A Mellow Storm Cycle Approaches

TL;DR: Warm Weather to be followed by a short storm tonight/Thursday; Warm temps again Friday with a fast-paced Northern storm on Saturday

Nowcast: What a wonderful couple of days we’ve had this week. Warm temps and sunny skies reminding us that Spring is on it’s way. Temps were in the mid to upper 40s at resort bases and mid to upper 20’s along the ridgelines. Some thin upper-level clouds developed this afternoon and winds have remain calm from the southeast.

What a lovely diurnal cycle – Solitude Base (www.weather.gov/wrh/)

Short-Term Forecast: A low pressure system will make it’s way across Southern Utah/Northern Arizona tonight and Thursday morning (pictured below). This will bring anywhere from a dusting to 3″ of snow in the Central Wasatch. The low pressure will be immediately followed by a building ridge Thursday afternoon leading to another bout of warm fair weather on Friday.

Valid 5 am Thursday, March 4th (tropicaltidbits.com

Here’s a current satallite image of the aforementioned trough centered over the Sierras/Southern Nevada.

NASA’s GOES-West March 3rd 16:36 MST (www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES)

Long-Term Forecast: Another chance for snow on Saturday as a fast-moving trough will make its way across Northern Utah. However, small accumulations are expected and most of the precipitation will be confined to more Northern Utah and Wyoming. This short cycle will once again be followed by warm and dry weather on Sunday.


An early March lull

TL;DR: Above normal temperatures followed by a closed low storm system bringing 4-6″ to Brian Head and roughly 1-3″ to the Wasatch Wednesday night into Thursday. Warming trend continues on Friday, with another weaker storm expected to arrive overnight into Sunday.

Nowcast: What a beautiful day! If we can’t get a snowstorm, at least we can experience a bluebird day on the slopes. Temperatures at the resorts are currently balmy, in the low-40s at the bases and near freezing at the highest elevations in the Wasatch. You can thank that high March sun for that, as well as high pressure throughout the Intermountain West. Winds around the region are relatively light and variable, with overall low-level flow out of the SSW.

Image courtesy Alta Ski Area.

Skies remain relatively clear too, with only some thin cirrus clouds filling in from the southwest, as shown by satellite imagery below.

Gif courtesy of College of DuPage.

Short-term: This warming trend will continue through late tomorrow (high temperature in the valley predicted to be near 60!), halted as the low pressure system currently centered off the coast of southern California advects over the southwestern US by Wednesday night. This system will bring precipitation to mainly southern Utah, with some showers extending north to the Wasatch. Plentiful moisture in the southern half of the state will bring roughly 4-6″ to Brian Head, and likely 1-3″ to the Cottonwoods and Park City/Deer Valley. Temperatures will remain slightly above normal during this storm system, with the warming trend returning on Friday as the upper-level trough exits the region.

Long-term: After a warm-up period on Friday and Saturday during the day, more seasonable temperatures return with another upper-level trough entering the region late Saturday. Unfortunately, it looks like this trough weakens as it moves inland and doesn’t seem to be a huge source of moisture. As of right now, the Wasatch may only see a few inches overnight into Sunday, but be sure to check back to see if anything changes!
– Julie

Slower Week

TL;DR: After a pretty fantastic February, things quiet down as we head into March. A storm will bring snow mostly to Southern Utah Wednesday night, and there’s some potential for snow in the Central/Northern Wasatch late in the weekend/early next week too.

Nowcast: Today was gorgeous up in the hills, if not a little toasty. The March sun pushed mountain temps into the 40s today, but the snow stayed cold and fresh if you kept to the more northerly aspects. I made sure to check that the landings were still soft (they are) by smashing into them all over Alta today:

Never mind the mediocre skiing, how about that deep blue sky?

Short Term: By Wednesday night, a closed low will trek northeastward into the region from Southern California. In doing so, it will draw moist tropical air from around the Gulf of California northward into the Southwest:

Blues and greens mean the atmosphere is anomalously moist.

This should fuel some snow in the Southern Mountains, perhaps up to 6″ of snow by Thursday night. Northern Utah will be mostly left out from this storm, however a couple snow showers are possible on Thursday afternoon. After that, high pressure will dominate the weather until the weekend.

Long Term: Another trough will approach Utah on Saturday/Sunday, bringing chances for snow. Not much confidence at such lead times, but it does appear there is some chance for a moderate snowfall to come this weekend. Also, ensembles suggest another period of active weather after next weekend. March 10-15th looks to have some good potential. Of course, forecasts for 2 weeks out are barely better than guesswork, so be sure to check back for updates. With some luck, we’ll be skiing deep pow again soon.


Spring Skiin

TLDR: Sunny, but chilly today in the mountains. Spring skiing conditions to follow with a relatively quiet long term forecast for now.

Nowcast: A light dusting overnight lead to light mountain accumulations of around an inch in most resorts. Winds are light/moderate, but temperatures are in the single digits this morning. The mountains are covered in a stratus blanket as the current trough exits the region.

Short-Term: Today looks to be sunny, and chilly in the mountains. The clouds should burn off later in the morning, giving way to mostly sunny skies in the mountain and valleys. Wind chill temperatures will hover in the low single digits throughout the day. A ridge begins to build into the mountain west today and will linger into mid next week. This ridge will bring high pressure, mostly cloudless skies, and mild temperatures. March will also flip the spring switch in the valleys, bringing springlike temperatures. Through Wednesday, the short term forecast is fairly quiet. Here is a current look at Alta:


Long-Term: The next trough passage through the region will be Wednesday. The weak trough is coming from the south-west. The models are isolating the impact of this trough to central and southern Utah, and will most likely not impact the central Wasatch. Reaching even further, there may be another trough on Sunday. Models are inconclusive on if it will reach far enough south to impact Utah. We will keep an eye on both in the next couple of days. For now, switch gears in to spring skiing mode. Also, Alta recorded 155 inches in February which is 21 inches more than December and January combined.


Quiet Week Ahead

TL;DR: Snow will wrap up this evening. High pressure will build into the western US tomorrow, which will keep conditions dry and mild through this upcoming week.

Dumping in the Cottonwoods today. Courtesy of Alta Ski Area: alta.com/weather

Nowcast: What a powder day! Snowbasin measured around 19 inches since lifts stopped spinning yesterday, while Alta measured 14 inches. Spotty convective snow showers will continue to roll through northern Utah this afternoon before tapering off this evening. It was quite the chilly day in the mountains, with highs only reaching the low-to-mid 10s across much of the Wasatch.

Spotty convective showers across northern Utah, currently seen here on radar, will continue through this afternoon. Courtesy of College of DuPage NEXLAB: https://weather.cod.edu/satrad/?parms=local-Salt_Lake-comp_radar-24-0-100-1&checked=map&colorbar=undefined

Short term: Not much will be going on as a ridge begins to build in over the western US tomorrow. Skies will begin clearing tonight to make way for bluebird days through midweek. Temperatures will gradually warm as well, with highs expected to reach the low 30s by Tuesday.

Long term: The possibility for a weekday storm is looking unlikely this upcoming week. The GFS and Euro ensembles both suggest that a strong trough will ride over a ridge settled over the N. Pacific, but it will split off into a closed low off the coast of California on Monday night. This system will continue traveling down the coast before shifting inland into southern CA, eventually making its way through the Desert Southwest midweek. Given the positioning of this system, any precipitation is expected to stay confined to southern Utah ski areas on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday’s system that may bring a few inches of snow to southern Utah. Courtesy of Pivotal Weather: pivotalweather.com

Right now, the GFS and Euro ensembles are suggesting that a weak system may bring a few inches to the Wasatch overnight next Saturday. However, anything can happen in the next week! We will keep our eye on this one as the week progresses.

Brittany Whitlam

Surprise! Another Weekend Pow Day

TL;DR – A brief storm will roll in this evening into tomorrow, with the bulk of precipitation coming overnight. Upper elevation resorts could see 8″-12″ of snowfall by Saturday afternoon.

Nowcast – A dry and chilly Friday will linger until the precipitation begins around 5 PM today. The heaviest precipitation rates will likely be coming down during the evening commute.

U of U Atmospheric Sciences

Short term – Precipitation rates will gradually decline throughout the day on Saturday, coming to a close in the evening. A weak warm front will move in afterwards, providing warmer temperatures and blue, sunny skies for Sunday and early next week. Temperatures in Salt Lake could reach the low 40’s on Sunday, and possibly even some days with highs above 50 early next week. Low winds during these days will make for some very pleasant weather all around.

Long term – There looks to be a trough heading our way in the latter half of next week, although the models have not quite decided on an exact day yet. Some are showing precipitation as early as Thursday, while others show – wait for it – more weekend precipitation. This season seems to be a weekend warrior’s paradise.


While we certainly are stacking up some snow, don’t let these recent storms fool you completely. We’re still sitting at approximately 75% of the median snowpack, and will need a lot more snow to make up for it in the next month or two.

Steve Mammano

A Weekend Refresh

TL;DR: Nice weather today will transition to increasing clouds and precipitation as we head into the weekend. Decent snowfall totals can be expected this weekend with drying and warming heading into next week.

Nowcast: What a beautiful morning across Northern Utah! With clear skies overnight, temperatures bottomed out this morning well into the single digits at all the Wasatch ski areas. If you’re out skiing today, expect continued chilly conditions with temps maxing out in the low 20s. Cloud cover will increase quite a bit by the late afternoon ahead of our weekend trough.

Snowbasin this morning – Snowbasin.com

Short-Term Forecast: This first batch of moisture moving through looks to be mostly elevated and won’t provide too much support for snowfall at the surface. Thus, a couple of inches maybe possible tomorrow in the Wasatch. The bigger event looks to come Friday night into Saturday morning when deeper moisture moves in. At that point, expect the highest snowfall potential with 7-14 inches looking pretty likely in the Wasatch mountains. Seen below is the SREF output for Brighton showing anywhere from 5 inches to 25 inches of snow through Sunday. The most likely amount is somewhere in the middle in the range of 7-14 inches.

Brighton Snowfall – weather.utah.edu

Long-Term Forecast: After Saturday, Sunday should be a bluebird day with leftover pow! Heading into next week, things don’t look ideal for snow with a building ridge and warming temperatures though there is still some uncertainty as to how warm it gets. Enjoy the last bit of Meteorological winter this weekend while you can!


Watching the Snowfall

TL;DR: A cold trough is currently tracking south through Utah that will bring light accumulation to the Central and Northern Wasatch Mountains. Another stronger storm will impact Utah beginning on Friday and lasting through the day on Saturday.

Currently snowing up at Alta! (alta.com)

Nowcast: It is currently snowing in the valley at the time I am writing this! Beaver Mountain in Northern Utah was the only resort to receive snow overnight with 2 inches reported. Accumulations will be light today with 1-3″ inches expected for the Central and Northern Mountains of Utah. Snow showers should begin to taper off this afternoon. It’s cold in the mountains today with temperatures in the mid to upper teens. Southwest wind is light today that shouldn’t exceed 15 mph.

Pictured is the larger trough that will bring moderate snowfall to Utah this weekend.(tropicaltidbits.com)

Short-Term Forecast: High pressure will take control tonight lasting through tomorrow until the next deeper trough makes way on Friday. Temperatures on Thursday won’t increase too much from today, but winds should pick up from the Northwest tomorrow night ahead of the low pressure system. Enjoy the bluebird turns tomorrow before a couple days of storm skiing!

Snow totals for the weekend courtesy of the University of Utah Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

Long-Term Forecast: With cold temperatures this weekend we should get the most out of the moisture that we get here in Utah. I would expect 6-12″ inches of snow in the Northern and Central Wasatch with a chance for the Cottonwoods to exceed that. After Saturday we begin to warm up as we head into next week where we will get the first taste of spring. The transitions back to a snowier pattern looks possible later next week, but we will have to wait a few days to gain clarity looking that far out. Enjoy the day today wether you make it to the slopes or not!


Sunny Today, Snowy Tomorrow

TL;DR: Slight snow this morning cleared up to reveal partly sunny skies today. Temperatures are mid-twenties in the Central Wasatch. Chance of small storm tomorrow afternoon bringing about 2-3” of snow.

Nowcast: Cloudy skies followed up the light snow this morning, but a cold front blew through this morning and afternoon bringing in drier air and clearer skies. The winds that were quite gusty last night have calmed down to about 10 mph with gusts to about 20 mph. Temperatures are in the mid-twenties right now and will continue to drop throughout the day. Tonight will be clear and windy up in the mountains of the Central Wasatch.

Short-term forecast: The GFS and ECMWF are showing a light storm rolling in tomorrow, starting in the late morning and continuing throughout the day and into the evening. Snowfall total will be a light 2-3”. The temperature highs will be in the mid-teens through low-twenties, warmer in the Wasatch Back than the Front, while northwesterly winds will be 5-15 mph. This small system will be followed up with some light ridging that will pass through the area on Thursday, bringing some drier air and mild southwest winds to the Central Wasatch.

A small trough that is shown to pass through Utah on Wednesday breaks off from mean flow followed by some brief ridging on Thursday. This leads into a more notable trough that sinks down into Utah on Friday, allowing for a larger storm this weekend. Courtesy of weatherbell.com

Mid-range forecast: Both GFS and ECMWF ensembles are showing that a larger trough will dig into Utah starting Friday morning, bringing in some moisture and lower temperatures. More snow is to be expected from the weather coming in over the weekend than the snow associated with the small shortwave trough that will pass through tomorrow into Thursday morning.

Some moisture will be seen throughout the week at Alta. Wednesday will bring some snowfall, followed up by about 24 hours of dryer air, ultimately into a larger system, showing potential for more snow throughout the weekend. Courtesy of weather.utah.edu

Precipitation totals: No snow from last night and nothing more than a dusting today. Tomorrow’s snow totals should come in around 3”. Hopefully a little more is in store for us this weekend. Though no amount of snow is going to sound impressive after the big dumps we got last week, any moisture is much appreciated as we are still just trying to bring our snow-water equivalents up to average…

Pauline Kneller

Mild Monday

TLDR: Mild mountain weather today before a brief storm passage on Wednesday. There is a potential for a more significant storm this weekend as Utah sits under an active pattern for the long term.

Nowcast: Stratus clouds cover most of the SLC valley, while the ski resorts are under lingering scattered clouds as the sun rises this morning. Temperatures are currently in the mid teens and will heat to the 20s this afternoon with light winds throughout. It looks like it will be a nice day to be on the mountain. Here is a current look at Alta:


Short-Term Forecast: Later today, the sun should help dissipate stratus clouds in the valley and resorts, giving way to clear skies. Tomorrow looks to be a bit colder than today with some scattered clouds that could produce flurries at times in the central Wasatch, but no accumulations are expected. This brief frontal passage lacks moisture. A brief weak trough breaks through the building ridge on Wednesday (depicted below). Wednesday will be a light dusting in the central Wasatch of about 2 inches if we are lucky. This system will increase cloud cover and winds slightly, but will dissipate quickly. Right now, Thursday looks to be a mild day on the mountains before yet another deep trough moves into the forecast area.


Long-Term Forecast: At this point, the models are in good agreement that there will be a storm this weekend. They do not agree on the strength. The upper end of the models show around a foot of snow Friday into Saturday, and the lower end shows half of that. The good news is that we are continuing to see an active pattern in the long term. For now there is no major ridges or pattern shifts on the horizon. We will need to see how the models align later in the week for the coming storm. A side not: Alta has recorded the best snow totals in ten years for the month of February. For now, keep your fingers crossed and skis pointed downhill.