A mostly clear weekend ahead with relatively warm mountain temperatures. Things start to change next week as moisture streams into the area. Significant snow possible later next week.
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Short Term Forecast
A weak system brushed the region yesterday. I was on a tour up in BCC and the sun was shining in the morning, but right around 1pm or so, the clouds rolled in and by 2pm, it was snowing lightly. Many resorts reporting an inch of new snow from yesterday's "storm". Otherwise, we are now under the influence of high pressure as we head into the weekend. Expect mostly sunny conditions and warm temps on the mountains this weekend. The valleys will be somewhat inverted with fog and gunk, so it's a good time to escape into the high elevations.
From a weather perspective, things start to change next week. This weekend we will see a system slide down the California coast and eject into the desert southwest. This won't have much impact on us in Utah, but it will set the stage for additional moisture to stream into Utah by about Tuesday of next week. The initial push of moisture is generally unorganized -- but on Tuesday and Wednesday we will see chances for high elevations snowfall. This moisture is streaming in from the southwest and is generally warmer in nature, so snow levels will likely rise above valleys.
The main impact of the moisture early next week will be to prime the atmosphere for a more organized piece of energy that will push in Thursday and/or Friday. This system looks to pack a decent punch per the latest models and could drop good precip in all Utah mountains. The latest GFS shows healthy snowfall totals thru Friday the 18th:
This is obviously good news. But there is quite a bit of uncertainty still, which is to be expected a week prior to an event. Mainly, what will snow levels be, what will be exact precip amount, and what will be the timing. This uncertainty is reflected in the below GFS ensemble plumes:
This goes thru about Thursday evening, you can see that some ensembles have upwards of 2.0" of liquid by then, while others barely have any. The general trend has been upward though, so I'm optimistic that a good storm is in the cards.
We will have a storm heading into MLK weekend, then perhaps a break during the weekend itself. Then, both the EC and GFS indicate another system could be possible right around the end of MLK weekend (~Jan 21). Of course, this is right at the end of the 10-day model range and confidence in any such event is extremely low.
Evan | OpenSnow
As indicated above, there's pretty good snowfall potential with the upcoming change next week. However, confidence remains low, and therefore stoke is still only barely creeping into "medium" range...
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