Second Storm in Two Days: The Forecast

Posted Sunday, January 6th, 2019 by marcelcaron
TLDR: The second round in our one-two punch could bring similar totals to resorts compared with what we’ve seen Sunday. Scroll down for the forecast accumulations.

Ski areas near Salt Lake City have been inundated with snow overnight into the day today:

Sunday Results

To start, here are some updated unofficial 24-hour snow totals (as recent as I could find):

  • Deer Valley – 8”
  • Park City – 9”
  • Powder Mountain – 10”
  • Beaver – 13”
  • Snowbasin – 14”
  • Sundance – 14”
  • Solitude – 15”
  • Brighton – 18” (update: 24″ at Brighton crest)
  • Snowbird – 20”
  • Alta – 20”

At all resorts, we’re closing the weekend with a substantial layer of snow, and we’re still not finished until a second snowstorm dumps through Monday afternoon.

So here’s the forecast…


The Forecast

For what it’s worth, the following forecast takes into account the 3km NAM, the HRRR, the downscaled SREF and NAEFS mesoscale models, emphasizing our best model (HRRR) and the GEFS members of the NAEFS.

Timing

The second part of Sunday/Monday’s one-two punch starts strong for a few hours, then gradually eases out of the mountains throughout the day.

(Midnight to early morning) … First, Monday’s storm arrives around midnight tonight with a wave of widespread precipitation that immediately impacts all elevations. Furthermore, snowfall rates at upper elevations could peak at up to 2″ per hour at some locations before 7AM.

second storm pcp rate
8AM run of the downscaled SREF, precipitation rate at Alta-Collins weather station. The horizontal axis ticks are formatted Day/Hour, and “Hour” is in UTC. To get the hour in local time, subtract 7 from the hour shown. Also, time increases to the right. Our forecast covers the period that begins at “07/06Z” or 11PM Sunday. courtesy weather.utah.edu

(Mid-morning to early evening) … Next, widespread precipitation becomes mainly orographic (mountain-induced) with lighter snowfall rates starting around 7-9 AM Monday morning. Then, precipitation eases down to just isolated snow showers and minor accumulations before 4PM Monday.

Wind

Winds increase with the approach of the front. In the early morning hours, crest-level gusts peak at potentially 40 mph. Furthermore, winds decrease in magnitude toward the base of the mountains, and decrease overall as the morning continues, becoming more mild around the afternoon and evening.

Temperatures

Expect temperatures in the upper teens to lower 20s at resorts throughout the day Monday. If you plan to go out before tomorrow afternoon, remember to prepare for cold temperatures AND windy conditions.

Total accumulations

Next, I’m going with similar mid-mountain accumulations over the next 24 hours (12AM Monday – 12AM Tuesday) as those we had forecast for the previous 24 hours. Namely:

Cottonwoods – 12-16” (Boom: 20”, Bust: 10”)

Northern Wasatch – 8-10” (Boom: 13”, Bust: 5”)

Wasatch Back – 5-7” (Boom: 9”, Bust: 4”)

What about Sundance? Accumulations should be comparable to the Northern Wasatch snowfall. Good, but not as much as Sunday’s observed totals.

 


We can understand the powder day cure for the Mondays…maybe your boss will understand too. If you do go out, safe travels and skiing.

-marcel

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