Utah Daily Snow
By Evan Thayer, Forecaster Posted 3 months ago November 28, 2023
A storm will bring rounds of snowfall to the region starting Friday and continuing off and on through the weekend. By Monday, significant totals could be possible in a few areas. Drier conditions return for next week.
Short Term Forecast
Positive signs over the past 24 hours as we start to come within the range of higher resolution models which have confirmed the GFS and Euro's ideas of waves of moisture moving through Utah this weekend. These higher-resolution models do a better job showing how the terrain can help lift the moisture and generate precipitation.
We will remain dry today and Wednesday. A weak cutoff low will spin through Arizona and far southern Utah could see some showers late Wednesday through early Thursday with an increase in clouds and breezes in the north. Mostly dry on Thursday but clouds will continue to be on the increase.
Starting Friday, we will see a series of impulses move across the west bringing good moisture. There is not much in the way of storm dynamics, but the mountains themselves, as mentioned above, should do a good job aiding in providing the requisite "lift" this moisture needs -- this is orographics.
The first wave is timing for Friday. This first wave on Friday morning should be fairly weak, but we could see a few inches of snow in the mountains and conditions will improve quickly. The NBM's total liquid through early Saturday morning is somewhat meager:
Then, we should see a stronger wave push in on Saturday. Snow during much of the day appears likely in the Wasatch. By early Sunday morning, we are expecting considerably higher QPF:
Finally, a third wave later on Sunday into Sunday night and early Monday could cap off this series. There is a bit of model disagreement on how deep this last wave digs, but right now the overall blend of models still shows more precipitation with the following totals by late in the day Monday:
That's a hefty amount of liquid in the mountains, but it's falling over a long-duration, so don't expect it all at once.
As for temperatures, they should start cold on Friday and stay cool Saturday. We could see some warming for the final wave on Sunday, but I don't expect that to cause snow level issues -- we are just going to get a bit denser snow.
Looking at some individual sites using our OpenSnow algorithm, we can see Alta doing well with 1.5" of liquid total:
The leeward side of the Wasatch also looks to do well with Deer Valley showing over an inch of liquid in the same period:
U of U has NAEFS plumes which are even more aggressive (they typically are) with the precip:
This shows over 2" of liquid in the upper Cottonwoods. Finally, let's look at all of this using a snowfall parameter.
Like I mentioned, this is a long-duration event and there will be big breaks in precipitation. I wouldn't expect there to be any huge totals on any one day, but the cumulative effect will be some potentially significant totals. Right now I'd say 1-2 FEET of snow total by Monday evening in the Cottonwoods with 8-16" for Park City area, Snowbasin, PowMow, Sundance, and Beaver Mountain.
We look to clear out by Tuesday of next week and a period of high pressure and drier weather looks likely. No consensus yet on when this could end. Time will tell. For now, we can pay closer attention to what's coming in the imminent pipeline.
Evan | OpenSnow
Last week, Tahoe Daily Snow forecast Bryan Allegretto and I joined Blister Podcast to talk about all things snow. It was fun! You can give it a listen here:
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