Tuesday PM update:
Storm cycle is over and we ended up with 3-6 feet of new snow across the Wasatch. If you look back at our posts from this time last week you’ll see that I predicted 4-5 feet would be possible in the Cottonwoods, so I’d say that prediction wasn’t too bad. It’s been a slow process at Alta and Snowbird of getting the mountain fully open as there is still so much risk of this new snowpack sliding on any slope greater than 30 degrees or so.
So where do we go from here? Well, as recently as last night, I thought we’d be pretty dry with only a slight chance of showers from time to time for the next week, but recent runs of both the GFS and Euro have brought precip much farther south. Tonight we have some very light warm advection precip making its way into the area that could provide a dusting of snow in the mountains late tonight and tomorrow morning. Riming is possible tonight and we’ll keep an eye on that. definition: Rimed snow.
A stronger cold front will move into the area Thursday evening that could actually put down 4-8″ in the Cottonwoods if it holds together. Dynamics are looking pretty good at this point. Beyond that we look to dry out for the weekend but this is a ‘dirty ridge’ and periodic clouds and showers are possible. We will be in a similar pattern to that which kept us dry for the majority of the past two months. Hopefully this time though, we’ll be able to undercut the westerlies much sooner, in fact the GFS tries to do so by the second week of February. I’m guess a return to big snow will occur between the 6th-12th of Feb… Stay tuned…
We can all breathe a big sigh of relief as we finally have a nice base and most resorts can finish up opening all their terrain. This past system saw accumulations 20-30″ at almost all northern Utah resorts, the top half of which was nice and dry and more typical for Utah this time of year. Add that to the 10-30″ we saw Wednesday-Friday and we made out with anywhere from 32-60″ of snow in the Wasatch.
One last system in this cycle is now making its way through California, hence the rain currently in SF if you’re watching the NFL game. This system is going to pound the Sierras with much needed snow tonight before it moves across the Great Basin tomorrow, splitting a bit in the process. This split will limit precip but recent model runs have looked a bit better for Northern Utah. Expect the mountains to see 4-8″ above 6,500 ft (3-6″ Park City) tomorrow afternoon through Tuesday morning. Skiers at Snowbird and Alta could find a few powder stashes still do to the closure this morning of LCC. Tuesday should definitely be somewhat of a powder day too. That would make 4-5 legitimate powder days over a 7 day period. I like those numbers.
Ridge will be in place after Tuesday but will be a “dirty ridge” as we say in meteorology, this means clouds and even occasional light precip will be possible as storms pass to our north through the end of the week and into the weekend. Looks like we’ll have at least a week without significant snow, which will give the ski areas time to open everything up and it will also allow the backcountry to settle a bit.
Right now there are some hints that stormy weather could be making a return around the 5th or 6th of February, but that is still just speculation at this point.
Stay tuned and enjoy all the good snow!