The incoming storm is on track to land several feet for the Pacific Northwest, and 12-20 inches for the Northern Rockies. The Sierra will see moderate snow. Many winners here! Resorts will be on track to open with deep bases by Thanksgiving.
It's dumping \big time\" in the Pacific Northwest currently with my 5AM look at the various snow telemetry. 20 Plus inches have fallen at Mt. Baker since yesterday! The Whistler Cam in Canada shows deep snow in the Village. Its' dumping on Stevens Pass and this will continue through Friday evening. Snow totals will approach 3 feet from Washington to Oregon (Perhaps 4 feet in some isolated locations). The northern Cascades, interior, Northern Pandhandle (Sandpoint) should grab a foot or more by late Friday night.
Below: Whistler Cam Friday morning looks deep in the Valley.
This system will drag south and East impacting the Sierra favoring the northern sections of Lake Tahoe with 5-10 inches possible along the Sierra Crest. Less snow is likely towards the southern sections of the Sierra.
Below: Since 2PM Thursday to 2AM Friday Mount Baker nabbed 21 inches and it is dumping (Courtesy of NWAC Telemetry). This is epic!
Meanwhile, in the Rockies the top picks for chasing powder will likely land in west central Idaho, Tetons, and the Wasatch. These areas are likely to see 12-18 inches through Sunday morning. The coldest portion of this storm slams into the Rockies Friday afternoon (Western Idaho), Friday evening (Tetons) and the Wasatch late Friday PM. This will bring rapid snowfall rates to most areas, dry density pow, and very strong winds initially. Winds are SW in most areas preceding the front and turn W/NW with the cold front. All areas of northern Utah will fare well in this pattern. The models show some favoritism to the northern Wasatch initially (Powder Mountain, Beaver Mountain might come up with some surprise big totals). The brunt of the moisture will favor the northern Valleys (Ogden, Logan) verus spots to the south (Salt Lake). With the wind shift to the W, NW after midnight additional heavy snow will be falling along I-80 (Park City) and south towards the Cottonwoods. Look for a general 12-16 inches for many resorts with some 2 foot totals possible by mid Saturday in the Cottowoods and perhaps the Canyons side of Park City. A second and much warmer system will bring another 3-8 inches of snow to the Wasatch (Upside down). You can't go wrong with nearly any resort on Saturday in the Wasatch. Caveat: Strong winds, increasing avy danger, warming Saturday afternoon. Lots to consider when you are venturing into the backcountry.
Below: Time Heights from the University of Utah for Alta showing winds at upper elevations, and a rising snow level (Blue line) beginning PM Saturday and continuing an upward trend Sunday and early next week). Heavy moisture noted Friday/Saturday AM and again late Saturday/Sunday with the warmer temps.
In the Tetons, expect widespread totals in the 8-10 inch range by Saturday morning. Additional snow will continue in the Tetons Saturday/Sunday with another 4-8 possible for Sunday. Both Saturday and Sunday will be powder days.
Below: Total snowfall through Monday morning for the West. 2-4 feet for the PNW, 1-2 feet for the Rockies favoring northern locations. The Sierra is going to edge out some ok totals in the north (4-10).
For Colorado, the models bring 7-11 inches to the northern Mountains near Steamboat with a general 4-8 inches elsewhere. This storm will favor the resorts along or north of I-70 Saturday (Storm ski) to Sunday.
Below: The University of Utah Plumes showing good consensus (Tight lines) on the ensembles for Steamboat Mountain Resort Saturday/Sunday
Warming occurs in the Pacfic Northwest early next week with a continued chance of high elevation snow. Some rain might fall at the bases. A midweek push of some moisture might impact the Rockies with a stronger system possible by next weekend.
Enjoy the powder everyone! With winds, eventual warming, and the frenzy for powder please treat the backcountry with full on caution. Know before you go! Dont venture out without the necessary skills and training. This is going to be a game changing storm for many resorts in the west.
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Enjoy the pow
Powderchaser Steve - @powderchasersteve (Instagram)