Where to Ski This Week: 12/12/14

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Winter Storm Damon impacted the Northeast during the middle of the week and multiple resorts in Vermont and New York are reporting between 18 and 24 inches of new snow in the last 72 hours. Damon isn't finished yet as another 6-12 inches of snow are forecasted into the weekend. Sugarbush, Stowe, Smuggler's Notch, and Jay Peak in Vermont are all looking fantastic with two feet of fresh powder from Damon this week with more on the way. It's still early in the season so open runs are limited but there should be plenty of runs open by the weekend.

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In New York, Hunter Mountain, Gore Mountain, and Whiteface are all reporting over a foot of snow with heavy snowfall piling up every hour. Whiteface resort lost power during the storm, but will be up and running for the weekend. All in all, it will be a great weekend of skiing in the Northeast from Maine (Sugarloaf received 18 inches in the last 72 hours) to New York with the best skiing found in Vermont and perhaps Whiteface's 3,000 vertical feet.
The Pineapple Express atmospheric river is up and running again this week, funneling moisture and warm air from Hawaii directly to the West Coast. While areas of coastal California are bracing for multiple inches of rain, the mountain regions from Washington, Oregon and California are licking their lips in anticipation. The major issue during this storm will be temperature and wind, as the warm tropical air that's coming ashore with the moisture will keep the snow level well above 8,000 feet for most of the Sierra Mountains during the beginning of the storm while wind gusts could top 100mph. The snow level will eventually drop to around 7,000 feet by Saturday according to forecasts with the possibility of multiple feet of snow for the Lake Tahoe area. So keep your fingers crossed and make sure to check the status of I-80 before heading up there since they are expecting it to close for periods of time during the storm.

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Pacific Northwest
For Oregon and Washington, over a foot of snow is expected throughout the mountains but temperature is an issue. Mt. Baker in Washington is reporting rain and wind, hoping that the cooling pattern moves in and turns that rain into snow by the weekend. Oregon's Mt. Bachelor is reporting deep snow up high with extremely high winds and rain down low, but is also hoping it all turns to snow with the cooler air forecasted for this weekend.

Rocky Mountains
The Pineapple Express will push the front inland over the weekend and snow is forecasted throughout the Rocky Mountains from Montana and Idaho to Colorado with Utah's Wasatch Range positioned to reap the most snow. The forecasts for the weekend range from two inches to a foot, but the general trend is for this storm to weaken as it moves inland. There will still be areas of heavy snowfall with your best bet being the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons of Utah at resorts like Snowbird.

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