Dry and mostly sunny weather through the weekend . . . Chance for storms later next week (Friday PM update)

Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

Friday PM update:

Have been a bit too busy in the last 24 hours to keep as close an eye on weather resources as usual….however, was alerted by a reader’s comment that the CPC is now showing us in the “above average” expected precipitation in the 6-10 day outlook.  This is a look at today’s 6-10 day (yesterday’s is below in previous discussion):

Friday, March 9, 6-10 day outlook, CPC

The reason for this shift is both the EC and GFS are in agreement that systems will start moving onto the west coast during the next week.  They will start out this weekend in the Pacific NW before sagging south toward Northern California by early next week.  Throughout the week each system will dig a little deeper and the longwave trough will progress farther onshore, giving Utah a better and better shot for valley rain and mountain snow.  Tahoe will get hit by a decent shot of snow on Monday — this system will weaken and get pushed to the north, giving the Wasatch only slight chance for snow Monday night.  Utah will warm up midweek before a stronger, deeper system pushes onto the coast on Thursday and moves into the great basin on Friday.  This system has potential to generate significant precipitation although snow levels may be an issue at least initially with a strong sub-tropical moisture tap.  Looks like storms could continue to move into the intermountain west into the following week.  A bit too early to run around screaming “Miracle March”, but it certainly looks like we’ll continue to catch up on our snowpack.  Tahoe definitely will.

Previous discussion:


We are now in that extended dry period that we spoke about in our last post.  Heights will continue to rise along with the on-mountain temperatures through the weekend.  The only storm we can expect in the short-term is the Solar Storm that is currently hitting the entire planet.  Although it has nothing to do with snow forecasting, it’s still fascinating to weather nerds like us.  The only effect it should have on your ski day is if you’re using GPS navigation which usually sees glitches during strong solar events.

A few more clouds should enter the region during the late weekend/early next week period as systems pass to our north as the ridge gradually pushes east.  This will initially open the storm door to our west (i.e. Tahoe) but may eventually let us in on the action by the middle of next week. There are still a lot of questions out there regarding how this pattern will develop, but it does have potential to create a significant snow pattern by mid-month.  Climate Prediction Center has noted this possibility for storms later next week with this image of the 6-10 day outlook.

6-10 day outlook, CPC

As you can see, the Pacific Northwest and Northern California are anticipated to receive above normal precipitation whereas Northern Utah is right on the border of the above normal zone.  I would expect this area to shift a little farther south over the few days as the 6-10 day outlook adjusts itself for the progression of the ridge.

Let’s hope we can get a few more significant storm cycles in here over the next couple months, as we are still below normal in the Wasatch.


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  • jimP

    I’m hearing we may get nuked on late next week and into the following week. Hope that’s the case.

    • We definitely stand a chance at getting some decent storms but it’s a bit hasty to be using terms like “nuked” this far out. 😉

  • Peter Vliss

    Any idea of how Jackson will be doing late this month?

    I’m ditching Utah to spend a couple weeks up there 3/19-3/29

    I know this is a very hard question to answer, but i’m curious if I’m wasting my money.

    • Peter, surprised you’re not asking this on the Facebook page… but I don’t think going to Jackson is ever a waste of money. They’ve had a ton of snow in the last month and have great conditions right now from everything I’ve heard. My best guess is that they’ll have a snowy second half of March as well. Have fun!

  • Andrew Sancton

    I am arriving the 17th and skiing Snowbasin and Powder Mountain to the 24th and Cottonwood canyons the following week. Hope the last half of the month Utah gets hammered with snow.

  • Darin

    And just like you said, CPC has shifted the chances south into Utah for the 6-10 day and 8-14 day.

    • Indeed it has… I’ll make a quick note of that. Thanks, Darin!

  • JayC

    Are we looking at rain at the Park City Resorts or will they get in on the action you think?

    • Jay, it’s too early to tell to be honest as the first real system is still a week away. At this point it looks possible that we may have issues with snow levels but again, still too early for any details… stay tuned as we get closer.

  • MikeAllen

    No way it rains above 7000 feet, right?

    • It is possible that we could see a bit of rain about 7000 feet, but the GFS model has come in a lot colder for the system. If the GFS verifies, it should be all snow.

  • Andrew Sancton

    It appears the CPC has shifted further south again.