Even When It’s “Bad”, It’s Good.

Posted Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 by Trent S. Parker

TL;DR: Although we haven’t been spoiled with the persistent dumpage that we saw last week; weak dynamics, persistent NW flow, and moisture moving through our current ridge have kept snow falling at the resorts. While conditions at lower elevations have been downright DREARY recently, it’s hard to get too down when you look at what has been going on upstairs. Cloud cover and modest accumulations have kept surfaces fresh and shaded from intense periods of sun. Base depths continue to bolster as we look forward to a quick-hitting system for the start of this weekend in Northern Utah. More events on the horizon for the beginning and middle of next week. Seasonal snow totals are fast encroaching that of the starved 2017-2018 winter and we’re really only halfway through.

Racing past the 300″ mark recently with over 100″ of it settled at the upper elevations of Little Cottonwood. Nearby neighbors aren’t too far behind with BCC around 80″ of base depth. Taken from snowbird.com.

Short Term: Those looking to get out tomorrow during the day will likely be greeted to overcast skies, mild temperatures, and winds out of the southwest. A fast-moving and frugal storm is on our heels and will be racing through the Great Basin and into Northern Utah starting Friday afternoon. Keep this in mind while planning your departure time from the slopes tomorrow. While accumulations from this feature aren’t enough for a truly deep-blower day, the snow will fall heavy within a short period. Night sliding on Friday should be quite fun and Saturday morning’s pilgrimage (subject to avalanche control) should run relatively smoothly as far as things currently look. Snowfall by Saturday morning is expected to be within the 3-6″ range with possibly more in your preferred Wasatch honeyhole.

Forecasted GFS meteogram for the Upper Cottonwoods through this coming weekend and following week courtesy of weather.utah.edu. Features to note: tomorrow’s quick couple inches as well as what looks to be a calm-beautiful day on Sunday before another storm rolls through Monday and hints at more in the midweek.

Long Term: We’ve got our eyes set on a clearing day Saturday through Sunday before another (slightly more impactful) system moves in to refresh things for those looking to get after it on Monday. A prevalent holding pattern of low pressure systems hanging out in the Aleutians and Gulf of Alaska should continue to push streams of moisture onshore affecting much of the Western United States through the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading!

-Trent S. Parker

Author: Trent S. Parker

Mainer, busybody skier-rider, and undergrad Atmospheric Sciences at the U. Fascinated by all things fluid dynamics and snow.

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