Its 4:30 AM with heavy snow still falling in the North Cascades of Washington. 11 inches has fallen at Mount Baker as of 3AM. Further south 2-5 inches are on the Telemetry sites. Strong winds appear to have accompanied this cold front so drifts of 12-17 inches are likely. The opening snow report at Baker should exceed 14 inches. Snow continues to drop further south on Sunday in the Cascades so areas from Stevens to northern Oregon will continue to ramp up totals somewhat (2-5 additional). Quality will be very high with 2,000 foot snow levels (Crust layer may exist below). Whistler cams only showed 2-5 inches.
In the Rockies very warm conditions will exist on Saturday (I am biking in Moab today) ahead of a strong cold front due Sunday morning. The models still have some differences this morning but have downtrended somewhat for Utah. My confidence is for 4-6 inches for your wake up call in the Tetons, with snow falling in most of the Utah mountains by 4AM Sunday. The models show 4-9 inches for the Cottonwoods (NWS has 8-14), 2-5 inches for Park City, and a glimmer of hope for higher amounts setting up somewhere north of Salt Lake. North winds will favor the Uinta range east of Park City and perhaps 5-10 inches for some unlikely spots near Snowbasin or Beaver Mountain. The GFS still points to 10 inches in some spots north of Salt Lake while the Euro shows less (4-8). The NAM 3KM is bullish even for the Cottonwoods on Sunday (5-11). With the bulk of the models sticking to the moderate amounts, chases while it is snowing on Sunday for Utah will be determined last minute based on radar, Cams, and telemetry. I would be prepared to chase from the northern areas near Beaver to the south perhaps in the late AM or early afternoon. I think that BCC has a higher chance of deep snow than LCC. Some unlikely spots in Utah (Perhaps outside the ski areas) will score double digits north of Salt Lake or East of Park City. This will be a storm ski event with most snow falling Sunday.
For Colorado, we are looking at a moderate event of 4-10 inches. This storm with north winds might favor Front Range resorts north of I-70 (Berthoud Pass plumes showing 5-10 inches by Monday morning), and areas west and south of Glenwood Springs. Telluride, Silverton, Crested Butte might come up with some surprises. The general trend is to skirt the highest amounts east of the bulk of Summit County (A Basin, Loveland might score), and west of Vail. Best day to ride powder will be late Sunday and early Monday. I can narrow this in with a future forecast. The good news is primarily late Sunday to Monday event (Overnight snow).
Hey, I almost forgot! The Sierra is finally on tap for \White Stuff\" primarily Saturday night to Sunday. 5-10 inches are possible for your wake up call Sunday.
The long term continues to pump moisture every 24-48 hours into the Pacific Northwest next week. Slightly warmer systems than the current one will hit the Cascades (North is favored), Whistler on Tuesday/Wednesday and again Thursday-Saturday next week. The interior of BC will see moderate snow next week (Several teasers) before action increases late in the week.
Enjoy the Powder everyone!