A windy today ahead of a potent system that pushes in this evening into tonight and Tuesday. This system is warm with rain up to high elevations that will eventually change to snow. Quieter weather arrives late this week.
Short Term Forecast
Today's the day the storm arrives... sort of. The main impact of our incoming storm today is wind. We are already seeing wind gusts in valleys in the area of 70mph in a few spots. I expect those to continue and strengthen today. A few rain showers possible during the day today, but the heart of the storm arrives this evening into tonight.
Rain will fall initially up to near 10k feet in the Wasatch this evening and early tonight. The cold front will eventually move through and drop snow levels down to around 7500ft, perhaps a bit lower by Tuesday morning. Lots of liquid overnight with upwards of an inch or more in the valleys and 1-2" in the mountains. NW flow continues into Tuesday with snow continuing in favored areas like the Cottonwoods.
Here is a look at Upper Cottonwood liquid QPF:
Showing over an inch, but I think this is underdone. Here is the snow equivalent:
About 9", but again, could be underdone by a bit.
The GEFS plumes continue to show more than 1.5" of liquid for this same area and I think that's fair. Let's assume an average ratio of about 8:1 for 9000ft and we are looking at totals of about a foot in the Cottonwoods.
Unfortunately, not every region has the elevation and favorability of the Cottonwoods, so most Wasatch resorts will likely see less snow, probably in the 4-8" range for the upper mountain. We absolutely could do better if the cold air moves in quicker or heavy precip pushes down snow levels, but I'm keeping my expectations low with a messy storm like this.
Here is a map of the snowfall for Northern Utah:
Don't worry too much about the exact totals shown as this is the 3km NAM and tends to overdo things, but this is an illustration of what areas should see at least some snow.
As for southern Utah, not nearly as much precip, but the mountains there should also see snow above 9k feet. Eagle Point and Brian Head could see several inches of new snow as well.
We will clear out Tuesday night into Wednesday and see relatively quiet weather later this week with gradual warming as high pressure takes control.
High pressure is the dominant theme to end October and begin November. I think we'll see a good 1-2 week break at least before our next storm. Some models have hinted at a more active pattern returning sometime around or just after November 7 -- I'm not sure I buy that. I will continue to monitor and let you know.
Evan | OpenSnow
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