More snow on the way

Posted Friday, February 12th, 2021 by Julie Cunningham

TL;DR: An active pattern brings more snow to the Wasatch over the next week. Saturday’s storm totals expected to be 10-14″ in the Cottonwoods.

Nowcast: The Cottonwoods received 5-7″ of snow overnight, with snow continuing to fall throughout the day. It was a nice morning at Solitude, where I was able to ski a few runs in somewhat dense snow. I say dense, because it felt unusually warm, and the snow at the base of the mountain was a bit sticky. Luckily, the higher elevation snow was back to normal Utah greatness.

The Alta-Collins MesoWest site is showing roughly 4 new inches of snow since opening this morning, and according to the webcams, the snow showers continue! I’m not sure if you’d call this “dumping”, but it’s definitely great to get a refresh, especially for anyone planning on skiing this weekend.

Image courtesy of Alta Ski Area.

As the low pressure system currently sitting over the far southwestern US continues to the southeast, precipitation will likely lull overnight before the next storm system moves in.

Short-term: This next storm is the second in a few storms that impact Utah. Snow showers will likely begin by late morning, so if you want some fresh powder, maybe consider an afternoon session. The atmosphere continues to provide a deep moist layer, instability, and sufficient dynamics for a good storm in the Wasatch, as seen in the time-height diagram below. Remember, time increases to the left, and moisture is indicated by green shading. You can also see that good northwesterly flow in the upper Cottonwoods (~750-mb) into this evening. The red circles indicate instability, which is great for strengthening those snow showers.

I expect this storm to bring roughly 10-14″ to the Cottonwoods, perhaps a little less in BCC. Luckily, the SLRs will be increasing to nearly 20:1 by Saturday night, which is great! Seems to be a good right-side-up storm for an excellent powder day Saturday afternoon into Sunday.

Graphics courtesy of University of Utah.

Long-term: The next storm looks to be Monday night into Tuesday, and it has potential to bring the same or even more snow than Saturday’s storm. Let’s hope this pattern sticks! This round of storm’s has been so great for building our abnormally low snowpack.

Thanks for tuning in and enjoy the snow!
– Julie

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