The big picture:
A ridge will build over the Intermountain West and persist through Friday, which will allow for some rather mild resort temperatures (upper 20’s & 30’s). A shortwave trough is expected to bring snowfall to Utah on Saturday. The atmosphere gets messy beyond Saturday, but this isn’t necessarily bad news. Things start to dry out Monday as another ridge builds into next week. While we don’t want to bite on a forecast 8 days out, both the GFS and EC indicate a visit by a longwave trough late next week. Currently, the strongest dynamics for this system appear to miss northern Utah to the south; we’ll see.
Southwesterly flow will prevail for most of the day in association with the approaching trough. A frontal passage looks to occur in the afternoon. NAM and GFS have it coming through around 2pm, and the EC around 5pm. With respect to snowfall totals, the EC remains on the conservative end, while the downscaled GFS and Canadian ensembles attempt to get my hopes up. Hopefully the models will be in better agreement tomorrow. Totals: 6-10 inches for the northern Wasatch / Cottonwoods and 3-6 inches for Park City by the time resorts open on Sunday, with a few more inches possible during the day.
Relatively cold and moist northwesterly flow will last through Sunday into Monday. While difficult to forecast at this time, this is a desirable recipe for accumulations beyond those associated with Saturday’s frontal passage, particularly at higher, northwest facing slopes.