High confidence on 12-18 inches for the Pacific Northwest favoring the central and northern regions of WA with 6-14 inches further south through Monday. Snow will begin early AM Sunday with 3,000 foot snow levels and drop by Sunday night (1500 feet). Storm ski Baker Sunday morning (Higher totals initially) or Whistler. By Noon on Sunday areas further south will be catching up towards I-90 and even Crystal. The Oregon ranges will see less snow, primarily late Sunday to Monday (5-10). The Good: Decent totals- right side up powder. The Bad: Timing brings heaviest snow during the day on a Sunday. Bottom Line: Ride Sunday during the storm and return for the blower pow that falls on top Sunday night into Monday (5-10 additional). Storm totals decent, but let's hope it keep snowing into Monday morning (Likely convergence zones).
In the SW models have mixed outcomes. Storms that originate from the south are often unpredictable, slow in timing, create upside and downside surprises. This storm has me scratching my head as who will report the deepest totals Sunday morning. While the Plumes for the AZ Snowbowl still look to be in the 10-16 inch range my confidence is weaning (Models are showing some mixed reviews). The southern resorts in Utah have high confidence for 6-11 inches of snow (Eagle Point and Brian Head). Wolf Creek is still a solid bet with a good chance of 5-9 inches by 6AM. The short term HRRR is showing heavy snow over Telluride Sunday morning with the GFS and EURO saying NADA. The 12KM NAM which is often very conservative is showing 6-11 inches for most of the I-70 Corridor on Sunday. I don't believe it. My best overview is that the highest totals will be reported just north of Durango (Purgatory, Silverton) followed by Wolf Creek. Telluride is still a wildcard but confidence is a bit less. Taos is a wildcard for 5-10 inches by Sunday mid morning. The I-70 Corridor will see an increase of snow after daylight Sunday (3-7 inches). The Plumes favor the Continental Divide resorts. The Good: Someone is going to reach double digits by late Sunday. The Bad: Warm Temps initially will keep totals down Saturday night. Lots of uncertainty in the models. The Eastern Plains, especially south of Denver might get nailed on this storm while the ski areas get teased. With warm temps and snow levels initially at 9,000 feet expect denser type snow. Don't expect high totals initially along the I-70 corridor Sunday morning. Conditions will improve as the day trickles along so last chair might be your best (3-6).
Snow will continue for Colorado as winds switch to the NW Monday-Wednesday. Light snow will be adding up to 4-9 additional inches by late Tuesday after the initial storm departs Sunday night. Vail Pass, Breck and even Monarch can do well in this pattern. Look for some upside surprises. Quality will be high, while quantity is a wildcard.
If I were chasing, the best solution might be stage somewhere along I-25 near Trinidad Saturday night. You can wake up at 4AM and chase to Taos, Wolf Creek, Monarch, or even return to the Front Range. You would miss out on a deep dump in Telluride or resorts north of Durango. The other scenario is stage in Durango and chase to a wide variety of resorts north or east. You might miss out on a Taos dump. Don't forget this storm is going from very warm (Dense snow) to cold so let's hope the funk factor under the new snow is not too crusty.
I might update this post again late tonight! I might still be scratching my head?
See you on first chair somewhere!