This morning is so exciting to me as snow is falling in Scottsdale AZ (Not sure that has ever happened), and Flagstaff just broke an all-time record 24-hour snowfall of 31.6 inches (the Last record was 31 inches in 1915). Heavy snow is still falling south of Flagstaff, however, the bulk of the snowfall for the northern mountains near Arizona Snowbowl has ended (3-5 additional possible today). Snow will continue heavy at times in the southern San Juan range in Colorado this morning and shift north into the I-70 corridor late today. Next week looks extremely deep for Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming and Montana!
As forecasted the southern San Juan mountains got clobbered from this storm with plenty of moisture, SW winds, and every ingredient to bury Durango, Purgatory, Wolf Creek, Bayfield, and perhaps Silverton who has not reported this morning. Telluride was always a wildcard due to unfavorable wind direction and came up short. Telluride may score higher amounts beginning late AM Friday through Friday night as NW winds may kick off a sneak up powder day for Saturday morning (Wildcard). Snow bands set up over western I-70 last night and kicked off a surprise dump of 13 inches overnight at Powderhorn Ski area. If you are in Glenwood or even Summit, jump in your car and drive west.
As of 6 AM here are a few totals of snowfall in the southern mountains.
Arizona Snowbowl- 54 inches in 72 hours
Purgatory- 34 inches in 72 hours
Wolf Creek- 37 inches in 72 hours
Below: The Purg stake is getting buried but it appears winds have drifted the light density pow in the windward direction to the right.
Snow in Colorado will increase in the Front Range by late afternoon and continue into Saturday early morning. Amounts will be the highest south of I-70. It's possible that Breckenridge, Ski Cooper, or even Monarch come up with 3-7 inches for your first turns Saturday. Some snow may be falling late Friday. All of the central and most of the northern mountains along I-70 will see light to moderate snow with Saturday morning offering your best turns. I mentioned above that Telluride may sneak out a surprise.
In the Washington Cascades cold temps and high quality, POW will be falling late Friday into Saturday. The bulk of precip hits from 2 PM Frid6 to 6 AM Saturday. Therefore, last chairs Friday and 1st chairs Saturday are your best bet. Models favor Stevens Pass and Alpental (Interstate 90 resorts) slightly over Crystal. Expect 2-4 Friday, with another 4-7 into Saturday. Models show Baker getting solid amounts (4-8) however NW winds are not optimal so amounts have trimmed back somewhat. The model data between the GFS and EURO disagree with who gets the most snow. Earlier this week Crystal scored 12 with Stevens at 6-7. The GFS likes this scenario where the Euro is more bullish for Stevens. It's not a major system nor, as deep as the Wednesday event but quality will be high. Get up early and check the snow reports, but all resorts in the Cascades will be reporting from 5-10 inches of new snow for Saturday.
The Oregon Cascades will reap the highest rewards in the next several days that may continue into next week. Significant snow is likely this weekend favoring the northern Oregon Cascades. The bulk of the POW will fall from late Saturday night into early next week. Several feet are likely in the extended outlook.
Below: Snowing in Scottsdale AZ - Look carefully at his jacket- Courtesy of AZ News 3. While this would be a pure dud skunk in powder country it's a big deal to the snowbirds in Arizona.
EXTENDED POW CAST
FEET OF SNOW IN THE FORECAST FOR OREGON, IDAHO, WYOMIMG, AND MONTANA
The extended outlook is even more exciting than the near term. Snow showers continue in the Cascades Sunday (Including BC) with heavier amounts to the south (Oregon). A long-range fetch of very moist and slightly warmer air will drag over Oregon Sunday-Wednesday next week. Significant snow is likely especially Monday/Tuesday. That system makes a beeline for Idaho, Wyoming and perhaps southern Montana to start out the work week.
Heavy snow is likely to accumulate over the Sawtooths, Central Idaho (Brundage), Central Panhandle, Tetons, and most of the southern Montana resorts (Big Sky and Bridger) through Wednesday. Several feet of snow will be reported early or mid next week. Temps warm somewhat early next week (Lower elevations may be slightly denser than what you have seen in the past several storms) before cooling off again midweek.
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