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12.22 Snow Before You Go: White Christmas for the West

12.22 Snow Before You Go: White Christmas for the West

Copyright: Meteorologist Chris Tomer

Christmas is looking snowy for the West with two different storm systems on track. Faster moving, lighter snow accumulations for the Northeast.  

Colorado, Utah: I'm forecasting two storm systems through Christmas. The first storm arrives on Thursday, but rotates around the Wasatch largely missing the ski areas. The exception is Southern Utah, where Brian Head will do well with heavy snow accumulation. The bulk of that moisture hits Colorado on Thursday and Friday morning. Heavy snow accumulations in the southern mountains of Colorado spreading north to the I-70 Corridor. The second storm system is the one to watch. It delivers heavy snow accumulations to the Wasatch of Utah starting on Friday afternoon and continuing through Saturday and Christmas Day. That heavy snow spreads into Colorado starting Saturday afternoon and continuing through Christmas Day. 1-2 feet of accumulation for Alta, Snowbird, Aspen, Snowmass, Crested Butte, Purgatory, Monarch, Telluride, Silverton and Wolf Creek.   

California: I'm forecasting one storm system with heavy snow accumulations for Tahoe and Mammoth. The storm begins on Friday and continues on Saturday before ending. Just like with the last storm cycle, high winds of 100 mph are likely across the ridge lines. 1-2 feet of accumulation for Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley, Northstar and Mammoth by Christmas.  

Montana, Idaho, Wyoming: I'm forecasting one large storm system through Christmas. It looks like a three-day snowfall with snow starting on Friday afternoon and continuing off/on Saturday and Christmas Day. The heaviest snowfall accumulations will run from Sun Valley to Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee and up to Big Sky. A solid foot of accumulation at those ski areas. Snow will also fall at Schweitzer, Bridger Bowl, Whitefish and Red Lodge.  

Pacific Northwest: I'm forecasting one primary storm system between Friday and Saturday morning. A second storm is possible Monday to Tuesday. Moderate to heavy snow accumulations across the high Cascades and Volcanoes between Friday and Saturday morning.  

Whistler/Blackcomb: Moderate snowfall on Friday through Saturday morning, followed by a break for Christmas. A second storm with heavy snowfall arrives Monday to Tuesday.  

Northeast: I'm forecasting three waves of light snowfall. The first is Thursday, the second is Saturday and the third is on Monday. Each wave delivers less than 4 inches of accumulation at the ski areas. Temperatures for the first two waves appear a touch warm, making the snow moisture-laden. Some will fall as rain near the coast.



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