Winter Storm Wrap-up (Friday AM update)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Friday AM update:

Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are closed right now for avalanche control with an estimated opening of 9 am.  Avalanche danger is high all over Northern Utah.  Snow amounts overnight were anywhere from 4 to 13″ in the Wasatch.  6 or 7 new inches on the ground on the SLC benches.  Tallying it all up, we got anywhere from 12-27″ in the mountains since Wed PM… almost exactly what we were expecting.  Not too bad! If you add in the storm from earlier this week, some locations received over 40 inches since Monday evening.

We will warm up big time this weekend which will quickly deteriorate snow quality so get up there soon to enjoy the freshies!  Next chance for snow is later on Tuesday but it’s not looking impressive at this time.  Detailed long-range forecast this evening . . .


Thursday AM update:

Front moved through last night with snow amounts between 8-14″ in the Wasatch… Off and on snow showers likely through the day today before another wave moves in tonight with another 6-12″ likely in the high elevations. Should put storm totals at 14-26″ inches. Everything has gone according to plan so far!

Wednesday PM update:

Right on schedule the front has plowed through the northern Wasatch this afternoon and is currently in between SLC and Provo at 6 PM.   Snowing heavily in the post frontal air mass with almost 3 inches in the last hour on the SLC benches with similar amounts at the ski resorts.  Snow should continue for the majority of the night before turning showery by sunrise.  Off and on snow still looks likely tomorrow, especially in the Cottonwoods with good orographic lift.  Second wave will move in tomorrow evening with more snow likely.  For the mountains, we are expectign 8-16″ tonight, 2-6″ tomorrow, and 5-10″ Thursday night and Friday morning.  That means anywhere from 15-30″ will likely fall in the high elevations of the Wasatch range.  SLC valley floor will likely see 4-10″ total by Friday morning with 6-12+” on the benches. And the snow will be light and fluffy too! Great powder days await!

Wednesday AM update:

Wow! Woke up this morning and was amazed to see the radar returns and how much warm advection precip was already filling in the Wasatch and Wasatch front this morning.  Should be windy today with valley rain at times and mountain snow.  Rain should change to snow this afternoon along front. Front is looking much quicker to move into the area today than it was last night… expect front to move through SLC area between 4-6 PM this afternoon.  Therefore evening commute will be dicey for many of you.  Still expecting good snow! Full details in previous discussion below….

Previous discussion!

We are now wrapping up one decent system all over Utah.  The Wasatch saw anywhere from 4-5″ of snow up north near the Idaho border to 16″ in some of the favored areas of the Central Wasatch including the Cottonwoods. Park City resorts even saw close to a foot today in the higher elevations.  Snow was light and fluffy and made for some great skiing.  Face shots, anyone?

Now our attention turns to the next system, a more traditional Pacific low that will send in a strong cold front that will move in out of the Northwest tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon and evening.  Far northern mountains should start seeing warm advection precip in the afternoon with just light snow expected.  The snow should start picking up as the front approaches during the evening.  Best guess right now is snow to really get going around 7-8 PM tomorrow in the mountains but that could be a bit earlier.  Heavy snow Wednesday night should yield about 6-12″ of snow in the Cottonwoods by Thursday morning.  I expect only off and on snow showers during the day Thursday with mostly light accumulations.  Another wave will then move through Thursday evening into Friday morning with an additional 6-10″ looking likely.  What does that mean? Simply put, it means that both Thursday and Friday are going to be epic ski days.  Be sure to get up there early so you can get third tracks (behind me and the ski patrol)!

Total it all up and we’re looking at 12-22″ in the Cottonwoods with locally higher amounts (8-16+” Park City resorts).  Don’t want to hype this system too much as the bust of a couple weeks ago is still fresh in my mind, but it’s looking good and I feel these are still fairly conservative predictions.

Avalanche danger will likely by high in the backcountry but also in-bounds… you may have to wait for a while Thursday and Friday mornings for the ski patrol to finish their routes.  Be patient and be careful!

Will update tomorrow with any new details…

Happy Shredding!


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  • Jeff

    Thanks for the update! Heading to Powder Mountain next week. How are conditions looking next week? Any big storms on the radar for next week?


    • Jeff, right now the models aren’t agreeing at all on the forecast for next week, so I’m going to give them a couple more days to come to a consensus before I make a forecast. Right now it does look like we’ll at least have a chance for a storm middle of next week and perhaps a better chance of a storm the weekend of the 10/11… but that is really far away so it’s all just speculation. Stay tuned . . .

  • Jeff

    Thanks for the update!

  • Ryan

    Hey thanks for this website. I’m in Santa Barbara, CA and visit Ogden regularly. Your updates are the best Wasatch snow reports I’ve found and read them via facebook. I especially appreciate it when you include Pow Mow and Snowbasin in your forecast/reports.

    PS. Emails from my family in S. Ogden (benches) say it’s been snowing this afternoon.

    • Awesome Ryan! Glad to hear it… I try to make mention of the Northern Ski areas but since I’m rarely up there… I tend to focus more on SLC and PC. It is definitely snowing a ton where I live on the SLC benches. Hope you get to shred Utah soon!