Black Friday Snow Special!

Posted Friday, November 23rd, 2018 by Lucas Bohne

Highlights

– Winter Storm Warning in effect for the Wasatch Mountains both north and south of I-80, with 1-2 feet of snow expected by midday Saturday (locally higher amounts possible).

– Clearing Sunday -Tuesday, with potential for another period of wet and active weather beginning later Tuesday.

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There was lots of excitement (and face shots!?) today for those who opted for Alta’s opening day over Black Friday deals, as seen by Alta’s Instagram post from earlier today – see below. Northern Utah resorts were reporting new snowfall of generally 4-8″ over the last 24 hours, with additional showers putting down some minor accumulations during the day today. Another great day is likely in store for skiers tomorrow (Snowbird’s opening day) as snow intensifies overnight and continues through the day tomorrow which is arguably the best deal of all.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqidKQnn_NZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Short Term Forecast (Tonight through Saturday)

A widespread shield of light to moderate precipitation is working its way toward the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Mountains early this evening. Lower levels (valleys) are mild and dry at this time, but all elevations will see precipitation intensity increase this evening and continue overnight,  but higher elevations will have more continuous precipitation as moist flow from the west continues. Snow levels should remain fairly high (~7000-7500 feet) as warm conditions persist, leading to accumulations of heavy and wet snow during the overnight hours.

A cold front on Saturday will make snow levels plummet down to valley floors. Model guidance shows a strong front dropping temperatures by 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit around sunrise Saturday morning. Precipitation intensity is expected to increase yet again with the passage of the cold front, allowing for a several hour period of heavy snowfall. Your morning commute to the ski areas will very likely be impacted. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Wasatch Mountains both north and south of I-80, with 1-2 feet of snow expected by midday Saturday (locally higher amounts possible). Below are snowfall forecasts from the National Weather Service, with 24-30″ in the Cottonwoods and 16-24″ for Park City Resorts.

National Weather Service forecast snow totals through Saturday (https://www.weather.gov/slc/)
National Weather Service forecast snow totals through Saturday (https://www.weather.gov/slc/)

Mid-Range Forecast (Sunday – Tuesday)

A period of drier conditions will begin late on Saturday, although some post-frontal showers may continue in areas into the overnight hours. Northerly flow on Sunday will lead to cold conditions in the mountains, but skies should be much clearer in comparison to Saturday. These chilly temperatures should recover slightly as the work week progresses but no additional precipitation is expected through Tuesday. Another round of moisture may move into the area later Tuesday or on Wednesday which could be the beginning of another few days of active weather. Fortunately, a long period of high pressure does not seem to be into the forecast which is great for our mountain snowpack and lungs!

NCEP GFS ensemble members for the next 15 days at 850 millibars (~5000 feet) showing temperature in degrees C (top lines, left axis) and precipitation in mm (bottom lines, right axis). It's looking like a few calm days for northern Utah at the beginning of the week after our Friday night/Saturday storm, with another period of active weather beginning around Wednesday. (http://www.wetterzentrale.de/en)
NCEP GFS ensemble members for the next 15 days at 850 millibars (~5000 feet) showing temperature in degrees C (top lines, left axis) and precipitation in mm (bottom lines, right axis). It’s looking like a few calm days for northern Utah at the beginning of the week after our Friday night/Saturday storm, with another period of active weather beginning around Wednesday. (http://www.wetterzentrale.de/en)

Enjoy the rest of your chilly and snowy holiday weekend!

-Lucas

 

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