It's not going to be an easy choice to chase due to many areas still in early opening modes with limited terrain.  If most areas were open with normal terrain, I would be headed to northern California or south-central Oregon right now.  Arizona Snowbowl as forecasted nabbed a foot of powder on yesterdays report and is going to score another 7-14 inch primarily Saturday PM to Sunday AM. 

Below: Arizona Snowbowl Camera as of 6 AM Friday- Still snowing. 


The Oregon Cascades, primarily south towards Government Camp, Oakridge, and east to Bachelor will grab significant snowfall late Friday through Saturday. 10-18 inches are likely in these areas.  Mount Hood and Timberline should also score similar amounts.  Saturday morning could be epic in these areas, but remember limited terrain is open.  

California is also a top pick for both today or Saturday/Sunday.  Most snow has ended in these areas with snow water equivalents at Mammoth around 3-4 inches of moisture.  Warmer temperatures with the past few storms have kept amounts slightly lower up north with up to 3-5 feet in the southern Sierra.  It's 5:30 AM currently and when I went to the Mammoth website it says 25-38 inches of new snow that I believe was yesterdays report.  There is no date on the report, nor is it easy to determine elevations, as the 72-hour report says 14 inches.  My guess from looking at telemetry closer to the base is that 15-20 inches have fallen at lower elevations and 30-40 up top (Pure speculation). Perhaps 7-10 inches overnight. 

Below: Mammoth Mountain base - Webcam


A break today will give way to another system that provides lighter density powder late Friday through Saturday morning.  That system is faster moving with less moisture but will benefit in snow ratios with colder temps.  Models favor the northern Sierra, so areas like Kirkwood, Squaw, Mount Rose, Sugar Bowl may score the highest amounts.  My best guess is 7-14 inches will have fallen by early or mid-morning Saturday (High quality).   

In the Rockies, Utah scored heavily with 12-20 inches being reported at many areas in the past 2 days.  9 inches has fallen overnight in many areas including Brighton, Snowbird, and Snowbasin. The next system will usher in colder air, NW winds and better quality powder primarily Friday afternoon and evening.  That should land a solid 3-6 inches from Park City north and higher amounts from the southern Wasatch.  The Cottonwoods may see 6-9 additional inches by Saturday morning. Areas further south in Utah may score the higher amounts. Sundance has scored in the past few days (Not open). Most snow will have ended before the lifts open on Saturday. Plan on riding 1st chair Friday or Saturday.  3-day storm totals will exceed 20-28 inches by late Saturday.  

Colorado and Wyoming will gather up the leftovers with New Mexico also in the action.  I am bullish for the 4 corners resorts of Colorado Friday/Saturday.  I favor Silverton, Purgatory (5-9) followed by Telluride. The models are not overly exciting for a long-term chase. Winds shift most moisture north late Friday and early Saturday.  I'm unfortunately not seeing much more than 3-6 inches for most of the resorts along I-70. That may include Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail with perhaps less in Summit County. I hope I am completely wrong here!  If I had to highlight any area that may see the upper end of the 5-9 inches, it would be Silverton or Purgatory.  Wolf Creek is a bit west of the highest moisture and is likely to nab 3-7 inches by Saturday morning. Wolf Creek is likely to score higher amounts Sunday/Monday.

Additional light snow is likely for most of southern Colorado late Saturday through late Sunday.  It's possible that the San Juan mountains pick up an additional 4-8 inches by Monday morning. This will include northern New Mexico that deserves watching.  This chase would likely occur late Sunday or early Monday? 

Wyoming (Tetons) could be a solid contender for 4-8 inches of snow through Saturday late morning.  The issue is overnight snow may not exceed 3-5 inches with the rest falling today and at some point Saturday.  

Powderchaser Steve 



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