Utah Daily Snow

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By Evan Thayer, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago February 23, 2024

Days of Sun and Warmth, But Snow Returns

Summary

We will see a sunny and warm weekend. By Monday, the next storm moves in with snow throughout Utah mountains into Tuesday. Additional storms look likely in March as well.

Short Term Forecast

Yesterday we saw clouds gradually clear, although there were some snow showers here and there. Now, sunny skies and warming temps will be the order of the weekend. Honestly, welcome news from my perspective to get outside and do a bit spring-style skiing and other activities. 

It won't be long before the next storm rolls in. We have until Monday, in fact. I talked about how potent this storm was in yesterday's models. We have seen some change in how the models are handling the storm, particularly in the Euro. The trough is not as deep coming out of the northwest. Therefore, it picks up less moisture from the low off the California coast. This brings less precipitation. The GFS has trended a little bit toward the Euro, but not as dramatically. You can see the difference in the two models here, with the Euro on the left and GFS on the right:

Notice that at the same time on Tuesday early morning, the GFS (right) is much deeper with the trough. Because of this lack of moisture and faster progression, we have seen models come down a bit on total precip. Here is the latest NBM:

Definitely a bit less than we saw yesterday. Also visible in the GEFS trends:

Now before we shed tears, there is an upside to this. We will be spending less time in the warm sector of the storm. It should cool off faster late on Monday and into early Tuesday. That means the snow that we ski on Tuesday will be less dense. 

Also, less snow doesn't necessarily mean not enough snow. We are still looking at 0.75-1.5" of liquid in the northern Utah mountains from midday Monday through Tuesday. That would mean 10-20" of snow. Not bad.

Interestingly, I re-checked the Alta-Collins data today. We definitely did break the record (back to 1980) for wettest February with 13.57" so far. As for snow, we would need another 21" to tie the February record of 165.5" set in 1998. It's going to be very close. 

Extended Forecast

We should clear out midweek next week. But it's worth noting that there are a few ensembles of the Euro that try to bring a weak system into the area late next week (around March 1). We have much better agreement from Euro and GFS members for a storm arriving sometime around late March 2 through March 3. 

This is still 8-10 days away, so not too confident yet, but it could be another decent storm out of the northwest. It would be a good way to kick off March. 

Snowpack:

Just a quick update on overall snowpack in Utah. We are doing great! All river basins are at or above the median for the date:

Statewide average is very healthy at 118% of median:

That is 86% of the median peak, which means that a few more good storms should ensure that we have an above-average year from a statewide perspective. 

Evan | OpenSnow

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Evan Thayer

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To Evan, 'The Greatest Snow on Earth' is more than just a motto - it’s a way of life. In 2010, he started Wasatch Snow Forecast as a way to share the best powder days with his fellow snow-lovers. Evan brings the same quality forecasts and weather discussions to OpenSnow and hopes you enjoy skiing/riding Utah as much as he does.

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