Another Few Rounds of Snow Will Stock Resorts Midweek

Posted Saturday, November 24th, 2018 by marcelcaron
TLDR: Lots of snow this weekend is wonderful, and there’s more to look forward for. A storm Wednesday and another Saturday should help continue to stock the base at each UT resort. An update by Monday should clarify the strength of Wednesday’s storm.

We Got What We Wanted

The first major storm in the area delivered what it had promised during kickoff at Alta and Snowbird this weekend, and I hope everyone everywhere had the chance to enjoy it.

Snow fell most of the day across much of the Northern part of the state. Check out a live-updating timelapse from alta.com (displaying the live view)*:

*May not display on all browsers. Here’s a link to the timelapse.

The bulk of the snowfall this weekend is over, but a few showers may linger through the evening. As an example here’s the ~5:15PM radar scan over the central Wasatch. Note the couple snow squalls, these will drop light accumulations in addition to what’s already going on at upper elevations.

KMTX radar
KMTX radar snapshot, timestamped 5:14PM over Salt Lake City an surrounding area. Circled are weakening squall lines annotated with arrows for direction of travel. Top of the image is ~due North. courtesy RadarScope

The break

 We take a break now through ~Tuesday as a High pressure system camps out once again and cool air settles in the valley. I don’t think the valley inversion will become especially severe because temperatures will be a bit on the warmer side for the season. Also, this set up will remain for only a couple of days. Nevertheless…you don’t need an inversion to justify a midweek run in the mountains.

The chances for snow after tuesday

After Tuesday we should see another few systems brushing by. The fact that several somethings will happen is moderately certain.
Furthermore, each system seems to be more organized than the one before it…but I’m hesitant to go on about even the general strengths of these storms because I expect models to change their mind a bit before mid-week–the Euro likes a deeper, stronger Wednesday storm than the GFS, for example.
Global models disagree about the general 6-10 day departures from average surface-level air temperature, and this says something about the forecast uncertainty at this lead time. The new FV3-GFS drives a cold blast out from the arctic deep into the western US and Rockies, whereas the ECMWF favors a milder scenario. While the temperature won’t be an issue at upper elevations (except with regards to its vertical profile) the takeaway here should be that basic aspects of the forecast next weekend are still quite uncertain.
FV3 Anomaly
FV3-GFS (GFS with a new dynamical core) Low Level Temperature Anomaly, 5AM Monday December 2nd. courtesy tropicaltidbits.com
ECMWF Anomaly
ECMWF HRES Low Level Temperature Anomaly, 5AM Monday December 2nd. courtesy tropicaltidbits.com

 

Give Monday’s plumes a look here for an idea about the range of possibilities for Wednesday’s snow amounts. Also check this page for updates and a more detailed explanation tomorrow and Monday. Finally, we’re on twitter @utahskiweather so check for updates there as well.

Have a great rest of your weekend.

-Marcel

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