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Most of the West Could Get Multiple Feet of Blower Powder This Week

Snorkel alert! Photo: Unsplash


The Inertia

If you’re a powder connoisseur, this looks like it could be the best week of the winter thus far with up to two feet of light, dry snow forecasted for most parts of the Western U.S. If you’ve been itching for a quick road trip, taking a couple of days off of work to chase winter wouldn’t be the worst call.

The cold smoke comes thanks to low temperatures and plenty of precipitation moving out of the Pacific. “The week ahead is going to see a very unsettled pattern with three storms, each progressively colder in the West,” writes the gurus at Powderchasers.com, which issued its signature “snorkel” alert this week. “Currently it’s dumping in the Cascades with Mt. Baker nabbing 14 inches overnight Saturday. Moisture and colder air is just reaching the I-90 Corridor. Stevens Pass telemetry shows 7-8 inches and snowing as of 5 a.m. Sunday.  Snow will pick up from areas south of Mt. Baker on Sunday with an additional 6-10 inches favoring the central Cascades.

And that’s just the start of it. Oregon, Idaho, California, Montana, Utah and Colorado are forecasted to receive significant dumps. “The next 7-9 days are going to be full of action with chases (possible) in many directions dependent on base depths, new (resort) openings, and obviously snow,” Powderchasers continues. “We’re looking at five-foot storm totals or more for some mountains in the West, especially the PNW over the next week. Many areas of the Rockies will also be deep.” Snow levels are expected to drop down to 500 feet in some regions thanks to the cold temps.

As for the Sierra, it’s looking spicy there as well. “By Tuesday night snow intensity will increase in the Cascades and move over the Rockies… we currently see 12-20 inches for the Cascades (midweek storm), 9-17 inches for widespread areas of Idaho (Brundage, Selkirk Powder Guides, Sun Valley) that trickles south into the Sierra by the weekend. Models show heavy snow possible by Friday or Saturday for the Sierra as this cold airmass moves south and eventually kicks into the Rockies late next week. That might bring another foot or more to many areas of the Rocky Mountain ranges with even higher amounts for California and Nevada.”

In addition to the storm totals above, places like Mt. Bachelor nabbed seven inches, Jackson Hole has seen a foot in the last 24 and calling for heavy snow all week, and Montana’s Big Sky received 4-5 inches with more on the way.

Cold temps will be widespread in the West with officials in Southern California calling for cold weather on the beaches and freezing temperatures in the inland valleys. Storms are expected to start Thursday and continuing on through the weekend with snow in the mountains. Places like Big Bear and Mountain High are expected to get in on the action as well.

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