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Happy New Year's Eve!

We are in the air right now flying back from Washington. After a great day at Steven’s Pass yesterday, we were back there once again today for another course of powder. However, temps warmed a bit overnight and the increased avalanche danger prevented the upper mountain from opening. Bummer. Yesterday was fun though, as it was deep and getting deeper all day with heavy snow. This will be an abbreviated post due to us being on the move, but since the pattern remains active we wanted to keep all of our greatly appreciated followers in the loop. Although the pattern is incredibly active, there won't be much snow tonight so you can all enjoy your NYE without worrying about having to wake up early for fresh pow.

Please consider joining our custom Powder Concierge program to book your deepest days of the season. We offer specific forecasts that include timing, temps, winds, conditions, custom maps, and timing to nab your deepest days. This also supports our forecasts!

The La Niña pattern has been delivering in the PNW, and will continue to do so for quite some time. The storms will hammer the PNW nearly non stop until the second week of January. Look at the GEFS upper level pattern for the next 10 days. The blue colors indicate lower than normal heights, which to you equates to a storm. Each time one of those blue blobs barrels through, it’ll being another round of snow. We don’t have any exceptionally cold air, and each round of snow will contain some warming, but hopefully the timing of the cold fonts will allow for some good snow quality.

The main driver of our active and interesting weather the next 7 days will be an unusually strong Pacific jet, extending from Japan to the West Coast. This howling jet stream, indicated by the black lines circling the northern hemisphere below, will direct moisture, winds, and storms in our direction. You can see the strongest jet level winds across the entire hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean, indicated by the dark red and white colors.
(Image courtesy of Weatherbell)
You can also see the jet stream split across the US, which will result in Utah, Colorado, and the Southwest US seeing less snowfall over the next 10 days, as seen in the snowfall map below. Meanwhile, the Northwest gets hammered with snowfall and there's significant accumulations for California too.
(Image courtesy of Pivotal Weather)

The first round of snow will begin to impact the PNW on Saturday and last through Sunday. Washington will be the winter with Mt. Baker, who now has a 114” snow depth, once again seeing the deepest totals. This storm will be a little warmer than the most recent one, but snowfall should range from 8-16” from Crystal north through Baker. The chase day would be Sunday especially
If the cold front arrives early enough to improve snow quality overnight. 

This storm will track across the Rockies bringing moderate to heavy snow for Oregon and the central panhandle of Idaho. Northern Idaho and our Cat/Snowmobile sponsor Selkirk Powder will see heavy snowfall by Sunday.  Being inland, the cold front will arrive a little later and probably prevent better quality snow from falling before lifts open. 

Minor snowfall is expected in the Tetons from this event as well. 

Round 2 will be right on the heels of this first storm, with snow once again starting to fall in Washington on Monday. Expect another 5-10” across the Cascades in Washington, and 2-5” for Oregon and N. Idaho. 

This storm will track a farther South and impact some additional areas too. Heavy snow will break out in Tahoe and all of the Sierra on Monday. This is looking like a significant storm with some models showing up to 2 feet or more by late Tuesday. The accompanying cold front should move through Monday night allowing for good quality snow on Tuesday. 

Central and Southern Idaho will see good totals too from this storm. Tamarack and Brundage will likely get 6-10” Monday to Tuesday before the storm continues to move across the intermountain west. 

Next up will be Northern Utah and the Tetons. With the more Southerly track, this storm looks better for these areas. Right now we’re thinking 4-8” from Tuesday to Wednesday. We will be watching this one though as there are some indications that this could be a stronger storm for Utah and the Tetons. 

The storms don’t end here. After a short break another round of snow will start in Washington around the 6th. This storm will follow a similar track as the previous one but will likely be weaker. 

Alright, that's all for new. We'll see you out there.

2021 is going to start out with a bang in some areas of the west. 

Powderchaser Luke


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