Snow is falling over the mountains of Wyoming and Montana Tuesday morning. This will move south impacting Utah and northern Colorado beginning Tuesday PM and slowly impact the central and southern regions of CO and NM Wednesday to Thursday.
Very cold temps with light density freshies fell Monday night in Montana and Wyoming. As of 6 AM 7 inches are being reported at Big Sky and 4 inches at Bridger Bowl. Snow will continue albeit lightly through Tuesday afternoon. In the Tetons, 3-5 inches are seen on telemetry Tuesday morning (Overnight). I suspect Montana Snowbowl or other areas towards Idaho will also report good numbers later this morning.
Last weekend saw a cutoff low bringing a narrow band of snowfall to the Ski Areas of Utah, Arizona, and Colorado with some areas seeing up to 20 inches and others much less (Southern and central Rockies were favored)
This system is more of an open wave that will impact many areas of the west over the next 48-72 hours with widespread moderate to deep numbers by Thursday. This is the type of storm we like to see in the Rockies with cold temps and good wind direction for many resorts (north to south) and widespread snowfall.
Its slow movement will keep snow showers falling over many areas, especially Utah and Colorado going for the next few days ending on Thursday or Friday in southern Colorado and New Mexico. Models are confident and bullish in many areas of the Rockies.
The Teton data and Time Heights all indicate light snow will continue on Tuesday with some breaks possible early Tuesday before increasing again by 2 PM. Snow will continue into Tuesday night and will lighten up in intensity late. Expect another 2-4 inches Tuesday and 3-7 Tuesday night. Storm totals will be in the 9-14 inch range by Wednesday morning. With west winds both Targhee and JHMR should see similar amounts, however, the summits of JHMR might end up a bit higher. The storm is a bit split between 2 periods of overnight snow (Today) and a period of day and evening snow into Wednesday. Teton Pass should do well for some turns on Tuesday or Wednesday. Snow density is light so you might be punching through to the bottom layers.
The Wasatch range will begin to see snow on Tuesday increasing in the evening and through Wednesday morning (Lightens up a bit by 9 AM Wednesday). Models show even higher amounts for the northern Wasatch (Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Logan- Beaver) from a total moisture standpoint. These areas will see 12-18 inches by midday Wednesday. Park City area mountains will do well with 8-14 inches and the Canyons side possibly seeing higher amounts by midday Wednesday. For the Cottonwoods total moisture is slightly less especially on Tuesday- Tuesday PM (More snow up north), however wind shifts to the W- NW and colder air will increase orographics (Decent wind speeds to enhance totals). Unstable NW or WNW flow will continue snowfall for the entire Wasatch Range Wednesday morning possibly favoring the Canyons side of Park City, Powder Mountain, and both BCC and LCC. Storm totals in many areas will be in the 12-18 inch range. Snow showers will continue into Wednesday night impacting the Cottonwoods with some additional light or moderate snow. By Thursday morning it's possible some areas tip the scales beyond the 20-inch mark (Tuesday-Thursday). Bottom Line: Take your pick to ski powder Wednesday or Thursday as a wide spectrum of northern and central Utah resorts will be scoring. Might see some upside surprises in the Ogden area mountains or even Beaver near Logan. All mountains along the Wasatch Front will be scoring good numbers.
For other deep spots in the west heavy snow is noted for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning for areas north of I-70 in Colorado, especially at Steamboat (6-10). Moderate amounts will spill south towards Winter Park and linger over Grand County for Wednesday morning turns. For the I-70 corridor, snow does not intensify until Wednesday mid-morning through Thursday from north to south. Models favor the western corridor towards Aspen extending down to Crested Butte (Wildcard with the wind direction), Telluride, Monarch, and even Wolf Creek (Wildcard). Some of these areas may see 12-16 inches of snow by late Thursday. Further east in Summit County amounts may be less (7-11) with some upside surprises for Breckenridge and Vail who can do well with W-NW flow. Further north to Steamboat will see higher amounts, especially Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon. You can ride powder north of I-70 early Wednesday and travel south late Wednesday along I-70 and repeat early Thursday with higher amounts south or west (3 chases in 2 days).
Below: Total precipitation for Colorado and New Mexico through late Thursday night. The highest amounts are north towards Steamboat, western I-70 corridor (Powderhorn), Eagle County (Beaver Creek, Vail), and south towards Aspen, Telluride, Crested Butte (Wildcard), and east to Wolf Creek. Snow ratios are high with very cold temps so the yellows with over an inch of water could equivocate to 18-22 inches of snow (20:1). The dark greens could easily end up being 6-12 and the light blues in the 12-18 inch range. This is a cold storm and will produce decent totals with less moisture.
For New Mexico, storm totals look good for the northern mountains beginning Thursday morning and continuing into Friday (Double digits).
Chases: Take your pick traveling from Montana or the Tetons Tuesday to Utah or northern Colorado on Wednesday. Skirt over to central or southern Colorado Wednesday PM to Thursday and to New Mexico Thursday to Friday. If in the PNW consider Timberline or White Pass late Tuesday to Wednesday.
Announcement: Today is a special day for me as for the past month an MRI and a blood test showed I might have cancer. Yesterday Biopsies confirmed \"No Cancer\". Would I be able to post powder if I could not chase? That would not be easy!
Below: Powderchaser Steve hiking Baldy at Snowbird on Sunday with my NeverSummer Harpoon. Photo credit: Mike on the Baldy Hike
The extended brings a very wet period into the PNW with several feet of snow likely for the weekend into next week. Temps are cold initially but warm early next week providing caution on what chases will be like at lower elevations especially by early or mid next week. Low pressure is noted in Idaho providing good totals for the northern resorts including Selkirk Powder (Cat, Heli, Snowmobile Tours) late in the weekend into early next week. The northern Rockies stand the best odds of seeing snow early and mid next week that might favor Montana (Whitefish, Montana Snowbowl) and eventually will bring additional snow to the Teton Range and southern Montana (Early next week and again midweek). Northern areas seem to capture the deepest amounts. Colorado may also see a large storm late next week focussing on the northern mountains- I-70 and the Front Range. Accuracy this far out is with low confidence on amounts but higher confidence on regions that see the most snow.
Below: Low pressure approaching the PNW this weekend.
Below: Low pressure is likely going to take a northerly route over the Rockies Sunday or Monday.
Below: These northern systems might drop south by mid or late next week impacting the central or southern Rockies with a decent storm towards Thursday or Friday.
See you on the first chair Wednesday or the last chair on Tuesday everyone. Enjoy the powder as the next few days will deliver the goods. Next week may also be decent!
Follow my travel adventures on Instagram @Powderchasersteve