Snow is falling in many areas this afternoon from the Pacific Northwest to the Rockies. I chased to Grand Targhee this morning and missed 1st chair by just a matter of seconds as a skier jumped up and completed the 4 Pack at Dream Catcher this morning at 8:15 AM. Conditions were outstanding, with 4-6 new at the base and 5-9 inches of dreamy surf pow that supported well (No bottom), and provided graupel like faceshots all day. The snow was falling moderately during the day with deep medium density faceshots by afternoon. Here are a few unofficial snow telemetry readings as of 3 PM.
1) Mount Baker- 13 inches
2) Jackson Hole Mountain Resort 13 inches
3 Grand Targhee- 10 inches
4) Snowbasin (6 inches on the telemetry with 9 inches on the snowcam).
5) Alta 4-5 inches
6) Park City 3-4 inches
Below: Grand Targhee Ski area Midday Thursday.
Models show the Tetons picking up an additional 5-10 inches primarily after midnight Thursday. Snow showers will continue on Saturday. Friday will be another good powder day.
The Cascades including the I-90 Panhandle areas (Just edging into Schweitzer) and south into Oregon will do very well in the next 24 hours (Additional 8-14 inches favoring central and southern areas). The entire Cascade Range is in a scoring position for much-needed snow above 4,000 feet (Snowing at the bases). If resorts were fully open I would be chasing there right now.
The chase to Utah might ensue with winds pushing the heaviest snow south into the Cottonwoods according to the American Model (GFS) where the Euro wants to keep the highest amounts north of I-80 (Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, Beaver Mountain). My best guess is 5-10 additional inches Thursday night with some isolated higher amounts depending on where the heaviest snow bands set up, The Short term HRR is not bullish (4-8) while the GFS is in the 7-14 inch range. (6-10 is a safe bet for Thursday night). Don't forget the AM report will include snowfall from today(Thursday).
Colorado grabs the leftovers. The models are pumping out a general 4-8 inches for the I-70 corridor for Thursday night with perhaps higher amounts near Steamboat or the Western side of Eagle County (Vail- Beaver Creek). Those areas may see 6-9 inches for Friday morning.
Honorable mention: Northern Montana- Perhaps Whitefish will be in scoring position Thursday/Friday. They had 2 inches on the report this morning and it's still snowing.
I will address the 2nd storm due on Saturday/Sunday in a future post. This system will be colder and deliver better quality for the weekend.
Here is the total snowfall from Noon Thursday to Saturday morning for the west. This will not include the heavy snow that will fall on Saturday/Sunday.
Below: Total snowfall from 3 PM Thursday to Friday mid-morning.