The theme so far this winter has been to head north to find the most snow, and this will continue over the next week though there is good news for areas farther south like Utah and Colorado. But we’ll get to them in a minute. First up for discussion is the feet of snow that will accumulate in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
If you enjoy tracking the weather at home, you might know about the series of storms that is going to strike the west coast from now through the weekend. Tons of moisture will stream into the Tahoe region of California, Oregon, Washington and further east and north into Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. As this moisture hits the northern Rockies, big snowflakes will fall down on most mountains, and because there will be multiple storms during the next few days, snowfall will be measured in feet.
The trick for powder-hungry skiers and riders is to find the deepest AND lightest snow. Because the moisture is coming straight from the Pacific Ocean it will also bring warmer air, so snow levels will be high and the powder will be thick. However, by Sunday night, colder air will move in and the snow on Sunday night and Monday will be lighter and fluffier. I think this is the time to find the deepest, lightest, most gloriously fun snow to ski and ride.
Further south into Utah and Colorado, most snow will wait to fall until the stronger and colder storm arrives on Sunday night and Monday. Depending on the exact track of the storm, anywhere from a few inches to over a foot will fall on parts of Utah and Colorado by Monday night. Both of these states haven’t seen much snow in the last few weeks, so the additional powder will be a welcome sight.
Looking far into the future, some computer weather forecast models indicate a continued active storm track for the northern Rockies with this possibly extending far enough south to hit Utah and Colorado as well. That would be fantastic, but let’s just take it one storm at a time and enjoy using a yardstick to measure the powder this weekend.
Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.