Light snow will be falling today in the Tetons (2-4) Thursday. Moderate snow is likely for much of Colorado on Friday that also impacts New Mexico into Saturday. Heavy high elevation snowfall is likely next week in the Sierra that spreads leftovers into the Rockies in the extended forecast. New England just nabbed 7-13 inches of powder in the past 24 hours.
If you're in the Tetons a light refresh will happen during the day with 2-4 inches likely by the last chair Thursday. The main event to watch is Colorado and New Mexico with a moderate system pushing in late Thursday into the San Juans. I mentioned yesterday that the GFS was the optimist and the Euro the Pessimist. Today, the models flipped with the Euro calling for a moderate powder day by late AM Friday with the GFS pushing most of the snow south of Denver and along the Palmer Divide. The NAM is shouting \deep powder day\" by last chair Friday. I am inclined to side by the Euro who splits the difference between all the models.
Bottom Line: Snow will begin in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado by 11 PM with SW wind direction. Light to moderate amounts are possible north of Durango (Silverton, Purgatory, Telluride (Wildcard). Light snow will also be falling in the Elks near Aspen, and Crested Butte as moisture pushes north under the SW flow. It's likely mountains on the western side of Colorado nab 3-5 inches for first chair Friday. Most of the action by Friday morning will be favoring the eastern side of Colorado.
For the Front, Range winds will be primarily from the north that should favor the Continental Divide primarily 3 AM to 8 PM Friday. Peak snowfall will be during the morning hours at or just after the snow reports. You may get a 2-3 inch report followed by another 3-5 inches during the day. My forecast is for 5-8 inches for most resorte less), Snowbasin and Big Cottonwood. While orographics, wind directions are not ideal for Little Cottonwood the University of Utah ensembles, conservative NAM 12 KM all point to 20-30 inches for Alta. My forecast will generally include all of Utah's northern mountains to be in the 15-23 inch range by Saturday morning. Big Cottonwood (Solitude, Brighton) or perhaps even Deer Valley and Snowbasin may come up with some surprisingly deep numbers on this range. Alta might come in less even though the models are bullish for more. For the Tetons, some moisture will make it to the ski areas favoring JHMR for 5-9 inches this week (Teased on the northern fringe).
Bottom Line: Utah will be deep over an extended period of 2-3 days peaking on Friday and ending on Saturday. The southern mountains will see the highest amounts. If you want to believe the NAM over the GFS, amounts in northern Utah could approach 30 inches by Saturday. I am sticking to a conservative middle of the road purely based on Wind direction and orographics (15-23 inches).
In Colorado, the southern San Juans will see storm skiing Thursday (4-8) with much higher amounts for Friday morning. The general trend is 2 or more feet by Saturday morning peaking on Friday for the southern San Juan range. Telluride will grab 7-14 inches during the period with perhaps higher amounts at Silverton (Highest amounts in the southern San Juan range near Wolf Creek Pass). No area will be left out in southern Colorado. New Mexico gets hammered Friday/Saturday. You might be able to ride Colorado Friday and chase it to NM for Saturday. Some resorts in the San Juan range will see storm totals in the 20-30 inch range.
This is getting even more exciting! Another deep low pushes into the Sierra late this weekend bringing another 2 feet or more of snowfall to many areas of California and Nevada. That system is likely to weaken somewhat as it drags east over the Rockies bringing an increased chance of light or moderate snow to many mountain regions of the west. Yet, another storm is on the ensemble runs for the Sierra late next week that might be somewhat significant once again. That system may be another snow producer for the Rockies as well, but its too far out to forecast with confidence.
Below: Epic map! Total snowfall for the Sierra through Sunday (Includes both storms- current through late Sunday night). 50-70 inch storm totals or more! This is epic! Get ready to chase as resorts open.
Below: Ensembles showing a low-pressure trough moving into the Sierra late next week!
Bottom Line: Deep storms are lined up for much of the west favoring the Sierra in the extended range. Some of this moisture trickles into the Rockies early next week. The 3rd storm next weekend is too far out for confidence. We are in a good pattern!
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Luke has been doing a great job while I have been on vacation! He is one of the best snow forecasters I work with.