Never miss a beat! Receive The Utah Daily Snow via email the moment it's written. Start your FREE OpenSnow Super Pro trial today!
8:45 AM… Updated graph…
Is a 20+” storm possible in the Cottonwoods….maybe?
A very fun and powdery weekend lies ahead. This morning’s model runs have continued the trend of making this system look better and better. Hence, why we’ve seen our forecasted snow totals go from 3-6″ two days ago, to 5-10″ yesterday, to a new forecast of 8-16″ today. Not that we mind having to make these upward adjustments.
This is a unique system for two reasons. The first reason is that it is going to affect the entire state with a hefty dose of precipitation — it’s not uncommon for a storm to affect the entire state, but it is uncommon for it to be so broad in its effects. This leads us to our second reason — the cold air already in place. Not often do we have a cold arctic storm like this entering an already record cold environment. The combination of these two factors means all elevations and latitudes of Utah will stand a good chance of seeing accumulating snowfall. I can’t remember another time in the last 5 years when that has been the case.
A southwest flow will develop ahead of the system late today through tonight. We should gradually start to see an increase in snow showers in the Wasatch. By the time lifts open tomorrow, there will probably only be an inch or two on the ground. However, it should snow through most of the day Saturday with conditions only getting deeper.
The flow will turns more northwesterly late in the day on Saturday after the passage of the trough axis. This is the flow that is notoriously good for bringing places like the Cottonwoods their biggest totals. Orographics will keep snow going at least through Saturday night and likely into Sunday. Lake enhancement will also be a factor. Every global model shows good enhancement southeast of the lake.
Sunday is going to be the real money POWDER DAY. Right now I think by Sunday night, total accumulations in the Wasatch will be in the 8-16″ range — with a chance for more in the Cottonwoods, especially if a lake effect band sets up. We’ll keep a close eye on that this weekend. Here was last night’s graphical look at accumulations for the Upper Cottonwoods:
Gives you an idea of the potential… I’ll post an updated graph later this morning.
Looking ahead, we’ll be dry for most of next week with a gradual warm up. Next chance for a storm is late Thursday or Friday!
It’s only going to get better and better out there this weekend! Enjoy!
Evan | OpenSnow
Another bitterly cold morning in Utah. Weather Underground's wundermap does a good job showing us the temperature range in the SLC area:
Generally single digits in the lower valleys with below zero readings in the high elevations. High elevation valleys, where the cold air sinks overnight are showing the lowest readings. -15 F for Snyderville Basin and PC! -17 for Heber City. Brrrrr! Bundle up today if you're going anywhere, much less skiing.
This afternoon will be cold with a chance for a few afternoon snow showers in the mountains as a weak impulse moves over the area.
Tomorrow, the next system will be approaching the area. Advected moisture will give us another chance for a few afternoon snow showers. The main event will move in Saturday, with snow likely for all elevations. The best energy with this system will pass to our west then to our south, so Southern Utah will do very well. The Wasatch will still see a decent snow event however, as the cold pool will squeeze out every last bit of moisture in the air. Yesterday we said 3-6", but with a bit more confidence, we are going to bump that up to 5-10" between late Friday and Sunday morning. Saturday and Sunday should be good ski days.
We will dry out and slowly start to warm up early next week. The next chance for snow is still looking to be around Thursday, December 12. Not much model agreement quite yet on how to handle that system, so there's no point going into depth.
The ski bases continue to build, cold air continues to allow for round-the-clock snowmaking, and more snow is in the forecast. Nothing to complain about!
Have a great day!
Evan | OpenSnow
Snow over northern Utah has stopped today, but it's still snowing down south. Brian Head is reporting 14" overnight and still coming down hard.
Final totals for the Wasatch look like this:
- 12" Snowbasin
- 15" Alta/Snowbird/Sundance
- 16" Brighton/Canyons
- 18" PCMR
- 19" Deer Valley/Solitude
Overall, the storm performed at or above what we expected, so smiles all around!
The other story is cold air. Mountains are in the single digits right now, valleys aren't much better. Peter Sinks, in far northern Utah, was reporting a temp of -30F earlier this morning. It's going to be frigid up there today so bundle up.
Today, tomorrow and Friday will be partly cloudy and cold. There will be chances for occasional snow at times as very weak impulses move through and the cold air squeezes out any moisture.
The next system will move in on Saturday. All models take this system and drop it south down the California coast before moving it inland to our south. Northern Utah will still see a cold front and should see 3-6" of mountain snow, but the best snow will once again fall for far Southern Utah.
Next week we start off with high pressure as this frigid trough finally moves east. Cold air will still be trapped in the valleys however. It looks like we will be entering a more zonal pattern next week. The jet stream will be less amplified and we will see warmer systems enter the area. This doesn't mean warm tropical systems, just not as bitterly cold as this week's. Details on this pattern are still vague, but it looks like the next system of note could be around the 11th or 12th. We'll keep you updated!
Enjoy all the fresh snow!
Evan | OpenSnow
Everything is on track. Warm advection precip brought 1-4" of snow yesterday afternoon and evening to the high elevations. The front has now moved through SLC early this morning and post frontal snow is abundant at all elevations throughout the Wasatch. Here is a look at the radar at 5:30 AM:
Moderate to heavy snow currently extends from Provo all the way up north of Ogden. This will slowly sag south today. We may see snow taper off north of Provo by mid-day but we think it will fire back up again tonight.
Snowfall amounts so far in the Wasatch are tough to gauge. Webcams show about 2-4" in the Cottonwoods with heavy snow adding 1-2" per hour currently. They should be at about 6-8" by the time the lifts run at 9 AM. The Canyons is the only resort I can find with an updated snow report so far this morning and they are showing 6" of new snow, though most of that is probably mid-mountain or above as it was raining at the base yesterday evening.
I'm using the following NAM forecast graph to compare our progress to the forecast:
We are right about at the 5 AM forecast for Tuesday of 4" average. It'll be fun to watch to see if we can get above the forecast of 12" by 5 PM in the Upper Cottonwoods.
Tomorrow things will quiet down. Another week disturbance moves in on Thursday and should add a couple more inches. Cold air and the chance for snow lingers on Friday. The storm system for this weekend looks to be taking most of its energy west, then south of the area. I still think we'll see a few more inches of snow this weekend. Next week looks unsettled with more storms but not quite as frigid.
Winter is definitely here! Go get some powder!
Evan | OpenSnow
An exciting week ahead of us, so let’s get right into it.
Winds will be strong today as the front approaches the area. There will be plenty of clouds and light snow or rime is possible in the high elevations. The main front will move into the northern Wasatch late this afternoon and reach SLC by midnight. Overnight, the Wasatch should see a quick burst of snow with snow levels dropping to all valley floors. Snow should taper by sunrise north of I-80 where I expect 4-8″ to fall. South of I-80, snow should continue at least through mid-morning tomorrow before we probably see a break in the action. Accumulations south of I-80 should be in the 6-12″ range by Tuesday afternoon.
The front will stall tomorrow south of SLC… It looks like from about Provo south to Cedar City will get hammered with the mountains of Central Utah seeing 10-20″ by late Wednesday.
The Wasatch will see light snow re-develop in a more showery format Tuesday night into Wednesday. Additional accumulations look to be in the 3-6″ range through Wednesday night.
Overall, I think total accumulations through Wednesday night look like this:
- Wasatch north of I-80 above 6,000 feet: 6-12″
- Wasatch south of I-80 and north of Provo: 8-14″
- Mountains of central/southern Utah: 10-20″
NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains south of I-80, forecasting 1-2 feet. Remember, their job is to protect lives, so they assume the worst cast scenario. I think the more likely scenario, at least at Cottonwoods and PC resorts is the 8-14″ range.
On Thursday, the NAM pushes some more energy into the area. It’s very weak, but it could very well bring us a few inches, as the cold air will squeeze out every last snowflake. Friday will again have some more chances for light snow.
The next system is progged to move in on Saturday or Saturday night. This storm will reinforce the cold air and bring the entire state a shot at more snow. Doesn’t look like a major storm, but another 4-12″ is certainly possible for the weekend warriors. This is 5 days away still so subject to change but worth noting for sure.
The skiing will be great this week. Tuesday will be a powder day with 4-12″ of new snow in the Wasatch. Additional accumulations on top of that should make Wednesday fun as well. Thursday/Friday have a chance for more snow too. Then the weekend storm looks to make Saturday and/or Sunday a powder day too. Bosses be warned: there are a lot of “sick” people this week.
The other story for this week is the cold air. If you don’t know already, this is probably going to be the coldest week of the entire winter season for Utah. Temps on the mountain tops will struggle later this week to get above 0 F. In the valleys, we will be stuck in the teens and low 20s. Take winter precautions NOW.
A quick look at next week shows a good chance for continued active weather with a more typical (not so frigid) storm track. Good signs all around.
Evan | OpenSnow