Decent system rolling in tonight through early Monday (Saturday AM update)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

Saturday AM update:

Sorry friends, we’ve only got time enough for a quick update this morning…. everything still on track.  Was conservative with my snowfall totals yesterday due to the potential for splitting but will bump them up just a tad today as it looks like everything should hold together.  Expected snow totals… In the Cottonwoods  14-22″, 8-14″ for Park City resorts, 2-6″ SLC Valley, 4-10″ on the benches.  NWS hoisted Winter Storm Watches last night and this morning for all areas with pretty much carbon copies of my forecasts from yesterday morning, which is reassuring to see that they are seeing the same thing I am.  Those watches will most likely be upgraded to Warnings or Advisories later today.   Tomorrow might by a difficult travel day but it will be absolutely fabulous skiing if you can get up and it isn’t too crowded.

Will try to update more in-depth this evening….

Happy Shredding! WSF


Friday AM update:

NAM, GFS, and EC all looking better this morning so we’re going to bump up forecasted accumulations.  Expecting 10-18″ for the Cottonwoods, 6-10″ for Park City, 2-6″ SLC Valley with 4-10″ on benches.  Valley locations could see more if Lake Effect band sets up Sunday night/Monday morning.

Snow is on the Way! Enjoy!

Thursday PM update:

Not much change to the models today as they are still painting a decent little system to move through the area starting late Saturday night and continuing through the day on Sunday.  This is by no means a “major” storm but it is fairly well organized, and barring further splitting, should give us a chance at 8-12″ of snow in the Cottonwoods, 4-8″ for Park City, and even 1-3″ inches of the SLC Valley floor.  This is a  fairly cold system so the snow ratios will be relatively high, allowing for fluffly snow that accumulates quickly.

Next week has been trending a bit drier with the jet stream missing Utah just to the north and east.  There are several factors that remain that lead WSF to believe the end of February and beginning of March could spell a change to our weather pattern with the effects of a favorably located MJO reaching us along with the PNA going negative.  CFS forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center are also looking favorable and they have rarely looked favorable this entire season so there is reason for optimism for a good month of March. Stay tuned…

Previous discussion:

Today a system that is passing to our west and eventually our south has tracked far enough in our direction to give us a chance at some light snow showers with a few inches possible in the mountains and a bit of snow even down to SLC valley floor.  This pattern of systems splitting as they drop down the eastern side of the East Pacific high pressure has been very difficult to forecast.  This is why we mentioned last week that it’s much easier to just broadbrush the whole 4-day period as “chance of snow”.

After today we should see some clearing for the next couple days before another system approaches Saturday night… for most of this week the EC has been showing an strong open trough passing through northern Utah, a scenario that could bring significant snow.  However, the GFS has been rather consistent in splitting the system to our west and taking most of the moisture south of the Wasatch.  In the last couple runs of each model, we’ve seen them find some middle ground with less splitting of the system but still taking the heaviest precipitation just south of most SLC/Park City resorts.  Now this is all subject to change, we could still see more splitting or conversely we could see a more consolidated system… only time will tell.  The screaming message here is that there is a “chance” we could see a more significant system this weekend.

Beyond this weekend,  it looks like we will be on a slow trend toward retrograding the East Pacific high with less amplification which would open up the storm door for more significant storms as we head toward the end of the month/beginning of March.

If you’re looking for good days to ski/board, I would suggest today and tomorrow for a little bit of fresh snow on top and soft snow underneath.   But the real money day may be Sunday when we may be in the midst of a decent snowfall.  We should have a much better grasp on the weekend system by this time tomorrow.

Stay tuned and happy shredding! Make a few turns for a fallen comrade who’s stuck at home!


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  • scott

    Thanks. Do you think this will dump and fresh on basin/pow mtn?

  • Scott, Snowbasin and Pow Mow should definitely get at least some snow, but there’s not enough model agreement to really say how much with any confidence. Like I said, right now it looks like resorts farther south with get more snow but that could easily change. I’ll keep you updated.