Springtime Snow

Posted Friday, March 19th, 2021 by Nathan Tarino

TL;DR: The forecast looks great. Cold frontal passage tomorrow morning will bring heavy snow to the Wasatch. Postfrontal show showers will continue through the weekend. Another storm will bring a chance for powder skiing early next week.

Nowcast: Today (Friday) was mild and breezy amid southwesterly flow ahead of the coming storm. No snow in the last few days, but the groomers are still great! Fortunately, tomorrow should soften things up.

500mb analysis shows a trough over the West Coast, which will bring this weekend’s snow.
Courtesy of the University of Wyoming.

Short Term Forecast: A strong cold front will arrive in Salt Lake around 8am Saturday morning, bringing with it a period of heavy mountain snow. Heavy snow will last into the afternoon before trending more showery behind the front.

A healthy frontal band moving through Utah, supporting heavy mountain snow through the early afternoon tomorrow.

At first, tomorrow will be dust on crust. Still, I expect skiing conditions will quickly improve and be pretty decent by the afternoon. By last lift, expect 5-10″ of snow to have fallen. It’s worth noting that snow will be on the denser side tomorrow, which is great for quickly covering up the crusty layer underneath.

Behind the front, a period of moist northwest flow will support a few snow showers through the weekend, with a 2-4″ more possible through the day Sunday. Expect storm totals to fall in the 7-15″ range for the Cottonwood resorts.

Longer Range: I have my eye on Tuesday of next week. Another disturbance will drop into the Great Basin behind this weekend’s storm. Though not as strong a system, it’ll drop into the area embedded in northwest flow, and may bring a good period fo orographic snow to the Cottonwoods.

A follow up storm for early next week! 500mb chart valid 06Z Tuesday.
Courtesy of Pivotal Weather.

Plenty of cold air with this system will mean high snow to liquid ratios, and any snow that falls will accumulate on already soft snow from this weekend. While I’m not expecting an enormous dump, soft on soft is money. Keep an eye out for this one.

Another chance for snow will come late next week, and it looks like it could be another decent storm. Things look to stay active thereafter too. Get after it! Spring is almost here.

-Nathan

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