Our Gold Sponsors

Powder Alert- California- Epic Watch-1-4 feet possible for Colorado

Summary:

A decent storm is on tap for California in the next 24-36 hours. Northern CA might see 2 feet plus with the Tahoe Basin in the 12-18 inch range. The long-term models are providing a hint of a major storm for the Front Range near Denver late week.

Below: @Powderchasersteve via Instagram.  Took full advantage of the warm temps last weekend sampling the goods in Moab on Sunday morning (Amasa Back trail). Its time to get back into Powder mode. 

\"\"

Forecast:

For chasing powder this week, confidence is high for a significant winter storm impacting the northern tip of California Monday night into Tuesday. This will drop south into the Tahoe Basin providing light snow Monday night and Tuesday with heavier snow into Wednesday morning. You could ride northern CA Tuesday and drop south into Wednesday.  Most Ski Areas in California from the Oregon Border through to Mammoth in the southern Sierra will see decent snowfall from this event (18-25 inches towards the northern border, and 12-18 in the Tahoe Basin including Mammoth). 

Below: Total snowfall for the Sierra through Wednesday morning. Isolated pockets up north of 2 feet with generally 12-18 for most of the Sierra Crest. 

\"\"

Elsewhere in the west, light snow will be found in the Oregon Cascades in the near term, with central Idaho near McCall perhaps seeing 3-6 inches for Tuesday morning. The Tetons are grabbing decaying leftovers as the main energy from this storm drops into southern California before swinging back up into Colorado late this week. Jackson or perhaps Targhee might record 2-5 inches at some point by Tuesday late AM. The Wasatch grabs these leftovers late Tuesday into Wednesday (Light Snow). Snow might continue in the Wasatch albeit light through Thursday so totals for the week could approach 5-10 inches with higher amounts in the southern 1/3 of Utah. 

The big news is In the extended forecast! The Front Range of Colorado might grab 3-4 feet through the weekend which should also bring decent numbers to many Ski Areas. 

Extended:

In an extended outlook, this far-out models can completely reverse course, downgrade, or upgrade being 5-6 days out. However, consistency has been good for the past several days that the Denver Metro areas are going to grab the biggest storm of the season, by far, and steady snow might be falling from Friday to Sunday.

Currently, the models advertise the California Low this week dropping south before slowly moving east through the 4 corners. Moisture will push north of the low into the San Juan Range Thursday night under SW flow. Telluride, Red Mountain Pass, Purgatory, and Silverton seem to be favored for the location of the highest moisture Thursday/Friday (Early to forecast amounts, perhaps 6-11). Further east or north winds are going to be from a SE direction pushing snow into the northern Front Range (Fort Collins) area Thursday night into Friday. Winds veer more easterly before going NE by Saturday over the Front Range (Many wind shifts posing challenges in pinpointing the highest totals for the Front Range). 

Below: Low pressure setting up over the Front Range by Friday-Saturday with NE winds. 

\"\"

While it is too early to pinpoint snowfall totals, it is likely that the Front Range Foothills grab 1-4 feet (Wide range due being 5-6 days out) and the metro areas not far behind. For the Ski Areas, models are very bullish for the Continental Divide and east including Berthoud Pass, Winter Park, Eldora with appreciable amounts for areas on the western side of the Divide. It's likely Summit County including A-Basin, Breckenridge scores decent amounts, while areas further west towards Vail stay in the 5-10 inch range. Models are also bullish for the Aspen area mountains and areas west towards Grand Junction that might report decent numbers late this week and early weekend. NOTE: Temps are not overly cold, so quality in the mountains will be a bit dense with cooler temps on the East side of the Divide. Power Outages, down trees in the metro areas, are a real possibility with this storm in the Front Range. 

Below: The University of Utah Plumes are showing 20-40 inches for Berthoud Pass through Saturday. Some of the ensemble runs show less with a few showing more. These Plumes, especially this far out tend to be overdone, but the take-home message is that 1-3 feet of snow are likely late this week or weekend east of the Divide. 

\"\"

Southern Lows are complex, with many wind shifts, timing challenges (Slow to move), and sometimes land surprise snow totals outside the forecast models. This storm is likely to provide significant impacts to the entire I-25 corridor and front Range Foothills. While Red Feather Lakes or Nederland could be measuring 2-4 feet of snow, the Ski Areas west will still benefit from this storm. The higher totals might land in southern Summit, north of I-70 near Granby, or even further west towards Aspen or Telluride. Monarch and most of central Colorado could also see some deep surprises. 

Below: Total snowfall per the American Model (GFS) through Saturday for Colorado. The 40-inch numbers are in Boulder County while further west shows less. An appreciable amount still showing up for central Colorado (Perhaps Monarch-Wildcard), and areas west towards Telluride, and even Aspen and most of Gunnison County. Its too early at this point to speculate on amounts. The Front Range Foothills, Rocky Mountain National Park, and areas south on the eastern side of the Divide will see the highest totals. 

\"\"

Disclosure: We are still 5-6 days out, we can't put high confidence in this forecast just yet. 

Enjoy the anticipation! Enjoy the powder everyone early this week out west. 

Powderchaser Steve 

 

DONATE TO POWDERCHASERS

Thank you so much, we couldn't do what we do with support from our readers.

Support our work
click here to donate

Our expertise gets you direct contact with our weather team to boost your next powder chases. From 2 to 14 chases, pick the concierge package that satisfies your powder hound!

  • Minute-to-minute snow + weather data
  • Tips + hacks on how to score first chair + where to park, stage + eat
  • Direct access to our Powederchasers
  • Sweet merchandise

POWDERCHASERS PASS OPTIONS - Buy + Save 10% on Concierge Trip Planning Packages

SHOP POWDERCHASERS GEAR

View all

ASK A POWDERCHASER

POWDERCHASERS SPONSORS

POWDERCHASERS PARTNERS

eco friendly ski/snowboard wax

Purl Wax

Purl Wax creates eco-friendly ski wax and snowboard wax with superior speed and durability. Biodegradable | No PFC's | No Toxic Chemicals | Made in the USA ...
Skis.com

Skis.com

Skis.com is a family owned company that has been in the ski industry for more than 50 years! Skis.com is a one stop shop online retailer for all your ski equipment and clothing needs!

Alaska Backcountry Guides

Alaska Backcountry Guides

Alaska Backcountry Guides, is a team of dedicated industry veterans. We offer semi-private and private heliski/snowboard trips in the heart of the Chugach mountains. With a maximum of 2 groups per helicopter, we are more nimble to explore the endless terrain that is at our doorstep, and you will never be waiting for the helicopter to take your next run. Alaska is known for its steep terrain, but we have plenty of intermediate terrain as well, and are able to cater to a range of ability levels. These trips are designed with the pandemic era in mind; we have private lodging, a personal chef, regular covid testing for staff/guides/guests, and small group riding to ensure an intimate and safe experience.

Beaver Mountain Ski Area

Beaver Mountain Ski Area

Beaver Mountain Ski Area has been family owned and operated for 81 years. Located in northern Utah we receive that great Utah powder. A great ski and snowboard experience without the prices or crowds of the big resorts.

Unofficial Networks

Unofficial Networks

In 2010, UnofficialNetworks.com was launched to cover the global ski scene with the rollout of local reporters in ski towns across North America. Since that time, the website has recorded hundreds of millions of sessions and has been linked to by numerous publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, and ESPN.

Indy Pass

Indy Pass

Chase powder to over 120 uncrowded, authentic destinations across the globe that offer you two ski days at each destination. 23/24 pass sales currently on hold!

TIRERACK.com

TIRERACK.com

TireRack.com is Powderchasers’ preferred tire supplier and their tires get us to the powder every single time. They’re America’s largest independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, wheels and performance accessories.

This year, they’re making winter tire and wheel shopping even easier with their new Recommended Package feature. All you have to do is tell them a little bit about your vehicle, and they’ll automatically create a winter package for you. Find your Recommended Package.

Selkirk Powder

Selkirk Powder

Selkirk Powder provides cat, self-propelled, and snowmobile-assisted alpine ski excursions and guided snowmobile tours. A verified outfitter of Polaris Adventures, AIARE avalanche education Provider. With license and permits covering over 200,000 acres of the rugged and beautiful Selkirk Mountain range, SPC conveniently operates at Schweitzer in Sandpoint Idaho. Email Selkirk,;Call the Selkirk Reservation Line, and follow them on Instagram

The Mountain Collective

The Mountain Collective

The Mountain Collective™ boasts 24 dream ski destinations across the globe.


The pass includes two days of skiing or riding with no blackout dates at each of the 23 partners (46 total days), 50 percent discount on all additional days.

POWDERCHASERS POWDER CONCIERGE

View all