Winter has Arrived with Heavy Snow Still in the Cards for the West Over the Next 5 Days

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 22, 2012 11:07 am

EUPHORIA  has hit the west as snow has finally laid down a good 6-9 inches of fluff over many areas of the Northwest and looking at snow stakes at Crystal Mountain temperatures have dropped to the mid 20′s at mid mountain and light snow is falling at the base.  Here is a great picture taken from Stevens Pass Ski Area today! 

Stevens Pass Ski Area

Snow will continue over the Northwest for the next few days however additional accumulations will be in the 4-6 inch range. the big story is the Northern Sierra including most of the Tahoe resortswhere light snow will begin by Monday morning and turn heavy by 3PM continuing through Tuesday (12-14 inches likely above 7,000 feet). There will be a short break on Tuesday night before even colder air arrives Wednesday  kicking off another band of moderate snow in the Sierra  into Thursday morning (7-10 additional).   This entire system  stretches northwest into Western Washington (Spokane area mountains should see 7-10 inches by Tuesday) and into Northern Montana (7-12), Idaho and northern Wyoming (6-10) where most of the cold air centers itself early this week before dropping south into UT, southern Wyoming, and Colorado.


Light to moderate rain/snow will break out Monday afternoon in the Wasatch and Tetons(2PM or after) with snow levels around 9,000 feet (Rain snow line just above Snowbird’s Tram Tower 3) and at the highest elevations in Park City especially north towards Snowbasin, Powder Mountain and The Tetons,   This precip will continue moderately through Tuesday morning before colder air arrives into the Tetons late Tuesday bringing snow levels to near the base. Light snow will continue Tuesday night into Wednesday in the Tetons and Wasatch with heavier bands setting up for Thursday (Total snowfall at highest peaks next week should be in the 9-15 inch range). Jackson, Grand Targhee, Snowbasin, Powder, and Big Cottonwood Canyon would be the favorites under SW flow.

 The big question is whether Colorado reaps any of the benefits of all this powder?  My take from looking at several models is YES, especially north of I-70 however most likely not until Thursday night or Friday.  I believe that powder will be falling late in the week from Steamboat (Might start Wednesday evening) through Rocky Mountain National Park, Winter Park and perhaps the Gore Range around Vail (wild card) and Summit County (3-6 south, 4-9 North).  Most of the cold air stays near the Wyoming border until late Thursday so front range areas will see the best chance for Friday morning!  Westerly winds could be a good snow producer for Steamboat late Wednesday and Thursday (rain at the base) however a shift to the North by Friday morning brings a better chance of  snow for areas closer to the Front Range (Winter Park, Eldora), and Continental Divide (Loveland- A Basin).  Expect accumulations to be in the 3-8 inch range from South to North.

The Pacific Northwest Reloads with moisture next weekend however under a much warmer pattern so stay tuned for updates on Powderchasers on the website and on Facebook.  Get out and enjoy the 1st large dump of the season if you are lucky enough to live in the RED zones on the map.