Gusty Saturday, Snowy Sunday

Posted Friday, March 6th, 2020 by Taylor McCorkle

Happy Friday, everyone! If you aren’t lucky enough to be skiing, then I hope you’re able to enjoy this glorious spring-like weather we have today!

Currently, temperatures are in the mid-60s (!!) across the Salt Lake valley. Southerly winds will persist and increase in intensity during the overnight hours and continue through tomorrow. Here’s a look at the current frontal analysis for the US. You can see the low pressure system along the west coast that will be impacting our area this weekend.

Tomorrow, expect widespread, strong winds along the Wasatch front at all elevations. At crest level, southwesterly winds will be sustained around 30 mph with gusts forecasted to exceed 60 mph. If you are skiing tomorrow, be aware of the possibility of suspended operations, especially for exposed lifts or trams/gondolas if winds are too strong. Here’s the NAM 3km forecast of wind speed, gust and direction at Alta Collins

By noon tomorrow, expect mostly cloudy skies along with these strong winds. Precipitation will begin in the overnight hours on Saturday night into Sunday morning.

This system will produce snow in two “bursts”. One early Sunday morning, lasting to the late afternoon, and another Monday evening. Temperatures in the valley will remain several degrees above freezing, so most precipitation will fall as rain at low elevations and snow in the mountains.

Through Monday, we should be looking at a moderate amount of new snow! Deterministic and ensemble model output have converged on a range of total snow accumulations for the Wasatch front. I expect areas like the Cottonwoods to see 8-14″ through Monday. Park City mountains will see significantly less, with about 3-6″ expected. Here’s a forecast graphic for total snowfall through the weekend from the NAM 3km.

More tomorrow!

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