Sun, Snow, Sun (Repeat?)

TL;DR: Conditions are sunny and pleasant this morning before another storm will set in this afternoon bringing up to about 5 inches of snow through tomorrow.

Nowcast: It’s a beautiful blue morning in the Wasatch following up this weekend’s heavy storm that brought a total of 25” of the good stuff to Little, 20” to Big, and 12” to Park City. This morning, temperatures are in the low twenties in the Central Wasatch while northwest winds will blowing around 10-15 mph today, bringing the wind chill down into the negatives. Starting in the afternoon, another system will blow into Utah affecting the Northern and Central Wasatch, bringing up to an inch of snow before lifts stop turning this evening, and up to 3 inches of snow before midnight tonight.

A stunner of a morning shown from the Albion Basin cam at Alta. Snow showers will replace this morning’s clear skies starting in the afternoon. Courtesy of alta.com

Short-term Forecast: The bulk of the storm system resultant of this trough digging into Utah from the Northwest will persist throughout tonight and tomorrow. This storm will deposit about 3-5 inches of snow in the resorts. The trough will break off from the mean flow sometime Tuesday night to Wednesday and will be replaced by a period of higher pressure and drier conditions on Wednesday. Wednesday will be breezy, mostly sunny, and highs will be in the low thirties.

Long-term Forecast: Another storm is forecasted to start Wednesday evening or Thursday, depending on the model. This system will deposit more snow in the mountains of Southern Utah, but the Central Wasatch are allotted to get snow showers accumulating up to a few inches. More accurate values will be available by tomorrow or Wednesday. There’s chance for more snow showers this weekend, but temperatures will also be warming up over the weekend. The snow will be quite wet and heavier than we usually hope for. Nevertheless, keep the spring storms coming!

24-hour snow accumulation prediction from the GFS. The Central and Northern Wasatch will get a few inches of snow, but the larger snow totals are seen further south. Courtesy of weather.utah.edu

Snow totals: Trace to an inch of snow expected today before resorts close. An accumulation of up to 5” expected through tomorrow at the resorts, and a few inches are forecasted for Thursday. Hope you’re all getting out there to enjoy this beautiful spring weather!

Pauline Kneller

Springtime Snow

TL;DR: The forecast looks great. Cold frontal passage tomorrow morning will bring heavy snow to the Wasatch. Postfrontal show showers will continue through the weekend. Another storm will bring a chance for powder skiing early next week.

Nowcast: Today (Friday) was mild and breezy amid southwesterly flow ahead of the coming storm. No snow in the last few days, but the groomers are still great! Fortunately, tomorrow should soften things up.

500mb analysis shows a trough over the West Coast, which will bring this weekend’s snow.
Courtesy of the University of Wyoming.

Short Term Forecast: A strong cold front will arrive in Salt Lake around 8am Saturday morning, bringing with it a period of heavy mountain snow. Heavy snow will last into the afternoon before trending more showery behind the front.

A healthy frontal band moving through Utah, supporting heavy mountain snow through the early afternoon tomorrow.

At first, tomorrow will be dust on crust. Still, I expect skiing conditions will quickly improve and be pretty decent by the afternoon. By last lift, expect 5-10″ of snow to have fallen. It’s worth noting that snow will be on the denser side tomorrow, which is great for quickly covering up the crusty layer underneath.

Behind the front, a period of moist northwest flow will support a few snow showers through the weekend, with a 2-4″ more possible through the day Sunday. Expect storm totals to fall in the 7-15″ range for the Cottonwood resorts.

Longer Range: I have my eye on Tuesday of next week. Another disturbance will drop into the Great Basin behind this weekend’s storm. Though not as strong a system, it’ll drop into the area embedded in northwest flow, and may bring a good period fo orographic snow to the Cottonwoods.

A follow up storm for early next week! 500mb chart valid 06Z Tuesday.
Courtesy of Pivotal Weather.

Plenty of cold air with this system will mean high snow to liquid ratios, and any snow that falls will accumulate on already soft snow from this weekend. While I’m not expecting an enormous dump, soft on soft is money. Keep an eye out for this one.

Another chance for snow will come late next week, and it looks like it could be another decent storm. Things look to stay active thereafter too. Get after it! Spring is almost here.

-Nathan

Another Cutoff Low

TL;DR: Warming and drying as we head through the week. A quick shot of precipitation is likely Friday night into Saturday.

Nowcast: Currently we have another cutoff low moving through Arizona with moisture being spun up on the north side of it.

todays cutoff low over Arizona – weatherbell

This has primarily favored Southern Utah but showers have certainly moved through Northern Utah as well. Park City mountain resort managed to pick up around 11 inches last night in what was likely one of those shower bands.

PCMR today

Aside from that anomaly, most areas in the Wasatch picked up at most 4 inches.

Short term: As todays cutoff low moves off to the east, high pressure will gradually build in through the week. This will lead to a warming and drying trend with valley temperatures warming into the mid 60s by Thursday. Unfortunately for the mountain snow surface, that sun mean degradation on any aspect not heavily shaded.

Long term: Warm conditions through Friday with a strong cold front likely knocking on the door at that point. This could bring a quick shot of snow to the Wasatch for Saturday and Sunday. Beyond that, it is looking increasingly likely that we will be just downstream of ridging with no major storms as we head toward the end of March.

CJ Sawyer

Another Weekend Refresh

TL;DR: Unsettled weather will continue through midweek as a few systems pass through our region. 

Nowcast: Scattered snow showers have brought some fresh flakes to portions of the Wasatch today. LCC received 8” of fresh snow since the lifts stopped spinning last night, while BCC received 7”. Southern Utah resorts didn’t miss out on the action either, with Brian Head reporting 5” in the past 24 hours. On-and-off showers will continue through the remainder of the day as the closed low currently settled over south central Utah shifts east overnight. 

Alta this afternoon. Courtesy of Alta Ski Area: alta.com/weather

Short term: The upper level low that is currently making its way through southern Utah will continue to produce light snow showers over the northern Wasatch overnight. Northeasterly flow will prevail following the system’s passage over the Four Corners region tonight, favoring greater snow accumulations along the Park City ridgeline and upper BCC. Expect any remaining snow showers to taper off through the early morning hours tomorrow. An additional 2-5” are expected in the Cottonwoods through the end of this storm cycle.

Conditions will briefly dry out tomorrow through Monday morning ahead of another upper level low passage on Monday night. This system is expected to produce some more mountain snow, starting late Monday night and continuing through the day on Tuesday. Models are currently showing a spread of 3-8” for the storm total in the Cottonwoods. Confidence is not very high, so these numbers may need tweaked in the next few days as the models evolve. 

Time-height at Alta nicely sums up this week’s weather: Northeast flow and a good amount of moisture will favor the PC Ridgeline and BCC tonight. Brief dry-out Sunday night through Monday afternoon before another upper level low passes through on Tuesday.
Courtesy of Utah Weather: http://weather.utah.edu/index.php?runcode=2021031312&t=gfs0.25&r=ALTA&d=ET

Long term: Ridging will fill into the western US on Wednesday and persist through the end of the forecast period. Expect some nice spring skiing days during the latter half of next week. 

Brittany Whitlam

Closed Low Snow

TL;DR: 3-6″ in the Cottonwoods/PC, 7-11″ at Brian Head through Saturday. Brief pause before another storm system on Tuesday.

Nowcast: Despite a warmer than average start to the month, more seasonable temperatures remain across the Salt Lake Valley and the Wasatch, with temperatures currently in the mid- to upper-30s across the valley, and the upper-20s near resort base elevation. Snow showers are scattered across the state, with off-and-on showers here in the valley and more persistent snowfall in the mountains.

Courtesy of College of DuPage.

A closed low located over southern California and the Great Basin is providing the moisture and dynamics for these snow showers, and is expected to continue to provide these two ingredients for snowfall over the next day or so as it moves slowly to the southeast and inland. This is the same closed low that’s bringing a huge snowstorm to the Front Range, as you may have heard!

Steep lapse rates from this morning’s sounding and a bit of diurnal heating are both providing excellent mechanisms for daytime convection, as I saw just an hour ago here in the valley with the passage of a snow shower with huge snowflakes. Up in the mountains, the Alta-Collins site has received roughly 5 inches of snow this afternoon, with a bit more to come.

Short-term: An upper-level trough will continue to dig equatorward across the southwestern US as the closed low continues to move slowly to the east, bringing more snow to the higher elevations through late Saturday. Precipitation will lull briefly overnight tonight, but scattered showers will pick back up with a bit of diurnal heating tomorrow.

Despite excellent dynamics with this storm system, winds from this storm will be primarily from the southeast, which isn’t great for the Cottonwoods. Still, the Cottonwoods and the Park City side will receive roughly 3-6″ from this storm, which is much needed after the warm weather last weekend. The Uintas and Central Mountains of Utah will receive the most from this storm, with Brian Head receiving an estimated 7-11″.

Long-term: After a brief pause in the action on Sunday into Monday, it looks like our next chance for snow is on Tuesday morning as another amplified trough moves into the region. Let’s hope we continue with this active pattern and avoid a persistent ridge; the season isn’t over yet!
– Julie

Cloudy Skies and Cooler Temps

TL;DR: We are getting a break from the spring weather as a low pressure system will bring a (more) active storm cycle over the next few days, with some mountain snow accumulation

Nowcast: There were some light snow flurries this morning that could return later in the day producing a marginal accumulation. Temperatures have (thankfully) dropped as a cold front moved into Utah last night. Mountain temps range from the low 30s at base level to upper teens along the ridgelines. The winds have dropped, varying between 5-10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph from the South. Below is a mid-day view looking down canyon from Alta.

Mountain Cam Photo of Mount Superior
www.alta.com/weather#mountain-cams

Short Term Forecast: A low pressure system has made it’s way over the Western US, but the ensemble models show the bulk of the trough trending Southeast, parallel to the Southern California Coast before cutting Eastward over Arizona during the next few days. This wide and slow moving system is bringing moisture and cooler temperatures through thursday, with the potential for some modest on and off storms over a 3 day period, leading to a total accumulation of 6-8″.

87 hr = 3.6 days (weather.utah.edu)

Above are the downscaled ensemble means and probablilties for precipitation over the next 3 days. Hopefully we see some improvement in the current ski conditions this week as a result of this more active storm cycle.

-Corey

Snow on the Horizon

TL;DR: It will be partly cloudy and windy today on the slopes. High chance of light snowfall tonight. Snow expected on an off throughout the week.

Nowcast: It’s been a dry, sunny, and warm weekend that hardened up the snow on Utah slopes. Continuing the trend into the start of this week, today will be mostly sunny and quite warm, with highs in the high 40s. Strong southwesterly winds will persist throughout the day, around 20-30 mph winds on the ridgelines with gusts 30-50 range.

Snowbird cam at Hidden Peak showing packed snow and partly cloudy skies. Some fun altostratus cloud shapes seen to the left of Twin Peaks. Courtesy of snowbird.com

Short-term Forecast: The conditions have been leaving us high and dry recently, but we will see a more active pattern this week, beginning tonight. The models are showing moisture on the leading end of a trough that dig into northern Utah this evening from the west southwest. Expect to see some precipitation tonight, rain in the valley and about 2-3” of dust on the crust tonight. We will see a break in precipitation throughout most of Tuesday, but chance of precipitation again on Tuesday night. Temperatures will drop to mid-teens tonight and will hold in the mid-twenties in the Cottonwoods, and low thirties in in Park City throughout Tuesday.

A shortwave trough is shown to be centered over Utah tomorrow night. Paired with some moisture and atmospheric instability, snow showers will occur across the Wasatch on Tuesday night, and will start to be seen in Southern Utah mountains starting on Wednesday. Courtesy of weatherbell.com

Mid-range Forecast: More weather expected on Wednesday afternoon as the leading edge of the trough persists over Utah as it deepens and ejects to the southwest off the mean flow later this week. The mountains should see more snowfall starting on Thursday. There’s chance it will continue into the weekend. Temperatures should stay cool throughout the week, mid-teens at night, and mid-twenties throughout the day.

Snow totals: Though models are in disagreement on snow amounts, a small storm tonight should bring about 2-3” of snowfall, while another 3” expected to fall on Tuesday night. Snowfall expected on Thursday and chance on Friday.

Happy skiing!

Pauline Kneller

Some light snow this week

TL;DR: A warm start to the week will be followed by some mid-week snow showers. Nothing significant coming for now.

Nowcast: Very warm conditions out there yesterday and today. SLC hit 70 degrees yesterday tying a record for the date. The mountains were also very warm with the base at Alta pushing 50 degrees. Today, expect similar conditions though maybe not quite as warm.

Hidden Peak at Snowbird – Snowbird.com

Short-Term Forecast: SW flow increases again tonight and tomorrow leading to another windy and warm day Monday. This is ahead of a longwave trough dropping into the western US mid-week. Most of the energy looks to dig south of northern Utah at this point, but there remains a chance for light snow starting Monday night. Maybe an inch or two is possible during the Monday night to Tuesday morning timeframe. The SREF plumes below for Alta illustrate the very low snow totals initially.

Ensemble spread for Alta – weather.utah.edu

Long-Term Forecast: Later Tuesday into Wednesday, snow chances get better and provide the best chance for more accumulating snow. After that, attention shifts to southern Utah where higher snow totals look likely in the late week period. Looking further ahead, toughing may continue next week with better chances for snow, but uncertainty exists. We’ll keep watching it!

-CJ Sawyer

Spring Laps

TL;DR: An awesome bluebird day has been served up to send us into the weekend! Beginning tomorrow morning winds will pick up as a dry storm system will pass through.

Nowcast: Eagle point was the only resort to pick up any respectable accumulation with 4 inches in the last 24 hours as the storm yesterday was focused south of the Wasatch. Today the mountain temperatures in the Wasatch should push upper 30’s to low 40’s, and the winds will be light. Beginning around 6 am tomorrow a very unorganized splitting trough should bring cloudy skies, a small chance for snow showers and wind that could reach 40-55 mph on the ridgelines.

Beautiful blue skies this morning at Alta! (alta.com)

Short-Term Forecast: High pressure will take control after Saturday giving us more of these calm spring days. The weekend should generally be dry. If we get no snow at least the wind tomorrow should clean out the air in valley.

High pressure is getting pushed east by a trough that could bring some chances for light accumulation next week. (tropicaltidbits.com)

Long-Term Forecast: The next chance for snow will be for northern Utah on Tuesday heading into Wednesday, but it’s looking to be mostly scraps as the storm is going to weaken as it moves inland. Many chances for light accumulations beyond that and no strong storms on the horizon, but that can change. *fingers crossed* Spring is making way fast, but i’m here to enjoy it!

-Ben

Snow Today; Bluebird Tomorrow

TL;DR: Continued snow showers today will bring light amounts of precipitation, about 0.2 inches of water, with a dusting to 3” snow accumulation. Temperatures in the 30s today. Conditions will warm and dry up this weekend.

Nowcast: This small bought of weather that rolled in last night breaks up the high pressure system we’ve seen parked over us earlier this week. Today will remain cloudy with light snow showers this morning and a chance of snow throughout the afternoon—nothing too exciting, accumulation of a dusting up to 3 inches possible. If you’re up enjoying the mountains today, expect some breeze in the 10-15 mph range and temperature highs in the low thirties.

Mid-level water vapor satellite imagery showing the storm system over Utah early this morning. Courtesy of weather.cod.edu

Short-term Forecast: The weather that we’re seeing today is the result of a closed low passing through Utah that broke off from the mean flow coming from the southwest. The low will translate to the southeast leaving our skies clear and pressures high in its wake. Some bluebird days are in store for us the next couple of days (maybe the shoulder season might be rolling in soon?). There is a chance of a weak storm system rolling through Saturday night, bringing light snow showers. Sunday will clear up again.

A textbook ridging pattern centered right over central/western US tomorrow. Courtesy of maps.weatherbell.com

Long-Term Forecast: Models are showing a more active pattern moving into Utah starting early next week, but whether we get snow from it depends on the moisture content in the atmosphere. Right now, things are looking rather dry, but we will know more throughout the weekend. Not all hope for early spring snow is lost. 🙂

Pauline Kneller