northwest. Get up early, look at Snow cams, snow reports, and make your decisions. There is a decent chance that the northern Wasatch, especially Powder Mountain does decent. Bottom Line: Moderate powder awaits Utah Saturday morning at many resorts (4-7) and perhaps higher amounts for Sunday! 10-18 inches are possible for the next 2-3 days but on the ho hum side of excitment.
In Colorado, snow showers are continuing at press time along I-70. I suspect those will decrease this evening before picking up after midnight Friday. Moderate snow is likely north of I-70 by Saturday morning (Steamboat favored with W or NW wind shift). Hey, I said that last night and was completely wrong (Give me a 2nd chance). I am not confident for more than 2-5 inches overnight for the Boat but have a higher confidence of decent amounts during the AM daylight hours. Colder air and wind direction will be favorable for the I-70 corridor from mid-morning Saturday to Sunday. SW flow initially may land another surprise for Aspen Friday night (3-5) with Highlands and Snowmass performing well with the NW wind directions late Saturday/Sunday. Late Saturday may offer another sneak up powder day in many areas. The entire State will see decent mountain snowfall from late Saturday to Sunday. The San Juan mountains also score hefty amounts (12-20) through Sunday. Okay, cut to the chase! Bottom Line: Ride Colorado from North to south on Saturday. Start north of I-70 early AM and work your way south during the day. Most resorts along I-70 will see heavy snow by 1 or 2 PM Saturday. Aspen is a wildcard with SW initially Saturday pushing moisture into the Elk Mountains early. That can also sneak up on Steamboat early Saturday.
The I-70 corridor fills in nicely in the afternoon Saturday followed by the San Juan Mountains. Telluride (12-16) is favored in the San Juans (Sunday could be great) and the Wolf will be slightly lower (Stil respectable 7-14). I am very bullish for the resorts further west and slightly south of I-70. Aspen and Crested Butte will possibly see the highest totals (16-22) by Sunday morning. Everyone scores on this storm! Summit will be behind the above-mentioned areas but still in the 11-18 inch range. If Breckenridge scored 15 inches today, then I would gamble that they grab double that for Sunday.
Bottom Line: Be ready to chase as early as Saturday morning (Low to moderate confidence) but certainly by last chair Saturday. Sunday is a guaranteed deep powder day for most of Colorado. If you get skunked never read my posts again. Snow is likely to linger in Colorado Monday and even Tuesday, albeit lighter intensity.