Snow returns to the mountains of Utah on Thursday as a splitting system pushes through the region. Modest accumulations are likely. Another similar system moves through for Saturday. Then, perhaps a stronger storm to begin next week. Several chances for powder over the coming week.
Short Term Forecast
Yesterday's forecast was titled "Weak, Weak, Strong," and that still seems to be the case as three independent systems line up to affect the region over the next 7 days.
The first in this series is currently hammering Washington and BC with very heavy rain and snow. This system will weaken and split as it drops south and east down the west coast. That will mean it will favor areas to our south, such as Arizona. Southern Utah mountains can expect snow to develop late tonight with 6-12" above 8,000 feet. For northern Utah, I think generally 3-6" is most likely for our mountains, although regions favored by SW flow (Brighton, Sundance, Deer Valley) could do a bit better. My confidence is low with this storm.
Friday should have some moderately deep powder in the morning, but will be a break in the action as the next system moves in for late Friday night into Saturday. This system again is sliding south of the region and will favor those areas farther south. Another 3-6" for northern mountains with 5-10" for the southern Utah mountains from this storm. Saturday should be good storm day skiing for many locations.
Sunday is another break in the action before the third storm arrives Sunday night into Monday. This storm has been looking significantly stronger than the first two. However, this system could also slide a bit south and take some of its best moisture with it. Looking at the NAEFS plumes, like we did yesterday, you can see the first two storms are on the weaker side, then the third is much stronger:
If you're looking for more continuous deep powder, then perhaps heading west is your best option. Tahoe, for once, looks like they won't struggle with snow levels for most of these upcoming storms. Central Sierra Snow Lab near Donner Summit has some mighty fine accumulations on the way...
Perhaps not a bad time to make a pilgrimage west, but my experience has taught me that when you bet against Utah, you often get burned.
At this point, all signs continue to indicate that we ridge up by January 25th and see dry conditions carry us through the end of the month and perhaps beyond.
Evan | OpenSnow
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