Expect to ski in the snow on Friday as snowfall will increase by late morning. A low snow level of 1,500 ft will start the day, but a new incoming warm front will cause the snow level on Friday to slowly rise to 2,500, as the snowfall picks up. Expect 2-4 during your ski day. The snow level on Friday should stay low enough for snow on all the slopes most of the day. More snowfall will pile up Friday night (2-6) as the snow level continues to rise into Saturday morning.
Saturday may be challenging with a moderate snow level of 4,500 feet. That means a rain snow mix on the lower slopes, while snow accumulates on the upper slopes (3-7). But cold air is on the way and will rescue the ski slopes by later Saturday. By late afternoon and evening on Saturday, the snow level will start dropping make that start plunging downward, as a cold front pushes through the region, dragging in a northerly flow and chilly air. That will turn the rain / snow mix (aka lumpy rain) on the lower slopes into wonderful soft light powder. Unfortunately that changeover occurs just as the moisture tapers off in the cool and drier flow of air on Saturday evening. However in the transition, we still may be able to squeeze out 2-6 (or more) of snow to refresh the wet, sticky snowfall of earlier Saturday.
That potentially sets up a quality day skiing on Sunday with new snow off piste and fabulous cold squeaky groomers. The weather will be chilly on Sunday which will keep the snow in good shape all day.Obviously, my preference is Sunday, if you have a choice this weekend.
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day will be cold with little or no new snow and even some partial clearing (sun breaks) while the weather remains cold as high pressure moves in to block storms for several days. The next chance of significant new snow is toward the end of next week. Friday (Jan 4) looks like we will see a new storm, with modest new snowfall in the Cascades.
Submitted for your consideration: check out night skiing options over the holidays at Crystal, The Summit, Stevens and White Pass.
Your Grand Poobah of Powder
Larry Schick - meteorologist