Utah Daily Snow

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By Evan Thayer, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago February 28, 2024

Two Days of Sun, then Wind, Cold, Snow Returns this Weekend

Summary

We remain cold but will warm up considerably today, Thursday and Friday. A storm approaches on Friday with the main front pushing through on Saturday afternoon and cold lingering through Sunday. Additional storms are possible later next week.

Short Term Forecast

Our storm has departed. Storm totals varied but 14" at Alta, 13" at Beaver Mountain, Brighton, and Snowbird. 10-12" in Park City. 8" at Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. Again, the final forecast on Monday was 6-12" so we did well enough, all things considered. However, there was certainly a point last week when the storm was looking better so of course I wish we saw higher totals. 

The other story yesterday was the cold and wind. Yesterday was one of the coldest days I've ever skied. Twice, our group had to go inside to warm up because it was in the low single digits with strong winds. Brrr! It wasn't deep, and there was some "under chunder" in play, but we were able to find some very good snow. 

Today, the sun will shine and we will start to warm up. Thursday will also be sunny and even warmer. 

Friday, we remain warm, but start to see clouds and even showers in northern Utah as the storm system approaches and we see a moist SW flow. It's possible we get some light accumulation of creamy snow in the high elevations Friday and Friday night. 

The main event arrives on Saturday with the heaviest snow looking likely to drop into Northern Utah midday through the afternoon. This system is unleashing most of its fury on Tahoe. There's also a stalled front that aims precip to our north at the Tetons for a long period early in the weekend. By the time the front moves through Utah, it is likely to be in a somewhat weakened state. 

Still, there's enough moisture that decent snowfall amounts will be possible. Here is the Euro total precipitation through the weekend: 

Notice the high amounts in the Sierra Nevada and also toward the Tetons. Looking at the Central Wasatch, Brighton GEFS ensembles show a mean precip total of about 1.7":

There's still a decent amount of variability. As I look at other locations around Utah, I see generally less precip expected. Overall, I think 0.75-1.5" is the most likely range for most mountains. 

As for temperatures, they are going to fall on Saturday and we will be cold by Sunday as snow showers linger in a northwest flow. Snow-to-liquid ratios will start around 10:1 early Saturday but increase to 15:1 or higher later in the storm. 

Right now, I think 8-16" of snow is likely for most mountains in Utah but I think that is going to vary quite a bit depending on exact locations, so I'll work to fine-tune as we get closer. Sunday still looks like the best day for powder. 

The final component is wind. This is a windier-than-normal storm which means again we may be dealing with wind-impacted snow and perhaps some lift holds. Keep that in mind Friday through the weekend. 

Extended Forecast

We seem to have jumped on the spring roller coaster. A pattern in which we get 2-4 days of break followed by 2-3 days of storminess. Next week, we should see a general break early in the week. Then, models have solidified the idea of a storm later in the week on Thurs-Fri (March 7-8). Too early for details, but some type of storm system impacting Utah seems likely. 

Then, there are signs of ensembles coming together on another storm possibly early in the following week. 

Overall, these systems favor the west coast for high precipitation as they move in off the Pacific rather than drop in from the northwest. Still, Utah expected to get higher-than-normal precip for the first 10 days of March:

That should allow for additional powder days and should keep our overall snowpack above normal for the foreseeable future. 

Evan | OpenSnow

About Our Forecaster

Evan Thayer

Forecaster

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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