Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Posted Sunday, February 18th, 2018 by Alex Lukinbeal


A cold front moves through northern Utah this afternoon, with a period of heavy snowfall expected through the evening hours across mountain resorts.  Snow showers continue overnight through Monday morning. A brief lull in activity is expected Monday afternoon, before snow showers resume Tuesday morning into the afternoon.  Mostly sunny skies return Wednesday with cold temperatures.

Short Term Forecast

Our storm is currently beginning to push through northern Utah.  The surface cold front has pushed through the Salt Lake Valley and a band of moderate to heavy snowfall is positioned across far northern Utah.  The cold front will slowly move southward today, with a period of heavy snowfall expected across mountain resorts later this afternoon through the late evening hours.

GFS cross-section of wind, relative humidity, and freezing level (blue line). Courtesy of weather.utah.edu

Initially, snow ratios will start around 12:1 this afternoon and evening, but will increase to around 22:1 later tonight into tomorrow morning.  Right-side up snowfall indeed!  There will likely be a brief lull in shower activity around midnight tonight.  The upper level trough axis then swings through, with the flow turning out of the northwest.  High snowfall rates are expected in areas favored by northwest flow Monday morning.

Shower activity may briefly die off Monday afternoon, but is expected to pick up once again Tuesday morning.  Northwest flow picks up once again Tuesday morning allowing for orographic snow showers to develop.  Activity finally tappers of Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning.  Mostly sunny skies will return Wednesday with cold temperatures expected.


NAEFS ensemble snowfall forecast for the Upper Cottonwoods. Courtesy of weather.utah.edu

Snowfall Totals

This storm really comes down to the post-frontal orographic snow showers.  Areas favored by WNW-NW flow will likely see the larger snowfall totals with this storm.  With that in mind, here are my forecast totals!

  • Upper Cottonwoods: 20-30″
  • Park City Ski Resorts: 10-18″
  • Northern Wasatch Ski Resorts: 14-24″


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