You may have missed this chase, and while I did not forecast nearly 3 feet for the Tetons it was the deepest day of the season (33 inches in 20 hours). Colorado is continuing to refresh, with a new storm for the Pacific Northwest that will track over the Idaho Panhandle, Montana and perhaps the Tetons late this weekend. The Wasatch is also going off! So many choices to chase in the next 3 days.
We chased from Vail on Thursday (15 inches) and to Jackson on Friday (34 inches of blower). Today was hands down the best day of the season with 21inches for 1st Tram on Friday and 33 inches for last tram. We completely underestimated that forecast! Hats off to the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol! Targhee had 18 inches by 5AM and 22 inches by the time the lifts started spinning. Turns at the Ghee must also have been Epic. Meanwhile in Utah a very potent storm with strong winds (Gusts to 85 MPH at the summits of Snowbird) brought 7-10 inches to the Cottonwoods with less elsewhere. Some resorts closed early today in Utah due to strong winds and increasing Avy Danger. In Colorado as forecasted, saw another round of moderate snow for the I-70 corridor and especially Steamboat. Steamboat had 10 inches new a the summit Friday morning and another 6-7 inches during the day (Colorado pick of the day). First turns must have been good!
Below: Powderchaser Steve in the White Room today (After the last tram of the day).
The pattern will be very progressive with many short waves of energy rippling over the Tetons and most of north/Central Colorado through Sunday. Utah may end up too far south but will score an additional 3-6 inches in the Cottonwoods Friday evening. The Tetons take a back seat until light to moderate snow moves back in for Saturday mid morning. The models show the Tetons as a wildcard with some recent model disagreement. The midday models showed an additional 6-12 inches for the Tetons Saturday/Sunday, while the latest runs backed off significantly (Need to wait on another model run). My best guess is 5-10 inches between 10AM Saturday and 7AM Sunday. Targhee might be favored with NW winds. If the earlier more bullish model runs pop back up there could be higher amounts (Might update on Saturday). Some additional light snow is likely for Friday night into Saturday before increasing mid morning. East winds noted over Montana could score a surprise dump for Red Lodge Mountain Ski area for Saturday/Sunday.
Below: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort with 2-3 inches per hour snow intensities on Friday. Photo: Powderchaser Steve- Instagram @powderchasersteve
The Pacific Northwest would be chase worthy for Saturday (Storm Ski) into Sunday with a moderately cold system bringing 9-15 inches to Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie, Alpental, and Mt Baker. Ride Saturday to last chair and perhaps Sunday for 1st chair.
Colorado is in the flow as NW winds, Cold temps, and moisture streaming over the Tetons refresh many ski areas from Saturday to Sunday. From experience in forecasting, big storms from the Tetons often track over Steamboat. That held true on Friday. The models show 2-6 inches nearly every 24 hours for resorts along I-70, including Aspen and perhaps as far south as Silverton through Sunday. The peak periods of snowfall appear to be late Friday (Showers are decreasing at post time) and again late Saturday into Sunday. The Sunday timeframe might be deeper than Saturday. For chasing powder, anywhere along I-70 will have a decent refresh for Saturday and Sunday 1st chairs. Steamboat and perhaps Winter Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, or Berthoud Pass could score decent amounts for Sunday (5-10 or more).
Looking into next week, a significant storm will impact the central Idaho Panhandle Sunday-Monday that will target the Missoula Mountains for Monday morning. Mountains in this region could awaken to 12-17 inches of cold pow.
The Rockies dry out early next week. There are hints that a storm system moves into the Sierra mid next week and takes aim at perhaps Utah, Colorado and New Mexico by Thursday/Friday.
Enjoy the powder everyone!
Powderchaser Steve - Follow @powderchasersteve on Instagram