Clear Skies followed by some New Year’s Eve Snow

Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 by Pauline Kneller

TL;DR

Clear skies with mid-low temperatures on the 29th and the 30th, expected northeasterly winds around 10 mph tomorrow. Small snowstorm expected starting the night of the 30th into the afternoon of the 31st that should bring a few inches of new snow to the North and Central Wasatch.

Nowcast

The recent storm that hit the central Wasatch brought the Park City resorts about 4” new snow, while Alta and Snowbird received about an inch of snow, and Brighton and Solitude got about 2” new snow. The storm missed the Northern Wasatch leaving Powder Mountain and Snowbasin with no new snow. Temperatures in the Cottonwood Canyons are looking to stay around high teens and low twenties, with clear skies, and about 10 mph northerly-northwesterly winds.


Perfect bluebird day! Alta Cam at noon on 12-29. Courtesy of Alta Ski Resort https://www.alta.com/weather#mountain-cams

Short-term Forecast

Tomorrow, the 30th, will be mostly sunny with highs around mid-teens in Little Cottonwood, low twenties in Big Cottonwood, and mid-twenties in both the Park City resorts and in the Northern Wasatch resorts. Northwesterly winds will pick up late morning into the afternoon, around 10 mph in the Central Wasatch.

The Wasatch have been in a slight low pressure system and we are now exiting this system briefly where we will experience some ridging which will provide us with a few bluebird days. A lower pressure system returns tomorrow night and the Central Wasatch will see more snow coming in the night of the 30th and into the afternoon of New Year’s Eve. This storm won’t be bringing the big pow day we hoped we were going to get for the holidays, but it should bring around 4 inches of snow to the Central Wasatch.

24 hour snowfall accumulation by evening of New Year’s Eve showing some new snow hitting the Wasatch.
Courtesy of University of Utah Weather Center: http://weather.utah.edu/index.
php?runcode=2020122918&t=gfsds&d=DS&r=WE


Mid-long Range Forecast

The storm coming the 31 should clear up to bring in clear skies and colder temperatures for a bluebird New Year’s and the day after. Another low-pressure storm system may come through around January 3rd or 4th and will likely bring more snowfall than what this looming storm on the 31 should bring.

Snowfall accumulation showing clear skies, followed by a storm on the 31st, and looping through till 11 on the 4th of January. A few storms in the making separated by bluebird days. Courtesy of Tropical Tidbits.
https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/?model=gfs&region=us&pkg=apcpn24&runtime=2020122918&fh=96

Snowfall Forecast

No snow expected throughout the day of the 30th. The night of the 30th, into the 31st, chance of snow to be expected, but nothing major (temperatures in mid-teens to low twenties will keep our snow light; expect around 4 inches in the Central Wasatch). A storm arriving on the 3rd-4th of January may be carrying a more acceptable amount of snow so we may finally get another much awaited pow day. Let’s hope the new year brings more powder days!

Pauline

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