We are posting on the short side this week due to travel and will update yesterday's post with a few highlights.
This morning's model runs all point to an atmospheric river with heavy snow favoring the Cascades initially (Snow level is 4,000 feet rising to 5-6K Wednesday night). Rain will be falling in the PNW at lower elevations late in this storm cycle. Another storm with colder temps is on track for the weekend for the Cascades (Includes Oregon). Look for the best turns early Wednesday or wait for the weekend when a colder storm arrives.
Snow is already falling in central Idaho and will move into the Tetons this morning. Intensity for Idaho picks up late this morning with southern and central mountains of Montana (Includes Big Sky, Bridger, Montana Snowbowl) ramping up late Wednesday night into Thursday. Significant amounts of snow are with high confidence in these areas. The highest amounts will fall over the Gallatin Range In Montana. Thursday/Friday sees continued steady snow with gusty NW or West winds in these areas. By Friday morning some of the Montana resorts will wake up to 20-30 inches of snow (2 day combined totals). The Good: Tons of Pow. The Bad: Avalanche danger will be rising with warming temps so your best terrain may stay closed. It's a gamble on what opens Thursday and Friday but if you score the rope drops it will be worth it.
Meanwhile, in the Wasatch steady snow will fall late Wednesday into Thursday and repeat for Friday. The amounts appear to be in the 7-8 inch range for 1st chairs on Thursday and another 8-12 inches for Friday (2 powder days in a row). Winds will be very strong especially on Thursday so aim for resorts less prone to lift closures. Temps rise especially Thursday night so quality may be slightly dense at lower elevations. Light snow will continue into Friday evening. The Good: Decent amounts of Pow Thursday and Friday. The Bad: Winds on Thursday appear strong. Warming temps may produce less than ideal conditions at lower elevations. Ride high for the best quality where temps will stay in the mid-20s above 10K.
In Colorado, the highest amounts of snow will fall in the Park Range in northern areas of the State. Steamboat summit is likely to see 12-20 inches by Friday. Elsewhere light snow will begin Thursday morning and increase during the day. It's possible that the northern mountains, especially near the Boat offer you some decent turns by late Thursday. Snow increases further south along I-70 Thursday afternoon into Friday. Models are consistent with 15-18 inches for most of Summit and Grand Counties and 11-16 for Eagle County (Vail, Beaver Creek). The Aspen area should be slightly less. Further south in the San Juans will grab lighter amounts. These totals combine Thursday and Friday. The Good: Heavy snowfall for many areas of northern and central Colorado. The Bad: Mass exodus of the Front Range on I-70- Likely road closures.
Below: University of Utah Plumes showing an epic amount of snow at the Tower Snowtel near Steamboat (10-18 inches are likely). Similar amounts will be falling south along I-70 especially Thursday night into Friday.
Enjoy the Powder everyone !