This weekend brought a much needed refresher to the mountains of Utah.. Over the past 48 hours, Snowbird reported a total of 18″, Brighton received 13″ and PCMR racked up 8″
According to the NRCS, we’re still sitting pretty at nearly 150% of normal for snow water equivalent for this time of year..
Unfortunately these warm temperatures are not going to help maintain the snowpack, especially at low elevations. Today’s highs were unseasonably warm for February and the worst has yet to come. Monday’s high temperatures should climb to above freezing all the way to crest level, which will unfortunately cause melting and refreezing on the top layer of snow, further worsening the conditions.
Overnight, some convective storms could initiate thanks to some weak low to mid-level instability from the warm surface temperatures we experienced today (see 00Z KSLC Sounding below). This combined with the moist southwest flow, could result in isolated thunderstorms in the valley and snow or graupel-type precip at higher elevations, depending on the strength of the updrafts. I would expect maybe 1-4″ of additional frozen precip in the high elevations of the Wasatch through Monday morning.
Looking ahead, there will be a few small disturbances Monday night through Tuesday, but Wednesday is when the real cool down occurs along with our next solid chance of snow in the Wasatch.
Freezings levels will plummet back down the valley floor for the anticipated “return of winter temps”. Along with cold temperatures, it looks like this trough will supply a moderate amount of moisture. QPF estimates range from 1-2.5″ for the Wednesday storm, with the GFS looking the most bullish. I wont throw out any totals just yet, but it looks like it could be a good one!