It's Dumping in the Central Mountains with 18-20 inches at Crested Butte, and close to 14 at Aspen. The I-70 corridor did well also. There are 2 more Atmospheric Rivers lined up for the West that might continue unsettled conditions to at least the 3rd week of March!
The Sierra continues to see snow/rain with levels lowering to near 6,000 feet on Saturday (A bit cooler) and an additional 8-12 inches of snow expected above 7,000 on Saturday. Doing a quick check of snow totals, there was no new snow at the base of Palisades (6200 feet), and just an inch at 8,000 feet. Temps were 35 at the base and in the upper 20's at 8,000. Some resorts are closed today (Saturday). Homewood says \Delayed opening\" and Diamond Peak (10 inches new) says the same. Palisades might spin also and I did not check others. The pattern stays unsettled with periodic waves of snow above 7,000 feet and mixed precipitation for the Tahoe Basin. Snow levels are noted to be a bit lower than the last system with some cooling moving in behind the warmest part of the storm on Friday.
The Wasatch dried out immediately behind the warm precipitation that blasted the Wasatch in just 2-3 hours Friday evening with 5-10 inches of snow (Solitude-10, DV-7, Alta 6). Hey, it's great news, Snowbird just passed 600 inches for the season! Quality will be dense cream with very little snow topping the totals after the cold front moved in around 9PM Friday night. Expect super fun surfy conditions with very light frosting in the Cottonwoods, with perhaps a bit more think cream for the PCMR area.
Colorado scored big time with 18-20 inches at CB, 12-15 at Aspen, and 11 as of press time for Vail. We did say on the last forecast that the central mountains would do the best including Monarch that reported 10 inches. I feel good about that forecast (Wolf and Silverton at 12). The issue is that temps are warm in these areas so quality will be full on surfy. However, in looking at temps for Vail at least 4 inches of colder density snow fell after the cold front moved through around 3AM (Could ski really well). Snow will taper off along I-70 mid Saturday morning and continue for the central and southern mountains through 7PM Sunday. It's likely some areas will keep terrain closed an open it on Sunday.
Below: Crested Butte for the win as of 7AM Saturday. Its still snowing!
The extended forecast is a \"repeat\" and another \"repeat\" of what just happened, perhaps a few degrees colder but still on the warm side, typical of AR events.
The synopsis for pow shows a continued trend for moderate event for the Sierra late this weekend migrating to another warm Atmospheric River by Monday or Tuesday. This system will be a few degrees colder than the last one with snow levels in the 6500-7,000 range (Not great, gut a bit better than the 8000-8500 foot rain on the preceding storm). Very heavy snowfall will again be found at upper elevations of the Sierra (2-4 feet) with lower amounts near the bases.
Once again moisture pushes north into the Cascades of Oregon and Washington which appears to put some areas into double digits by Monday/Tuesday. This system looks deeper for the core of the western Cascades, but also might be warmer. Temps look to keep snow levels around 4,000 feet in the southern Cascades and perhaps 3500 further north. Baker is lighting up on the models as well with decent totals possible at Stevens, SQ Pass and Crystal). We have to wait and see what happens with the temps. There is colder air noted for northern Idaho near Schweitzer for some good turns late Monday or early Tuesday!
Below: Temps at 4800 feet in the western Cascades are a bit warm for Monday morning (*New snow) especially in the southern regions. The northern areas near Baker or even Stevens might be a bit better as well as northern Idaho. Snow levels in the Cascades will range from 4,000 to 3500 perhaps a bit lower on the northern fringes.
The Rockies including similar areas to the last storm (Sun Valley) look decent beginning Monday and ending with some double digits by Tuesday. The Teton's reap similar snow totals starting out colder Monday with snow falling during the day ending with double digits and warmer by Tuesday morning.
The Wasatch Range scores higher amounts than the last storm but will still be on the warm side for another powder day likely for late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Quality is TBD. Expect road closures once again (Ditto).
That system moves into Colorado mid next week with some high totals noted once again for the far northern areas near Steamboat, Central mountains just south of I-70 extending into the San Juan Range. If we repeat what just happened, even the core of the I-70 corridor scores decent snow but it's too early to determine details.
Below: Total 2 day snowfall (48 hours) ending Thursday March 16th, showing decent totals for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. This might focus higher amounts in the central and southern mountains of Colorado with decent amounts for both southern and northern Utah, Wyoming. This is likely going to be another warm event but perhaps a few degrees cooler than the last one.
Below: March 14th, Tuesday showing another AR over the Sierra pushing moisture north into the Cascades, Idaho, and Wyoming. You can see the low that just hit the Rockies setting up over the east coast for what could be a decent snow maker for areas that have seen almost no snow all season!
Below: March 18th (Saturday) shows a continued chance of unsettled conditions for the west and something brewing over the Mid Atlantic. The Sierra is likely to see additional snow pushing east over the Rockies or south into the 4 corners. Confidence is low this far out!
Below: Low confidence this far out, but a sign of some ridging out west for the last week of March (Map is March 26).
ANNOUNCEMENT: Heli Ski In Alaska! Alaska Backcountry Guides is offering an unheard of special in Valdez. Buy 3 seats on the Heli and get 1 free from March 19-25. You get a free Concierge package from Powderchasers when booking good for next season!
Don't forget to join our Concierge program for custom chase forecasts or donate here. Our concierge program will provide you custom forecasts to insure you get into the deepest snow (Our chase secrets). Donations keep our free forecasts going. Members rarely miss the deepest days. If you have scored powder from reading our free forecasts please donate to our site above.
Forecaster - Powderchaser Steve @powderchasersteve on Instagram
Enjoy the powder everyone!