Significant snow with colder temps has brought 3-5 feet of new snow to most of the Sierra in the past 24-48 hours. Snow continues in the Sierra tonight before tapering somewhat by morning. Heavy snow is in the cards for many areas of the west through Thursday night. You can chase from CA to UT to CO all in the next 3 days and score double digits. I am stuck in Tahoe where some resorts did not open today.
Here are a few impressive snow totals from the Sierra as of 6 AM Monday for storm totals (2-3 days)
June Mountain: 108 inches
Mammoth: 58-81 inches
Sierra/Tahoe. 54 inches
Its still dumping 2-3 inches per hour in the Sierra with some resorts remaining closed on Monday. The snow quality is excellent on this latter part of the storm with very cold temps. High winds today kept the summits closed nearly everywhere. If you scored even lower elevation powder it was a bonus today. Snow will continue Monday night and taper to light/moderate after midnight. Light snow will be favoring the southern regions of the lake and areas towards Mammoth on Tuesday. Winds will decrease late Monday night. Both Tuesday (Snorkel alert), and Wednesday (Upper mountain openings) will offer great powder days.
Below: Today near Squaw Valley- Image: Powderchaser Steve
In the Rockies, a complete sneaker powder day that was not forecasted (We had 5-11) nailed Jackson with 2 feet of cold powder on Monday. What happened? Upper atmosphere winds and instability created significant lift over the Tetons that was not forecasted on any model runs. Cold Air also helped to set up a band of intense snowfall over the Tetons.
If you're chasing powder in the Rockies, I like the prospects of storm skiing on Tuesday for the Wasatch and Tetons. Both areas should score another 4-7 inches by noon Tuesday. The areas in the Wasatch favored by SW flow (Big Cottonwood), Snowbasin, Deer Valley, Park City may end up exceeding these numbers. Brighton in BCC has seen well over 2 feet of snow in the past 2 days. I think BCC will grab another foot by the close of the lifts Tuesday. Little Cottonwood might get close. The Tetons who scored big time today might end up in the 4-7 inch range mentioned above (Through Tuesday). Significant snowfall will be occurring over southern Utah (12-15) on Tuesday!
Colorado will see light to perhaps moderate snow in the southern and central mountains. Areas along I-70 will see very light snow east of Glenwood. Significant snow will be falling in most of Colorado Late Tuesday-Thursday in the extended forecast.
The storm in the Sierra weans on Tuesday. Moisture increases significantly in the Rockies as winds gradually shift from SW to West-NW in many areas. The Wasatch will see an uptick of snowfall in areas favored by NW flow late Tuesday to early Wednesday. Little Cottonwood, Powder Mountain, and perhaps the Canyons side of Park City should do well in this pattern.
The SW winds initially Tuesday night into Wednesday morning will favor the southern mountains of Colorado. Decent snow totals will be found in many areas of southern and central Colorado by Wednesday morning. Snow will continue in these areas through the day before winds shift west or NW by late AM or early PM. Crested Butte, Aspen, Telluride, Wolf Creek, and Purgatory may end up with the highest amounts by mid-morning Wednesday. Winds shift West/NW late AM Wednesday or early PM increasing snowfall for the central and northern mountains. If you want to score powder twice in Colorado, ride early Wednesday in the southern or central mountains and consider a chase north for late PM or early Thursday. It's possible that that resorts along I-70 (Eagle, Summit, etc.) grab 12-15 inches for late Wednesday through late Thursday. Light snow will continue into Friday. I am including Aspen in both the Wednesday highlights with SW flow and the latter highlights with NW flow. They seem to be in the mix with both events (Snowmass may score well in the latter half).
Winds in Utah shift from the SW to NW Wednesday morning
Looking ahead to the weekend, I am seeing a decent storm for the southern and central Cascades of Washington, Oregon, and once again the Sierra. This system may land decent totals to Crystal, Stevens, and Bachelor.
Enjoy the powder everyone.