The Rockies Finally Receive Much Needed Snow!

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 8, 2012 12:52 am

Powder spread an even path of 5-10 inches of snow from the Wasatch of Utah (5-9 inches), straight through Colorado (Most resorts reporting 4-9 inches with Beaver Creek and Snowmass at the higher end). While my original forecast was for a favored Southern mountain chase the winds stayed Northwest keeping the bulk of the snow over the Northern and Central Mountains along I-70 and North. I ended up at Snowbird with 9 fresh on top of a very variable crust layer below that kept locals happy to get an occasional face shot!   Snow is now moving over Ruidoso New Mexico where the locals there and Texans can play in 4-8 new by the end of today!

Long Term Synopsis

Northwest:  Light rain and snow will break out on Monday and turn to all snow by Monday night with over 8 inches expected at the mountain top levels and only 3-6 inches expected near mid mountain levels. The pattern goes to high pressure until next weekend when another 4-8 inches is possible Saturday/Sunday.  The long range pattern shows a tranquil period beyond next weekend until January 17th when a larger rain/snow maker impacts the Northwest. A large amount of the energy on the models looks to favor the Canadian Rockies and temperatures remain on the warm side. This should be a wetter system so stay tuned!

Rockies:  Moisture from the Northwest early next week will stay on the northern tips of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming (3-7 inches) before migrating South through Northern Colorado and weakening bringing light snow to many locations by Wednesday night (2-5).  In the extended pattern next weekend into the following week the bulk of the moisture stays North of the area with the next shot of snow possible near January 19th. The models still advertise some pattern changes possible in the 3rd week of January however my confidence level is only at 20% until I see consistent models.  Regardless, I can say that areas that have invested in large scale snowmaking have held up nicely with the vacation crowds aiming for the groomers and enjoying the powder in the past 24 hours! My motto this year has been to capture the “chase” and I am up to 114 inches in 9 days on the slopes!  Last weekend saw up to 20 inches in the Tetons which really freshened things up in Wyoming!

Sierra -California:  Unfortunately for the Sierra storms continue to pass to the North and South with no significant snow in sight until perhaps the 3rd week of January.   I will stay confident by at least saying that once the Northern Ridge breaks down allowing storms to drop further South conditions will change and can happen quickly. The big question is when? I think golf will stay in the recreational outlook for the next 10 days!

Northeast:  The models are in disagreement for this week however I believe a good chance exists for a coastal storm to bring snow to the central areas of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine by Thursday morning. The favored areas will be Interior Maine and southern New Hampshire.  Light snow also stays in the forecast for Northern Vermont next weekend.  Long term?  A heavier precip event looks likely for January 19th and 20th weekend!  Colder temperatures have kept snowmaking to a maximum and some areas like tiny Wachusett near Boston are boasting equal base depths to resorts in the Rockies!

Keep the Chase going for powder as it is always snowing somewhere in North America and our goal is to let you grab the goodies on limited days on the slopes!  Keep your posts going on Powder Buzz and and Facebook on the homepage as we need your forecasts and powder reports!  The homepage is updated daily as changes develop!

Powderchaser Steve