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EPIC POWDER WATCH- 3-4 FEET OR MORE OF WHITE FEATHERS FOR TURKEY DAY POSSIBLE MID TO LATE NEXT WEEK.

2020-01-17

OVERVIEW: 

Several storms are in the forecast for the next 7 days with some moderate pow early next week for much of the Rockies and PNW. Chase mid to late next week when things get deep. Turkey Day will be deep in many areas of the west favoring resorts to the south. Even California gets it's first good storm of the season. The Cascades, BC, Sierra and most of the Rockies are all fair game. Someone will see 2-4 feet of snow by the end of next week! Maybe even 3-5 feet?

SHORT TERM FORECAST:

Light snow is still falling over the high country of Colorado this Friday morning.  Beaver Creek is at 6 inches (5-10 in the original forecast)   Other areas seem to have fallen a bit short of the forecast however snow showers continuing could put them into that range by mid-morning.  Arizona Snow Bowl logged 19 inches from the past storm is opening today!  Things could be deep for opening day. 

There are 2 storms to watch in the next 7 days!  The first system moves ashore over British Columbia on Friday night/Saturday.    This will bring moderate snow to Whistler and areas south into the northern Cascades.  The models show snowfall totals by Sunday in the 5-10 inch range.  Interior BC may see slightly lower amounts, but snow will be falling in most areas.  In the Cascades, the best odds of seeing moderate snow will be northern areas towards Mount Baker, Interior regions near North Cascade Heli etc or the Panhandle of Idaho. 

The southern Cascades including most of Oregon get into the action early next week on Monday/Tuesday (See extended)

EXTENDED POWDER FORECAST  THROUGH TURKEY DAY

Very cold air is going to sink well south into all regions of the Rockies, Sierra, Cascades, and even Arizona next week.  Significant snowfall is likely for many spots with an emphasis on southern areas mid to late next week. 3-4 feet or more is likely to land somewhere in the 4 corners by Turkey Day. 

Storm #1 

Snow will redevelop early next week over the Cascades with some energy moving south into Oregon and pieces splitting east towards the Panhandle of Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. Expect moderate amounts at this point with perhaps some surprises in the Wasatch.  This will reach Colorado by Monday night. 

That storm should land 5-9 inches for most of western Colorado under westerly flow by Tuesday morning.  That's a good wind direction for many areas of Colorado.  Expect widespreahe exception of perhaps Little Cottonwood that will likely see higher amounts as mentioned above.  Chase to Montana and the Tetons Monday night into Tuesday morning and the Wasatch primarily on Tuesday.   If the ski areas were open in Utah I would be looking for last chair Tuesday.  Colorado is a safe bet for Wednesday morning. 

In Colorado, I was mountain biking yesterday in Fruita with temps in the 50's while it was in the '20s on the east side of the Divide.  The storm meandered over the Front Range on Sunday producing some decent amounts in Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, and areas north of I-70.   I was questioning my 5-10 inch Summit County forecast as most resorts were not seeing any snow until late Sunday.  The Short term HRR models 3KM still had decent moisture last night so still had confidence.   My forecast was generally 5-10 Sunday night near the Divide and 4-8 west. I mentioned the San Juan range may see some of the first snows of the season where a few inches fell at Telluride last night.  The final numbers came in on the low side of the forecast.  It's still snowing in Summit County so the original 5-10 in my forecast may edge closer to the mid-range of that prediction.  

Snow totals-  Open Snow - Colorado Forecast 

Snow totals from Sunday morning to Monday morning:
Breckenridge: 7”
Eldora: 6”
Keystone: 6”
Rocky Mountain National Park: 6”
Steamboat: 6”
Berthoud Pass: 5”
Cameron Pass: 5”
Loveland: 5”
Vail: 5”
Winter Park: 5”
Arapahoe Basin: 4”
Beaver Creek: 4”
Loveland: 4”
Aspen Mountain: 3”
Monarch: 3”
Snowmass: 2”
Telluride: 2”

The next system for Colorado will be colder with the models showing another 5-10 inches likely for many mountain locations.  The favored areas will be along the Divide once again.  Snow will be falling from Steamboat, Aspen, Front Range, and south into New Mexico into Wednesday morning.  The peak snowfall for Colorado will happen PM Tuesday to AM Wednesday.

 The University of Utah SREF plumes below show an average of 10 inches for Berthoud Pass by late Wednesday. 

The operational GFS shows some isolated pockets of higher amounts south towards Monarch.  All ski areas including the San Juan range will see some snow from the approaching cold front.  The highest amounts will be along the eastern Foothills and Continental Divide.  New Mexico may also nab some freshies on this one. 
If the model run below proves to be correct, there could be decent amounts in Aspen, Crested Butte, and areas west as well. With the very cold temps, snow ratios could bump up higher than this 10:1 model forecast. 

With the light density snow that falls on the next storm (Super dry fluff), don't be surprised if you are riding the bottom surface from the day before.  Don't let this be your last day of the season!   Please donate to Powderchasers or join the Concierge to support your Powder forecasts.   

Powderchaser Steve 

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We combine 35 years of experience forecasting and chasing powder to provide forecasts that help you find the deepest snow.