UPDATE: We have the moisture slamming the West Coast this week, however a lack of cold air is keeping snow levels above base areas (4500 to 5,000 feet) in the Northwest. 4-7 inches of base building will take place every 24 hours at upper elevations of most NW resorts through Saturday. FINALLY cold air drops the snow level in the Northwest by late Saturday/Sunday (3,000 feet) where chasers should be prepared to hit GO (Lowering snow levels and more snow next week).
The Sierra is getting hammered with rain/snow mix at the bases and heavy snow from mid mountain and higher. Expect 3 feet by Saturday morning at the highest peaks and as little as 2-8 inches at lower elevations. On Saturday night the snow level rises to over 8,000 feet so any chasers might want to abandon ship and head East towards Wyoming or Utah where powder will be falling late in the weekend.
ROCKIES: Before powder starved Coloradans sink deeper into depression let me preface this report as good and bad news! In the short term don’t expect more than 2-4 inches late Friday in the Northern Mountains (If even that), and 3-6 at best for Sunday night into Monday (Most mountain locations). The better news is that I have high confidence of a better pattern setting up for late next week! The chase this week for the Powderchasers staff will be to Grand Targhee Wyoming who has the high elevation needed for snow, a solid base, and 14-22 inches by Monday morning (5-12 wet Friday night into Saturday, 3-5 wet for Sunday (HIGH winds with lift closures likely) and 9-12 medium density Sunday night with decreasing wind). We like the Teton Springs Lodge just 30 minutes away from both Jackson and Grand Targhee and they have rooms available for POWDER HOUNDS.
Finally the Wasatch will see light wet snow Friday/ Saturday/Sunday above 8,000 feet with a burst of heavy medium density snow on Sunday night to areas from Powder Mountain, Park City and Snowbird. Monday will be the only day worth the chase with up to 7-10 inches at upper peaks of the Cottonwoods. Expect 3-5 in Park City and perhaps a bit more up near Ogden?
Here is a map of the GFS for Sunday night which offer the best chase for the Rockies! Wind and wet snow might create havoc for a good chase before that? Next week might see a repeat storm by Thursday with colder air and better densities.
Powderchaser Steve www.powderchasers.com