More snow is on the way for the Western US this weekend, with substantial totals over a wide area. There will definitely be chase-able deep overnight totals in several states with this storm. Things will calm down by the end of week as this storm finally moves east. There are some signs of another storm next weekend which we will touch on as well.
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Look at this 5 day snowfall map ending Wednesday night!
(Image courtesy of Weatherbell)
I think the American model has a pretty good handle on things at this point, with the biggest totals in this event falling in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. If you don't live in one of these states, the amounts will still be solid elsewhere. We're just going to rapid fire where and when to chase in this post, so here goes:
The storm is going to ramp up on Saturday afternoon in the PNW. You could check out Revy on Saturday as well, as it will start to pile up a little sooner there and be deep (6-10) by the end of the day. Sunday is when the action really starts though. It will snow very heavily Saturday night through Sunday midday in Washington, resulting in many options for fresh powder. A solid cold front will arrive Saturday afternoon and clear the Cascades by midnight, setting the stage for some good quality snow. Baker should see 12-18\" total, with about half of that falling after lifts close Saturday. A little bit farther South at Stevens and Snoqualmie, things will start just a tad later and even more of the storm total will be overnight. The models are picking up on a convergence zone which should enhance totals at these two areas. The CZ looks to set up more so over Snoqualmie at the moment, so up to 20\" is possible there by Monday. Crystal unfortunately will suffer from being northeast of Mt. Rainier, as Southwest winds will result in the flow being blocked.
Lesser, but still respectable, totals will fall in interior BC during this time as well. One interesting feature to watch is a mid level circulation that may lead to EE winds for the front range of the Rockies in Alberta. If this wind pattern lasts for 12-24 hours, SW Alberta (Castle Mountain) and SE BC (Fernie) could really get deep. A back door cold front will accompany those winds and really produce high snow to liquid ratios. Look at the winds flowing perpendicular to the front range in Alberta.
(Image courtesy of Weatherbell)
The models haven't kept the location of that mid level circulation in the same spot though, so we are a bit less confidence in this playing out. Without it, its more of a 4-8\" event, and if it does line up correctly, Castle especially could see well over a foot. The days to be there would be Sunday and maybe Monday.
Most of Montana will see snow totals in the 4-10\" range from Saturday to Monday as well. Those same EE winds could impact the front range in Montana, which is where Teton Pass sits. They will probably be the deepest with that feature/wind pattern, totaling 12-16\" by the end of the day on Sunday. The timing is a little bit later as you move into Southern Montana, with the heaviest snow falling Sunday into Monday. Although there won't be a big overnight dump, Big Sky and Bridger will add to their recent totals, with another 8-12\" likely. Red Lodge, who has been absolutely crushed with 4+ feet in the last week, should continue their hot streak. Once again we are a bit concerned about mid level circulations producing the favored NE winds that hammer Red Lodge with snow, so they could get anywhere from 6-14\" from this event.
Schweitzer and Selkirk Powder will get 6-12\" during this timeframe as well, resulting in solid options for Sunday morning.
Oregon will get nailed by this storm too. From Sunday afternoon to Tuesday, you can pretty much expect 10-16\" across the Oregon Cascades. Timberline and Hood will get the most, with up to 20\" possible at upper elevations. It will get deep a bit sooner at Hood, so Sunday would be a good day to be there. Farther South the timing isn't perfect, with a lot of day time snow, so Monday would probably be my choice for Timberline. Bachelor will see considerably less snow during this time, but a nice refresh nonetheless.
We'll save the rest of the West for a future update, while the models iron out the details. At the moment though, SW Colorado is looking at another 1-2 foot storm from Monday night through Wednesday. There's potential for Northern Utah too, but with the storm right over the Great Basin the forcing doesn't look great. The same applies to the Tetons. The models aren't in stellar agreement on the track of the upper level feature either, so it doesn't make a ton of sense giving totals at the moment. We'll have a better idea in a day or two, hopefully. Either way there should be moderate snow totals in these areas from this storm. Arizona and New Mexico won't be left out either, with NM likely seeing the bigger totals.
After this lovely storm gets out of here we will likely see a break for a couple days. The models are picking up on another storm moving into the PNW later next weekend but at this point there's only moderate confidence in this next event. There are too many inconsistencies this far out to really put too much hope in it. In the very distant future there are some signs that the first part of March will feature a stormy pattern in the Western US.
That's all for now.