April Showers

Posted Friday, April 7th, 2017 by Trey Alvey

Weekend warriors rejoice, another weekend of good skiing with fresh powder is on tap. A classic Spring storm system is upon us, evident by the strong winds from a tightening pressure gradient and approaching cold front. Other than the occasional brief shower, the bulk of the precipitation will begin moving in overnight (late Friday/early Saturday). An initial shortwave trough will bring the cold front into Northern Utah and it should remain stalled there during the day Saturday. I think the big winners during the day will be the far Northern Wasatch including Beaver Mountain. My one concern is the warm temperatures and high snow levels – Beaver Mountain with a base elevation near 7000 feet will likely be flirting with rain lower mountain. Make sure you bust out your best goretex – it’s going to be a wet one!

ecmwf_precip_06_slc_6
ECMWF forecasted precipitation during the day Saturday
ecmwf_t700_slc_6
ECMWF 700 mb temperatures Saturday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday night is when the storm should begin really producing the goods for areas like the Cottonwoods. The meat of the trough will move across Northern Utah and begin to tilt negatively as it moves towards the east. Without getting too much into technicalities this storm will have some pretty good dynamics associated with it. In addition, 700 mb temperatures will crash below -10 C Saturday night. With favorable moisture for a cold, moist NW flow this is combining to be the perfect recipe for a solid Spring powder day on Sunday. For totals I’m expecting 8 – 16 inches ABOVE mid-mountain for the Northern Wasatch. With favorable NW flow I think the Cottonwoods should come out in the 12 – 20 inch range.

NAMET_KSLC2017040712F084
Time height cross section showing frontal passage and moist NW flow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *