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Atmospheric River for Tahoe

By December 9, 2022No Comments

Snow Stake Cams

Forecast Summary

Pattern Pattern Summary 

We are on Storm 4-7 for the Long-Range forecast chart; it is underway in the Canadian Rockies, Cascades of Washington, Oregon and California.  Moving south southeast then east to Utah and Colorado while the upper portion moves through Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This is a big storm, that will engage an atmospheric river by tomorrow.

This storm is related (not directly) to the Mosquito fire back in September, it was an AR too, and substantially helped extinguish the fire. Some of you “cycle length” chasers have asked about this storm and possible connections to the pattern.  There is a connection to this event, but we can’t explain it, until spring, for competitive reasons.  Below is a comparison of the two systems.  A lot of similarities.



It will be dry for the northern Cascades today until 3 pm when the next wave moves in.  Expect 2-4, or 3-5, for Crystal, Mt Baker and Snoqualmie, with 2-3 for Stevens Pass.  Temperatures will be steady in the mid 20’s with light winds.  

Tonight Winter Storm Warning 4pm

Before the lifts open Saturday expect heavy snow tonight for all mountains, with 6-12 expected for Crystal, 49 Degrees North and Mt Baker (Baker closer to the high end), with 3-5 for Stevens Pass. 

Saturday Winter Storm Warning until 4pm

This is a little tricky to forecast for due to an occluded front that will be hit and miss for some, but for now it looks like Crystal and 49 Degrees North will add another 2-4 or 3-5 during the day. I’ll keep an eye on the models and update as necessary.  Temperatures will be in the upper 20’s to lower 30’s with moderate winds 15-20 with occasional gusts around 30 mph.

Saturday Night  

Storm moves out.



Southern cascade resorts Mt Hood Meadows/Timberline expect 5-10 as you ride the storm today with slightly less for Mt Bachelor, in the 4-8 range.  Temperatures will be in the mid 20’s with light winds around 10 mph, with moderate winds for Mt Bachelor 10-20 mph.  


Heavy snow and strong winds from the south.  Temperatures still decent, in the mid 20’s.  Expect 10-16 before the lifts open tomorrow for both Mt Hood and Bachelor.


Warmer temps with rising snow levels from 1500 to around 5500 ft by early afternoon so morning turns will still be light.  Moderate winds from the southwest between 10-15 mph.  Total daltime accumulation in the 4-8 range.

Saturday night/Sunday

Snow continues, albeit not as strong.  Expect another 3-5 before the storm moves out Sunday night.


Lake Tahoe



This is a 3-day storm that will incur an atmospheric river (AR) Saturday night after the lifts close.  Storm totals will be in the 3-5 feet range. Most ARs are warm events, but this storm has some cold air Saturday night with base temperatures in the upper teens, so mornings will be best to ride.  Expect heavy snow, under foot, in the afternoon.  


Bluebird skies with steady winds around 15 mph with occasional gusts in the mid 20’s.  

Tonight 4am Winter Storm Warning 

The first wave moves in around 3 am with strong gusts near 50 mph.  We could get a quick 5-10 before the lifts open.  Check back early Saturday morning as I will estimate snow totals by webcams and early reports.

Saturday Winter Storm Warning 

Heavy snow and strong winds with gusts between 60 mph with ridgetop winds near 100 mph, so upper mountain lift closures likely.  Snow totals Saturday will be in the 2-3 feet range for Donner Summit, Dodge Ridge and Kirkwood with 1-2 feet likely for Sugar Bowl, Palisades, Mammoth and Homewood.

Saturday Night Winter Storm- Warning

Colder temperatures as the storm detaches from the AR. Another 1-2 feet expected for Donner Summit, Dodge Ridge, Sugar Bowl, Palisades, Homewood and Kirkwood with temperatures in the lower to mid 20’s.   Mammoth is in the sweet spot, as of now, with 2-3 feet likely.  Winds much lighter, around 30 mph with ridgetop gusts in the 50s.

Sunday Winter Storm Warning until 4 am

The snow train continues as most mountains will receive another 4-15 inches.  We will dial this in a little better tomorrow.  Temps look to be in the mid 20’s.

This last map is from the National Weather Service for mountain traveling.  This covers travel from 10 pm Friday thru 10 pm Saturday. 

Utah and Colorado


Falling temperatures and moderate winds with gusts around 20 mph. The snow moves in a little before the lifts open. Snowbird, Alta, Brighton is going to be in the 3 to 5 range.


Nice day with moderate winds and temperatures in the mid 20’s for Utah.  Colorado will have temperatures in the mid 30’s, with light winds between 5-10 mph.  I can’t rule out a stray shower for areas around Steamboat.   

Sunday Night Storm Arrives 

The bulk of this storm looks to be during the afternoon Sunday thru Monday with snow totals in the 1-2 feet range.  We will have a better idea of the totals by tomorrow, but for now it looks like 4-6 during the day Sunday with 6-12 overnight.  Monday will be the best day to ride, with the storm continuing thru Monday evening.


The storm arrives late Sunday night or early Monday morning.  This is shaping up to be a good storm, just like it was the last time it came thru with multiple resorts receiving double digit totals.  More to come on this one as we get a little closer.  

Thanks for reading the blog, as always if you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or send an email to Mike@FutureSnow.CO

Forecasted Areas

Pacific Northwest Cascade Mountains

Crystal MountainMount Hood MeadowsTimberline49 Degrees North,  BachelorMt Baker,

Lake Tahoe Sierra Mountains

HeavenlyPalisades TahoeKirkwoodDodge RidgeDonner Ski Ranch

Utah Wasatch Mountains

AltaPark CityDeer ValleyBrightonSnowbirdBrian Head

Colorado Rocky Mountains

AspenAspen HighlandsSnowmassVailBeaver Creek,  Winter ParkKeystoneArapahoe BasinBreckenridgeCopper MountainPowderhornSki CooperTellurideCrested ButteSilvertonWolf CreekEldoraLoveland


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