Brrrr! Arctic Cold Descends Onto The West; Northwest Finally Opening, More Snow For Southern Rockies
You could hear the audible sigh of relief from skiers and snowboarders in the Great Northwest this last week who finally can hit the slopes after a way-too-warm December.
Enough snow fell in the last week to allow resorts like Snoqualmie and White Pass to begin to spin the lifts and others, like Mt. Hood Meadows and Mt. Bachelor, to drop the ropes on terrain normally open by this time of the year. Idaho resorts now report base depths more typical of the end of December.
The Christmas break has brought an abundance of powder all the way from Tahoe to Utah to the Front Range of Colorado, and most of these areas now report all or nearly all terrain as open.
But everyone will have to pile on a couple of extra layers for New Year’s weekend, as the deep freeze that follows heavy storms is here.
“The highest temperatures I could find on Tuesday were around 0F (in Colorado),” reports forecaster Joel Gratz of OpenSnow. “Some readings between -15F to -25F in the northern mountains and also in the northern and southern valleys.”
The frigid temps are expected to run into the weekend, with some moderation in the Far West and Northwest, Gratz says. As that happens, a southern-arcing front should bring significant powder to the southern tier of the Rockies.
“For this week, a storm will spin over the southwest, bringing powder to southern Utah, southern Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico around the time of the New Year,” Gratz reports, targeting Purgatory-Durango, Telluride and Wolf Creek in Colorado, and Brian Head and Eagle Point in southern Utah.
Next storms for the rest of the West don’t appear on the horizon until late in the first week of January, according to OpenSnow.
Photos: It's finally snowing in the Northwest like this photo from Mt. Bachelor, Ore. will attest (Mt. Bachelor/Facebook); Purgatory-Durango is in the bullseye for the next big powder drop (Purgatory-Durango/Facebook)