Sloppy Snow

Posted Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 by Trey Alvey

The storm has arrived! As most of you are already aware, an atmospheric river is penetrating the Intermountain West & Northern Utah. As Peter’s post was titled, these events are typically characterized by a plethora of moisture (wet), relatively warm temperatures, and windy conditions – All of which are currently being observed.  The upper elevations of the Wasatch have already seen 1-2″ of water. In a colder storm that would equate to 1-2 feet of snow. Right now, though, most locations are only reporting a few inches of snow and that’s above 9000 feet! Below 9000 feet periods of a snow/rain mix can be expected. This is what I like to call sloppy snow! In addition to the sloppy snow, wind gusts over 100 mph have been observed on upper elevation ridge lines!

Alta Collins observation - note the large amount of precipitation with only 2 inches of snow
Alta Collins observation – note the large amount of precipitation with only 2 inches of snow

The good news is that a cold front will push through overnight bringing some colder temperatures and snow levels down to 6000-7000 feet. I think Peter’s call of 2-4 inches of liquid is pretty good but with rain at times and dense snow, I’ll be happy if the upper Cottonwoods come out in the 8-16″ range. Below 8000 feet accumulations will be much lower and only occur following frontal passage. As the front clears the area tomorrow morning, snow should begin to taper off.

Additional refreshers are possible later this weekend into early next week, though, models have been very inconsistent with the placement and timing of these features. I’ll let tomorrow’s forecast get more into the details.

 

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