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January to end with hope for a more active start to February across the West01/26/2022
It's been a pretty lackluster couple of weeks in the western US. The pattern has not been beneficial for widespread snow so we've been working with some not-so-great conditions recently. With that said, there have been a few places that have picked up a refresh or two over the past week - that's mainly been along and east of the divide from Montana to New Mexico.
As Luke mentioned in a previous Powder Chasers post, we've been stuck in a Wave 3 pattern and those can either be amazing for snow or really crappy for snow. I'm assuming you can guess which one we've been in recently. The good new is that as February nears, the possibility of our pattern changing continues to show promise. With that said, if you want custom forecasting for YOUR chase, please join the Concierge program at Powder Chasers for your best odds of ending up in the deep. This gives you a direct contact with our forecasters! Or, if you simply want to support Powderchasers please consider a donation here.
FORECAST THROUGH NEXT WEEK
The main storm we're going to be watching will drop from Canada starting Sunday. It will deliver snow to BC, the northern Rockies and the Cascades first before dropping down towards New Mexico. Based off the current models, this may not be a great storm for the Sierra as this is riding a little too far east for big impacts. Similarly this could graze Utah with some but not as much snow as say Colorado or Wyoming.
Here's a look at snow totals expected:
Snow will starting falling in BC Sunday morning and will provide areas like Whistler and Revelstoke with some awesome powder to ski on for early next week.
As that storm dives south is will hit the Washington Cascades and deliver up to a foot of snow around Steven's Pass and Snoqualmie. Snow levels should drop a bit during this storm since it's originating from a cold place but it'll lose it's umph as it digs south. Baker might come up with higher amounts with SW winds initially favoring the northern Cascades on Sunday-Monday.
The Oregon Cascades are not expecting as much as Washington but still, close to a half foot of snow may fall for several areas there. The news gets worse as you head south. California is not looking to get much of anything from this storm. Wildly, December was one of, if not, the wettest and snowiest month on record for many. January has been the complete opposite. Maybe an inch or two could fall in the Sierra with the incoming storm.
For the northern Rockies of Idaho and Montana, some decent snows will fall mainly Monday as this system drops south. Areas around Schweitzer and MT Snowbowl could get a very nice refresh with this storm with some areas getting up to a half foot of fresh snow by Tuesday.
For the Central Rockies, this storm will be hit or miss. The winds will be favorable for Utah for just a few hours and that may be enough to deliver 2-4" of snow to the Cottonwoods and possibly a surprise or two in the area but overall, not looking like a massive dump.
Wyoming will benefit from a cold snow with fluffy powder as this system moves by. Up to 6" may fall around Jackson Hole and Big Sky by Tuesday night.
Colorado will be the bigger winner in this region. A strengthening storm overhead means that widespread snow will fall across the state and this will seep into New Mexico as well so Taos is looking to have some nice powder to ski on by the middle of next week. Favored areas will be the Front Range but thanks to a beneficial wind direction, most areas in Colorado should get at least 3-4" of snow will the favored areas like Eldora, Winter Park and Wolf Creek possibly getting up to 10" of snow.
Arizona will be skirted by snow so not much expected there, but light snow is at least something especially for Arizona Snowbowl.
Looking further out the pattern looks to continue to be active but what we will have to watch for is a division of active weather and not active weather. As it's looking right now, the immediate west coast may be skipped over with the incoming pattern change. That means California may not benefit much from the storms whereas areas from Montana to Colorado may have several storms to track in the future.
Oh before we go, the east coast is bracing for another wallop of a storm. This one looks to be a coastal hugger so many interior ski areas may miss out on the big stuff but there will still be some decent refills happening from North Carolina to Vermont. Look for Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts or even Gunstock in New Hampshire to be on the hunt for deep snow. Some models push high amounts into interior New Hampshire as well. Vermont will see less.
Areas like Sugar and Beech mountain in NC could get a few inches of snow. Similar story in West Virginia but up to a half foot could fall on Snowshoe. For Killington and surrounding areas, it'll depend on the track of the storm but a couple of inches is likely at least.
Enjoy the snow!