Arctic cold air and significant snow are going to slam the west this week with several opportunities to ride deep freshies and blower pow.
Bring your snorkels, especially mid to late week for Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. Late week will feature several feet for the Pacific Northwest. It's amazing how the models are going nuts on April 1st just when yesterday there was no hint of blower pow in the forecast. Its amazing at the changes in the model runs in just 1 day!
Who got caught up in the headlines this morning? Welcome to April 1st! Hey, there is snow in the forecast but leave the snorkel at home. Some spots in the west will try to get deep midweek above 8500 feet especially in Utah (5-10). The Pacific Northwest is a serious (Non-April Fools), contender this weekend that spreads over the Rockies (Tetons could get deep by Sunday). BC finally gets into the action for the weekend.
The Real Forecast:
My forecast yesterday morning for 5-10 inches for the San Juan mountains was in range.
Wolf Creek- 9 inches
Telluride: 8 inches
Purgatory: 7 inches.
My timing was off as most of the snow fell during the day while the lifts were open versus 50/50 (Day-night). The highest intensity fell late AM to mid-afternoon so it's likely to find stashes of powder that were not skied on Sunday. Temps are much warmer today so get out early and enjoy what may have been one of the last truly cold storms (12-14 degrees at the summit of Wolf Creek yesterday morning).
The week ahead features typical April moisture with higher snow levels. Overall the pattern for warmer air and perhaps above average moisture look to take hold to start off the month. The Sierra will get rain below 8,000 feet lowering to 7,000 feet on Tuesday (Light or moderate snow at the summits). The higher elevations of the Rockies including the Wasatch (Above 8,000 feet) may see 5-10 inches by early Wednesday morning. Precipitation picks up in Utah and Wyoming Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday albeit warm. If you want some cream that buffs out the bumps head to Utah for Wednesday morning powder, possibly coated with some sandpaper faceshots mixed with graupel or even just dense powder. The Tetons will see similar conditions on Wednesday morning specifically at the summits of JHMR albeit lighter than the Wasatch.
Colorado does slightly better density wise for Wednesday morning with the models showing a wide area of 2-5 inches primarily falling Tuesday night. This will include the northern and southern mountains. Steamboat might see slightly higher amounts at the summit (Some snow late Tuesday) but suffers at the base elevation wise (Rain/mixed with snow). It's worth watching how things shape up for Wednesday morning powder (Mainly above 7500 feet) but my expectations are pretty low currently. It's possible the higher amounts stay west of Summit County or south (SW winds).
The extended has some merit! The Pacific Northwestlooks to be the most active beginning on Thursday and continuing through Monday. Steady snow and rain showers are likely late this week in the Cascades and coastal BC. 4500-foot snow levels midweek rise late week before dropping back for the upcoming weekend (4,000-4500). Crystal benefits from the 4,000 base elevation, however, the heaviest moisture appears to be aimed for the northern Cascades and BC under SW flow (Pushes the highest moisture north). It's possible that Whistlergrabs 1-2 feet of snow at the summit by Sunday with higher amounts possible (Not an April Fools Joke). Whistler benefits from the good elevation at the peaks. It will be raining at the base.
Below: The GFS is more bullish than the Euro (Not shown) for WA. Highest amounts are north towards Mount Baker. The higher amounts further south are for Mount Hood, however, Crystal deserves watching (Higher base elevation) as well as Stevens at the summit. These are weekly totals through Sunday afternoon. It's going to be a slow steady event possibly peaking late Sunday or Monday morning.
In looking for colder temperatures for the PNW Monday will deliver cooler temps driving quality, especially the northern Cascades. That may be the best day where the surf pow mixes in with some medium density at the summits.
Below: Southern BC in the 20-inch range at the highest peaks closer to the coast and 4-10 inches further inland (Interior BC). We have not talked about snow in BC for a while! These are weekly totals ending at midnight Sunday.
The PNW systems drive south into Oregon late week (Warm) and the Sierra. The Rockieswill get the effect by next weekend as weakened moisture overspreading the Sierra and Oregon moves east over the Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Temps in the Rockies may be slightly cooler with this system. The Tetons may be favored from an initial perspective but it's beyond the period of confidence.
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Enjoy the powder everyone! Happy April Fools Day! The only joke here is in the summary. Let's keep dreaming that it happens.