Snow for your Valentine

Posted Monday, February 11th, 2019 by Taylor McCorkle

Yesterday’s cold front passage brought ample snowfall from the North-Central Wasatch all the way down to Southern Utah. Most resorts south of Ogden (sorry PowMow and Snowbasin) got 10+ inches of the good stuff, refreshing our ever-deepening base depths.  Here are some 24- and 72-hour storm totals courtesy of OnTheSnow

Utah resort storm totals, courtesy of onthesnow.com
Utah resort storm totals and base depths, courtesy of onthesnow.com 

 

The recent snowfall has put our snow water equivalent values well above normal for this time of year.. A welcome change from the past few seasons, especially last year which was abysmal to say the least.

Snow Water Equivalent percentage of normal for basins in Utah, plot via www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov
Snow Water Equivalent percentage of normal for basins in Utah, plot via www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov

Short-Term Forecast (Monday – Thursday):

The next few days look relatively calm over the state of Utah as a ridge builds in.  We should be experiencing relatively quiescent weather through Wednesday evening, which is when our next system will be moving into the area. The plot below shows the 500 mb heights and vorticity valid Thursday (Valentine’s Day!) at noon.  Note the area of red and yellow vorticity shading over Utah, indicating a strong system.

500 mb heights and vorticity valid Wednesday evening. Plot courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com
500 mb heights and vorticity valid Thursday at noon. Plot courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

This cold system should contain ample moisture and will result in frozen precipitation at all elevations. Timing of the frontal passage currently looks poised to move through Northern Utah around 5 pm on Wednesday evening (shown as Thursday 00 UTC on plot below).  The trough is forecasted pass to our south, which will bring strong southerly winds to the area.

NAM 12 km time-height cross section via weather.utah.eduNAM 12 km time-height cross section via weather.utah.edu

According to the most recent model guidance, precipitation should continue in the mountains with intermittent showers into the weekend.  While we are getting out of our range of confident forecasting, it looks good for another fantastic holiday weekend.. Here are some too-early snow and liquid precipitation forecasts from the NAEFS ensemble

NAEFS liquid and snow accumulations at Alta Collins via weather.utah.edu
NAEFS liquid and snow accumulations at Alta Collins via weather.utah.edu

More details tomorrow!

-Taylor

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