It’s a Powder Day!

Posted Friday, December 31st, 2021 by Michael Wasserstein

TL;DR: Our much-needed storm cycle comes to an end today, with lingering snow showers in favored areas. A ridge of high pressure will take control to start the new year, bringing rising temperatures and clearing skies.

Nowcast: A strong blast of low-density snowfall brought impressive snow totals and water equivalents to the Wasatch, with the Little Cottonwood Canyon resorts being the winners. Here are 24 hr totals as of 7:30 a.m.:

Snowbird: 26″
Alta: 24″
Solitude: 23″
Brighton: 22″
Deer Valley: 18″
Park City Mountain Resort: 15″

The skiing and riding should be excellent today and this weekend, as resorts throughout the Wasatch have seen consistent snowfall over the past week. I suspect there will be difficulties traveling to the mountains and with terrain openings. Alta has announced an estimated opening time of 11 a.m. this morning.

Short-Term Forecast:

A trough amplifies over our region this evening, bringing the potential for additional accumulations and cool temperatures. Expect additional snow throughout the day and into this evening, before our pattern changes. The Cottonwood Canyon resorts should be favored as the flow shifts to northwesterly.

Source: Tropical Tidbits

Be aware that as this trough digs southward, temperatures will become quite cold. Temperatures at mountain-level will drop below zero and approach the negative teens in spots.

Source: Tropical Tidbits

Mid-Range Forecast: By Saturday evening, the trough will have exited our region, and an upper-level ridge will control the weather pattern to start the new year. From Saturday morning through Tuesday, we’ll see no chances for snowfall, although bluebird skies and all the recent snow will still make for great conditions at the resorts.

Source: Tropical Tidbits

There are hints that by mid-week we’ll see additional chances for snowfall as a low-amplitude trough brushes by our region. Snowfall in this system will be dependent on how far south this trough digs. This event looks to impact northern locations more than areas to the south.

Snowfall Forecast:
Northern Utah: 0-2″
Wasatch: 3-6″ (potentially more due to Lake Effect)
Southern Utah: 3-6″

Enjoy the fantastic skiing and riding!

-Michael Wasserstein

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