Nice Start to the Week

Posted Sunday, March 18th, 2018 by Alex Weech

What a weekend we had! It just would not stop snowing in the mountains. The bulk of the snow fell before Sunday morning, but on and off showers persisted through the entire day today. Alta is reporting 2′ as a storm total and Snowbird ~21″. Most other resorts were in the 12-20″ range. All in all a great storm.

As mentioned yesterday, the first half of the week will be stellar. The second half… not so much. Monday and Tuesday will be partly cloudy and chilly. On Wednesday the wind starts to pick up and there’s a chance of showers in the afternoon. And Thursday is when our next big storm should hit. The weather models are all in agreement that an atmospheric river is going to impact Utah Thursday into Friday. Most are predicting an extremely strong one, but there are some dissenters. Right now many models are predicting around 2″ of precipitation out of this. The problem is that this is an atmospheric river event and it’s late March. Snow levels are going to be crazy high. Don’t be surprised if a good chunk of that 2″ falls as rain even at base level.

GFS Forecast via weather.utah.edu
GFS Forecast via weather.utah.edu

This meteogram from the UofU Weather Center shows the problem well. The middle right panel shows snow ratios, and they’re slush for the time Thursday afternoon when it’s precipitating the hardest (bottom left panel). Also snow levels then are close to 10 thousand feet! Cold air might move in right as the precipitation starts to exit, so we might get some drier stuff on top. But it looks like a slush-fest.

Of course, all of this is 4 days out and is liable to change. There could be more cold air present that keeps snow levels lower, or the moisture might not make it this far inland and we don’t get so much rain. Either way, you should try to get outside during the first half the week. It’s going to be fantastic out.

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