Finally, there is some good news to talk about. You can chase to the San Juan Range in the 4 corners Friday and head to California for the weekend into next week. Even the Tetons are likely to score decent amounts for Sunday.
Models are continuing to advertise the southern low originating from the Baja that we spoke about several posts ago. This system is moist and should completely refresh the southern San Juan Range (Silverton, Wolf Creek, Purgatory) with wildcard outliers being Taos and Telluride. The bulk of the snow will fall very late Thursday night into Friday (Bring your squeegees). The Good: Moist with some decent summit totals (9-11) The Bad: Very warm system with snow levels above 7500-8,000 feet. Dense surf snow- storm skiing in wet freshies. The optimistic side is that it should cover up the mangles of frozen mank below. Look for less snow at lower elevations.
Chase it? Well, it has not snowed much in the past week so why not give it a try but don't expect to dry density powder.
Below: Total snowfall through early Saturday for Colorado at upper elevations (Peak snowfall very late Thursday night and during the day on Friday). This is the GFS- American Model. The Euro is a bit more pessimistic.
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Meanwhile, all eyes are on a potent system for the Sierra this weekend that extends into next week. This system will bring strong winds initially (Saturday) as snow begins falling during the day. Cooler air filters in late Saturday night and Sunday enhancing snowfall rates for much of the Sierra. The models are consistent for 12-18 inches of medium or slightly heavier density powder (Not cement) through late Sunday. Currently, the models disagree with where the deepest snow will set up. The GFS favors the central Sierra (Mid lake and south) extending to Mammoth (Deepest amounts). The Euro and even the Canadian push the highest amounts further north towards I-80. Overall high confidence for a deep dump for the entire Sierra Range peaking Saturday PM to Sunday. Light to moderate snow is likely to continue for the Sierra Monday/Tuesday with additional freshies. Terrain openings might be delayed at many areas Sunday with rope drops Monday or Tuesday, and even Wednesday as things clear out.
Below: Total snowfall for the Sierra through Tuesday morning (GFS pushing the highest amounts into the central and southern Sierra while the Euro further north).
In the Rockies, a northern piece of energy splits over Montana and Wyoming this weekend. When looking for deep snow, the Tetons are highlighted for Sunday morning (Moderate amounts, perhaps heavier at the summits). Light to moderate snow is likely for the Wasatch above 8,000 feet. The general trend is for instability to spread over the Rockies with weakening moisture from the Sierra. The highest amounts are likely to stay just north of the Wasatch into southern Idaho and most of Wyoming. The temps are warm. Dense snow is likely going to be the flavor of the day in many areas with an excess of 5-10 inches possible at the summits. Its too far out to forecast with certainty. The Euro keeps temps warm, while the GFS offers a glimmer of hope of slightly colder temps, especially for Wyoming on Sunday. Temps will cool behind the initial surge of moisture Saturday night so if even another 2-4 inches of drier density falls Sunday conditions could ride well. Any shift of the moisture further south will enhance totals in the Wasatch as it's too early to forecast with confidence.
Below: Total water content (Precip) through Sunday morning favoring southern Idaho and extending into the Tetons (1.6 inches at upper elevations of the Tetons is possible- 8-11 inches of snow due to warmer temps)
Enjoy the powder everyone