Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert

Posted Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 by Tanner Visnick

TL; DR: A weak disturbance will move through this afternoon, dropping a quick 1-3 inches. Off and on showers will persist through Friday morning with a few additional inches expected (especially in LCC). Break on Friday, then two stronger storms will impact the region making for a fantastic MLK weekend!

Current Conditions: Good morning Utah skiers and riders. I am currently writing from New Hampshire where conditions are cold and the snowpack is thin. This morning temperatures are in the low 30s at most base areas and low 20s at ridge line, coupled with strong southerly winds.

Image courtesy of MesoWest

Short Term: This week we’ll have a series of disturbances. Each one will be better than the last so I’m calling it the appetizer, entrée, and dessert. For the appetizer round, a weak disturbance will enter the region giving us a quick shot of snow. Winds will transition to the northwest, favoring LCC. Below are the time heights for Alta showing strong southerly pre-frontal winds, followed by northwesterly post frontal winds beginning around 18z or 1 pm MST. Expect 1-3 inches for most mountains, with upwards 5 at Alta/Snowbird.

Image courtesy of University of Utah

We have a break on Wednesday night into Thursday, then off and on snow showers will persist until Friday morning. Expect a few more inches of light dry snow. Then the fun begins.

Near Short Term: For the entrée round, moisture streaming in from Oregon will impact the region starting Saturday morning. It’s too early to nail down the details, but the NAEFS plumes for Collins show significant totals (shown below) . The Canadian members (CMCE) are the most bullish, but they tend to overestimate snowfall so I would air more towards the GEFS mean. The snow will last through Sunday evening (with a brief break on Saturday night) before more snow impacts the region on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with significant accumulations possible (final uptick on the plumes). This dessert round will finish off a fantastic week of skiing with the powder continuing to pile up.

Image courtesy of University of Utah

Recap: Lots of snow will fall over the next 7 days. The Cottonwoods could see several feet with 4 feet not out of the question. Timing of the heaviest snow will change so stay tuned to Utah Ski Weather for the latest information. Get those powder skis and boards ready for an exciting week!

-Tanner Visnick


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