Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

California Wakes Up! Sierra to Pull Down 2-3 Feet of POW Next Week

After a seemingly endless stream of atmospheric rivers pounded the Sierra with snow and drought-busting rain last season, we once again see the volatility of mother nature as an extended dry period has returned to much of the western U.S and skiers across multiple states are wondering where the white stuff is here.

But the first signs of change are here, in the form of a moderate storm this weekend followed by a potentially stronger storm next week. Along with high elevation snow, much needed rains will bring some drought relief to the Southwest and four corners regions, which have been exceptionally dry this season. Late next week will likely bring heavy snow back to the northern Rockies as well with the Wasatch finally getting into the action!

Current snow water equivalent percentages (how much water the snow is holding) as of January 4th, 2018 cast a bleak picture. Photo: USDA

SIERRA SNOW

The good news is that the summits of many Sierra resorts will see a moderate storm this weekend with a significant storm likely on its heels by Monday night/Tuesday. There are a few things not working in our favor with the first storm though, as strong winds and unseasonably warm temperatures may limit snowfall and negatively effect snow quality. Warmer than average temperatures will bring high variability of snow totals depending on elevation. It's likely that on Saturday you will be skiing 3-7 inches of wet snow on the summits with minor amounts at lower elevations. The exception may be Mammoth, with a higher base/summit elevation, however the heaviest moisture may stick around North and South Lake Tahoe. Take the lighter amounts and no rain at Mammoth or gamble on higher amounts further north with a rain/snow mix at the bases. It's possible that some resorts exceed the 3-7 inch mark by late Saturday.

Storm #2

On Monday, snow will start falling by the afternoon with snow levels once again at the dreaded 8,000-foot level (above the bases and even mid mountain at many ski resorts). Snow intensity picks up late Monday night into Tuesday morning with perhaps 7-9 inches at upper elevations and slowly falling snow levels. Heavy snow will continue to fall at upper elevations bringing totals to 10-15 inches by the end of the day. Colder air works in Tuesday improving snow quality and driving snow down to the bases. Models are favoring areas in the central and southern Sierra range. My best guess for the highest amounts are Kirkwood and Mammoth. The Mammoth summit may score in excess of 30 inches by the time the storm exits late Tuesday night. Areas further north, and those at lower elevations, will see lower storm totals. Overall amounts should fall into the 15-20 inch range over most of the Sierra above 7,500 feet by late Tuesday with the summit of Mammoth tipping the scales, perhaps approaching 3 feet. Kirkwood may also see these higher amounts.

The total predicted precipitation for The Sierra through Tuesday. Photo: Courtesy of Weather Bell

All of this welcome moisture heads towards to the 4 corners mid next week.

The good news for many resorts that have seen little snow this season is that the middle of next week will bring at least a foot of snow to southern Colorado, northern Arizona and southern Utah. Moderate moisture will stream north into the central and southern Wasatch near Salt Lake. A cold front and northern branch of the jet will likely kick off decent snows in the northern Rockies with Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming reporting decent numbers in the middle of next week as well as renewed snowfall along the front range near Denver.

The Four Corners may finally get some relief. Photo: Courtesy of Weather Bell

Long Range:

The ridge returns following the 2-3 storms next week, but then the storm door reopens perhaps focusing on the PNW once again, especially during the January 17-21 period. Whether the storm door stays open after this round of snow remains the biggest unknown at this point, and may go a long way in determining whether winter can really make a comeback in the West.

Powderchaser Steve

Play
READ THE STORY
​Bro Destroys Pair of 2019 Skis, Jeopardizing Social Media Status
Up Next Ski

​Bro Destroys Pair of 2019 Skis, Jeopardizing Social Media Status

​Bro Destroys Pair of 2019 Skis, Jeopardizing Social Media Status

Jackson Hole, WY- A distraught local "bro" told TGR Friday that–despite destroying a new set of yet-unreleased 2019 skis on a scree field–he is determined to ride the busted planks all season to capitalize on valuable social media exposure. Wilson, WY resident Julius Jenkins, 24, told TGR reporters he was searching for the "steep and deep" outside of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boundaries this morning when he bombed through a barely covered patch of rock fragments, completely ruining his

Play
READ THE STORY
Here’s What Team USA Will Look Like During the Olympic Opening Ceremony
Up Next Ski

Here’s What Team USA Will Look Like During the Olympic Opening Ceremony

Here’s What Team USA Will Look Like During the Olympic Opening Ceremony

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on Jan 22, 2018 at 2:23pm PST On Monday, Team USA athletes took to Instagram to share the styles they will be wearing during on Friday, February 9th during the opening ceremonies to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Skier Gus Kenworthy and snowboarder Jamie Anderson were among those who shared the outfits across social media. And so far, we here at the TGR staff are kind of....on the fence about the whole thing? A

Play
READ THE STORY
SheJumps Is Training the Next Generation of Female Ski Patrollers
Up Next Ski

SheJumps Is Training the Next Generation of Female Ski Patrollers

SheJumps Is Training the Next Generation of Female Ski Patrollers

On Dec. 16, 32 lucky girls between the ages of 8 and 16 became ski patrollers for a day at Crystal Mountain in Washington as part of an inaugural SheJumps Junior Ski Patrol day camp. Taught by female ski patrollers and energized by a steady flow of hot cocoa, the girls learned about first aid, avalanche control, snow science, weather stations, driving toboggans, avalanche rescue techniques and patrol dogs. SheJumps–a nonprofit that encourages women in outdoor sports–was founded in 2007