Sleeper Pow Day?

Posted Sunday, January 26th, 2020 by Taylor McCorkle

TLDR: A quick-hitting storm will move through Utah tonight through tomorrow morning. Higher pressures will build in by the afternoon on Monday, ending the precipitation.

Currently, the precipitation shield is just to our west, and will steadily move through Northern Utah into the overnight hours. Here’s the latest composite reflectivity image from the KMTX radar:

KMTX reflectivity image from RadarScope at 1930 Mountain time

Short Term Forecast:
Precipitation will continue overnight into the early morning hours. Given the relatively warm air associated with this storm, precipitation will likely persist as rain in the valleys, and could potentially become snow in the high benches. The forecast skew-t log-p diagram, also known as a sounding, from the latest GFS run gives you a good idea of what the vertical temperature profile looks like for this storm. The sounding image is valid for 2 am Monday morning. At the surface, the air is saturated, but the temperature is above freezing, so we should expect rain at the valley floor. The temperature then decreases moist adiabatically to the crest level, or 700 mb (~6.5 degrees Celsius per kilometer). Even at crest level, temperatures will only be about -5C, or 23F, which is not too cold for overnight temperatures.

GFS forecast sounding for KSLC valid at 0200 MST. Image via weather.utah.edu

As far as timing is concerned, mountain snow should start in the next few hours and persist through the early morning. The bulk of the snow should be over well before the lifts start spinning. Here’s the latest HRRR forecasted composite reflectivity – this is an 18-hour forecast valid through noon tomorrow.

Forecast composite reflectivity. GIF courtesy of maps.weatherbell.com

This storm isn’t going to be a crazy one, but will be enough to potentially cause a nice Monday morning power day. Here’s what we are thinking for totals:
Cottonwoods: 5-10″
Snowbasin/Ogden area: 4-8″
Park City: 2-5″

NAM 3km snow forecast valid tomorrow at 1100 MST. Image from maps.weatherbell.com

Ultimately, tomorrow should be a nice day if you’re lucky enough to be able to ski on a Monday! Our next chance of snow is on Wednesday, but I will let our forecasters handle that one tomorrow and Tuesday.

Enjoy!
-Taylor

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