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Creamy in the Rockies- Blower in the Cascades

Summary: 

A cold front is going to approach the Rockies on Saturday with snowfall increasing over the Tetons and Wasatch ahead and behind this front. Some areas could exceed 12 inches by Sunday.

Forecast Update:   A cold front is going to approach the Rockies on Saturday with snowfall increasing over the Tetons and Wasatch ahead and behind this front. Some areas could exceed 12 inches by Sunday. 

9 inches fell overnight at Kirkwood with less to the north at Squaw and just 3-5 inches at Mammoth. Temps were warm with most of the snowfall so expect deep, well-covered bumps surfy fun today especially above 7000 feet. Moisture in the Cascades continues albeit light with much colder than average conditions (Good quality). The coldest air in the next several days will stay over the Pacific Northwest. 

Moisture from the storm currently exiting the Sierra will overspread Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah Friday night. Models are pumping decent moisture into the Tetons especially after 2 AM Saturday that should continue through the day. Temps are very warm preceding a cold front early Saturday so amounts Saturday morning might range from 0-1 inches at the base to 3-5 inches at the summit. Amounts by late Saturday could exceed 5-9 inches as temps cool and snowfall increases during the morning. Some models keep the highest precipitation north of the Ski Areas towards the northern end of Teton National Park or into Yellowstone. Some of the higher peaks north of Jackson could exceed 12 inches by late Saturday night. Bottom Line: Warm storm, surfy snow mid-mountain, with the outside chance of some decent quality up top as it continues to snow on Saturday. JHMR is favored initially the W, SW flow wind direction however NW winds Saturday could turn things up slightly for Targhee during the day. Models are not overly impressive for amounts but there is some hope of 5-10 inch storm totals by late Saturday above 9,000 feet. Initially, JHMR is favored, followed by Targhee perhaps Saturday (Higher base elevation). Some models are pessimistic keeping the highest totals on the north side of the Teton Range. 

Below: 10K foot temps are near freezing just after midnight Friday for the central Wasatch. The cold front is approaching the Tetons and northern Utah with colder air just north into Idaho and Montana. Temps will cool slowly on Saturday morning improving quality somewhat for both Wyoming and Utah on top of the dense snow or rain that falls initially. 

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Other chase spots could end up in the Wasatch where surf snow initially Saturday morning might provide a layer for less dense snow during the day. The models are bringing in nearly 1/2 to 1 inch of liquid by Sunday initially very warm and windy Friday night. Amounts overnight Friday are not impressive with perhaps some ski areas in the Cottonwoods reporting 2-4 inches at 6 AM and another 3-5 during Saturday (Better quality late AM to PM). One exception might be the Logan area mountains with Beaver slightly cooler and some higher amounts possible initially. Rain is likely going to be falling at the bases of many resorts initially Friday night or early Saturday before the temps cool (Snow level will be near 8,000 feet).  Bottom Line: Ride Saturday as temps cool and some moderate snow continues into Sunday morning. Not impressive snow totals, but some higher elevations could sneak out 6-12 inches by Sunday. Very strong winds Friday night and wet snow initially might provide a nice smooth cushion below the new snow that falls on Saturday (The optimist here). Rain will change to snow at most bases including Park City during the morning Saturday. 

Below: Very windy conditions develop Friday night ahead of the cold front over the Wasatch (Deep reds) that could smooth things out somewhat ahead of the approaching trough. Those winds will ease after 7 AM on Saturday. 

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For Colorado snow develops late Saturday or early Sunday with light to moderate amounts for the central and northern mountains. There is some indication that a moderate band of snow will set up over the Front Range near Denver Sunday night into Monday. This might provide a surprise for Monday morning along the Continental Divide. 

The extended brings in a decent cold storm for the Central Cascades of Washington (Snoqualmie, Stevens, perhaps Crystal) Sunday night into Monday.  This will overspread the Rockies by Tuesday and will likely bring some decent quality snowfall to Utah and Wyoming with leftovers aimed at Colorado midweek. 

Please support our sponsors on the website, including family run Beaver Mountain, Tire Rack (Official tire sponsor), Alaska Backcountry Guides (Our top pick for AK Heli), Indy Pass (Small resorts), Selkirk Powder (Cat, Snowmobile, Heli in northern Idaho), and the Ikon Pass. 

Powderchaser Steve 

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