The week ahead will feature a decent 4-9 inch event for the Sierra (Lake Level snow) and a very wet period for the northern Rockies (Wyoming could see 9-16 inches above 9,000). The Wasatch also fares well Monday and Tuesday. Warm temps will keep quality to a minimum in the Rockies with the exception of the tail ends of each passing storm this week.
Snow is falling in the Cascades this morning with up to 9 inches at Mount Baker (Snow level is below the bases) and 7 inches at Stevens. 1/2 of that snow fell yesterday while the lifts were open. Snow continues today with an additional 2-4 today favoring the central or northern areas. Additional light snow will fall tonight. Quality will be high at the summits.
The Sierra is chaseable with a moderate system due primarily Monday PM to Tuesday AM. Expect a wide area of 6-10 inches above 7,000 feet and 2-5 inches at the lower elevations for 1st chairs Tuesday. Temps will cool Monday night bringing some snow to Lake Level. The northern Sierra may be slightly favored over the south.
In the Rockies, a very wet period is in store for Wyoming (No ski area is open during the week). Telemetry shows 12 inches has fallen at JHMR in the past 7 days (Summitt) and another 10-18 inches is likely above 8,000 feet this week. Peak snowfall will happen Sunday-Monday (6-11 inches) and again Tuesday. Temps are warm so mixed precipitation is possible on Teton Pass and rain in the Valleys (Mixed with wet snow at times). Utah is in the spotlight for 9-18 inches of snow from Monday to Wednesday. Warm temps and strong winds will create pure cream skiing at the summits for Monday (Rain/snow mix below 8500). A cold front will lower the snow levels to around 7K for Monday night where additional snow will be falling. Expect Tuesday to offer your best odds of powder skiing with creamy bases and medium to heavy density powder at the summits (Perhaps another 4-7 since the lifts close on Monday). At no point in the storm system do the temps get cold so don't expect a repeat of last weeks epic storm.
Below: Tetons get hammered at upper elevations through Wednesday (Ski areas are closed).
In Colorado, the moisture from Utah takes a southerly route bringing the highest totals to areas to the SE corner of the State late Tuesday to Wednesday. NW winds could feed moisture north to Monarch (Open Friday-Sunday). Along I-70 the models are a bit bleak for Tuesday night with snow likely as you ride Wednesday (Dense). Winds will be from the NW favoring areas along or south of I-70. The last chair Wednesday may offer 3-5 inches at some resorts in Summit or Eagle County but my hopes for deep snow are minimal. Higher amounts are possible along the Continental Divide near Loveland Ski area. The Euro is pretty pessimistic where the GFS is the optimist (Amounts may be adjusted in a later post since there are discrepancies in this forecast.). A 2nd shortwave with northerly winds and cooler air impacts predominately the Front Range Wednesday night/Thursday with some additional snow likely for resorts closest to Denver (Loveland may score additional light to moderate amounts). Temps for Colorado will be warm for the initial wave Wednesday (Wet snow) and cooling to -6C at 10K feet Thursday. The best odds of any quality may happen Thursday (Tail end of the moisture feed). Don't forget It's Mid-April! Bottom Line: NW winds with storm track edging into southern Colorado may favor Monarch, areas along I-70 (Wildcard) and Aspen. North winds late Wednesday and Thursday favor areas along the Divide and New Mexico.
Below: Total Precipitation (Liquid Moisture) for Colorado through Wednesday night. Track dips south and spreads moisture north into the Front Range especially late Wednesday to Thursday (2nd wave). Summit and Eagle Counties will see lower amounts but models still disagree on amounts. My highest confidence is for Loveland Pass for late Wednesday or early Thursday.
New Mexico is in the hunt for some powder during this storm cycle especially for Wednesday morning (Light or moderate amounts) near Taos.
The extended period brings a strong ridge of high pressure over the west towards the end of the upcoming week. It's possible that this ridge breaks down towards week #2 with some troughs noted in the ensemble runs this morning.
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