Upside-Down Monday Morning Mess

Posted Sunday, February 2nd, 2020 by Trent S. Parker

TL;DR: Starting very early Monday morning, a potent valley storm will track through. University classes are cancelled for Monday morning as accumulations will look to pile up to 6-12 inches in the Salt Lake Valley and up in the Cottonwoods, with an extra half foot possible on the benches. Not a blockbuster storm for the high resorts, but mid-mountain and bench activities will be fun to get after tomorrow morning!

Current radar image from the NWS showing a large band of precipitation working its way across the Great Salt Lake. Look for this band to start making its presence known around shortly around midight local time before ramping up.

Short Term: After a pretty moody and windy day up on the hill, we’ve flipped around quite a bit and are back below freezing up at elevation. All that wind today was transporting whatever snow hadn’t been melted down and there were some spots where the wind buff was skiing great. There were other spots where the sun had baked it yesterday and resulted in alot of catchy dense crud once the sun went into hiding. With the unique dynamics behind this storm ahead, it is looking to be one where most of the snow will fall out before it gets up to the alpine. A great setup if you’re looking to sled some hills in town or build some run ins for urban features. After this storm, that should last the majority of the day into the evening Monday, conditions look to clear up for Tuesday probably leading to bluebird champagne conditions.

GFS .25 degree time height for Salt Lake City showing a ton of rich low-level moisture and extremely cold air for such a storm. Courtesy of
NAEFS at SLC Courtesy of Showing a meager 3-5 inches.
Courtesy of SREF members at the airport playing a much larger range of possibilities with much higher amounts which is what we should expect.
Courtesy of
The SREF in agreement with the NAEFS at Alta Collins going for just as much as in the HRRR and SREF @ Salt Lake Intl. Airport. Courtesy of
The HRRR total precip. through tomorrow at noon. Around .75 to 1 inch of water at ~15:1 SLR puts Salt Lake Valley close to a foot from this model. Notice the serious shadowing effect on the Wasatch back, however. Courtesy of Tropical Tidbits.

Long Term: Our next storm looks to be in the works for later this week. More details to follow, model spreads are certainly in disagreement currently.

Sorry for the short post. It was a long day at my jobs. Thanks for reading! Go skiing.

-Trent S. Parker

Author: Trent S. Parker

Mainer, busybody skier-rider, and undergrad Atmospheric Sciences at the U. Fascinated by all things fluid dynamics and snow.

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