And...it's game time, folks. After some snow midweek for Heavenly (17 inches), Northstar (24 inches), Vail (9 inches), Beaver Creek (8 inches) and Breckenridge (7 inches), Keystone (5 inches), and A-Basin (5 inches), it's time for the big kahuna.
A nearly stationary storm off the coast of Oregon and California will setup a pipeline of moisture straight from Hawaii and directly toward both Tahoe and Colorado. This pipeline of moisture is often called "The Pineapple Express" since it originates from Hawaii, and it usually means two things:
The moisture hits Tahoe first with snow beginning by midday Friday. As the snow becomes heavier Friday night through Sunday night, snow levels could hover around 7,500ft making for some sloppy conditions as the base but deep snow up top. By Sunday night into Monday, the snow levels will drop well below lake level, so the entire mountain will finish out the storm with some lighter, fluffier powder. You will probably want to ski on Monday rather than *try* to drive home!
In Colorado, snow will come down for much of the weekend, but the warmer temperatures and lack of any stronger storm within the flow of moisture will keep snow amounts below epic proportions. However, by Sunday night and Monday morning, a cold front will provide the energy necessary to really turn on the snow machine and Monday should be a snowy and DEEP day around the Colorado resorts, with Tuesday also a fun day to explore the leftovers. Taking the day off of work or school on Monday would be a great use of your (ski) time!
The snow forecast for each resort is below - get out there and enjoy!
5-day snow forecast for Thursday (12/16) through Monday (12/20):
A-Basin: 6-16 inches
Beaver Creek: 11-22 inches
Breckenridge: 11-22 inches
Keystone: 6-16 inches
Vail: 11-22 inches
Heavenly and Northstar: 40-63 inches (about 3.5 to 5 FEET!)