Get it While You Can

Posted Monday, April 8th, 2019 by Taylor McCorkle

This weekend, resorts started closing up shop for the season, despite having an excellent April snowpack from base to summit (Looking at you, Park City, Pow Mow, and Deer Valley).  For the resorts that are still open for a bit longer, another storm is on the way and will bring a healthy snowfall that will secure at least one more powder day.

Tomorrow, southwesterly flow will bring cloud cover and moderate temperatures prior to the arrival of our next Pacific storm system.  The trough will move eastward into the area tomorrow afternoon/evening with precipitation chances increasing as the day progresses.  Forecasted 500 mb heights and vorticity is shown below. Plot is valid at 6 pm Tuesday with the trough axis is centered over Nevada.

GFS 500 mb height forecast valid 6pm Tuesday. Plot courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com
GFS 500 mb height forecast valid 6pm Tuesday. Plot courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

Precipitation will start as a rain-snow mix mid-day on Tuesday. The cold front is expected to move through Northern Utah Tuesday evening, with below-freezing temperatures forecasted all the way to the valley floor. This very moist airmass following the front will allow for snow to continue through the night at all elevations.
The cross section below shows the saturated air/high relative humidity values following the front.

NAM 12 km time-height cross-section at KSLC
NAM 12 km time-height cross-section at KSLC. Plot via weather.utah.edu

The post-frontal northwest flow and ample moisture will allow for mountain snow to continue through Thursday. Given what the models are showing now, here’s what I would say for snow totals through Thursday:

Cottonwood Canyons: 18-24″
Northern Utah: 16-20″

For your viewing pleasure, check out the forecast of simulated radar reflectivity (NAM 3km) through the end of the week. Plot via www.tropicaltidbits.com

NAM 3km simulated radar reflectivity
NAM 3km simulated radar reflectivity

If you are still able to ski, enjoy the late season pow!

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