1.5.17 Snow Before You Go - ©Meteorologist Chris Tomer

1.5 Snow Before You Go: Atmospheric River Flows 75 Inches to West

Copyright: Meteorologist Chris Tomer

The most snow over the next five days falls across the West. In particular, California is in for a significant multi-day snowfall from what's called an atmospheric river pattern. The Northeast can expect mainly light snowfall with the potential for a Nor'easter brushing the ski areas over the weekend. 

California: Snow tapers-off on Thursday followed by a break in the action with dry weather on Friday. Thursday will be a good powder day at the ski areas. Then, I'm forecasting 50-75 inches of new snow at Tahoe and Mammoth between Saturday and Tuesday. Why? The jet stream is going to setup in what's called an atmospheric river pattern where it escorts moisture directly from the Pacific into California. Significant valley rains and flooding are likely. 

Colorado, Utah: Heavy mountain snow continues on Thursday morning then tapers-off from north to south. That snow moves into New Mexico where it will snow hard at Taos and Angel Fire. In the Wasatch front and all mountain zones of Colorado, 1-2 feet of total snow accumulation by noon Thursday. Saturday and Sunday look mainly dry. A second storm system moves in Monday-Tuesday with moderate to heavy mountain snowfall. So, the bottom line is this: The best powder day at Snowbird, Alta, Park City, Steamboat, Vail, Aspen-Snowmass, Loveland, Winter Park, Breckenridge, Purgatory, Silverton and Wolf Creek is Thursday. Leftovers on Friday and through the weekend.  

Wyoming, Idaho, Montana: Snow tapers-off early Thursday morning in southern Idaho and Wyoming then it turns drier quickly. Montana misses out on this one. So, Thursday is a good powder day in those zones. Friday and Saturday look mainly dry except for light snow in Montana. The next best chance for heavy snow is Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Significant accumulations at Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Big Sky, Schweitzer, Whitefish, Sun Valley and Discovery. 

Pacific Northwest: Some light snow on Friday otherwise rather dry. Heavier snow moves in Saturday night through Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Significant snow accumulations in the Cascades and high volcanoes. 

Whistler/Blackcomb: Moderate snowfall accumulations on Friday-Saturday. Heavier snow accumulations arrive Saturday night through Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Significant accumulations.  

Northeast: Light snow accumulations on Thursday and Friday. Then, a Nor'easter rolls up the coast between Saturday night and Sunday. The track of the storm is critical. It should brush the ski areas with snow as it rolls by. 

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