Everything from this morning looks good. Very complicated pattern, so for simplicity’s sake, we’ll break it down for you. We have three (maybe four) storms that will hit us over the next week:
1. Saturday — this system should move into Utah during the early morning hours on Saturday. Very weak with little dynamics but decent moisture. Prediction: 2-6″ above 6,000 ft.
2. Sunday/Sunday night — this system looked really good about four days ago but has been trending weaker. Latest EC trended stronger again but not sold until GFS and NAM are on board as well. Predictions: 4-8″ above 6K feet.
3. Tuesday-Wednesday — all models agree this is the strongest in the series and overall model agreement is good. It’s a bit early to feel comfortable with this forecast but we could see 1-2 feet from this system if all goes well.
4. Thursday/Friday — very little model agreement on whether or not we’ll have a storm or not, but GFS has been consistent with at least a light to moderate event.
Hopefully that is an easy-to-understand forecast for these 3 (4?) systems over the next seven days. They aren’t huge, but we could see 1-4 feet in the Wasatch by the end of next week. Every day starting Saturday through Christmas should have great ski conditions. Can’t complain!
The complicated pattern continues… but there is a little more clarity today than yesterday morning. The Wasatch will be on the northern fringes of a cutoff low passing to our south today and tomorrow. We’ll see plenty of clouds, wind and occasional light snow now through Friday night. Saturday we will have a shortwave dragged into the area. This feature doesn’t look overly strong but does have decent moisture to work with so Saturday we may see a few inches of snow in the mountains. Hopefully it will be like last Saturday and surprise us with more snow than anticipated. What was once looking like a decent system for late Sunday and Monday is now looking like another weak wave. We should see widespread snow but total accumulations should be on the lighter side (maybe 4-8″ above 6,000 ft). Right now we expect total accumulations for the weekend (Saturday-Monday) to be 6-12″ in the high Wasatch.
All models then show a stronger system for late Tuesday into Wednesday. Because of poor model performance, we feel its a bit early to get excited but it’s worth noting that there is potential for a more significant event. Beyond that, GFS and EC have trouble agreeing on the overall pattern heading into Christmas. GFS wants to continue to drop systems into the area through the holiday and beyond. The Euro has been trending towards ridging. The short-term is complicated enough so will not stress about the long-term for now.
We may not be getting the huge dumps that we crave, but the frequent snowfall does look to continue and keep the ski conditions excellent. And hopefully next week we will see some big snows.
Stay tuned . . . WSF
Still very little agreement between models. As of right now it looks like this:
Clouds, wind, and occasional high elevation snow for tonight through Friday. Snow showers likely on Friday night through Saturday with light accumulations above 6,000 ft (1-4″). Break in the action Saturday night thru Sunday morning. Another system for late Sunday through Monday with light to moderate accumulations. Lots of questions beyond Tuesday of next week but the overall pattern looks to stay active. Let’s hope that means stronger systems. Hopefully the models will start to look somewhat similar tomorrow.
Previous . . .
Cutoff low is currently dropping down the west coast creating a tight pressure gradient and kicking up winds along and in the Wasatch. This cutoff low will be ejected inland across SoCal and Arizona. The Wasatch may see clouds, wind, and occasional light showers, but the bulk of the precip will stay well to our south.
Friday night and Saturday morning, the northern stem of a splitting system will impact the area. We expect only a few inches at best in the mountains. A stronger system is then expected to move in later on Sunday into Monday. The GFS is getting better with the system but still keeps it weaker than the ECMWF or GEM and tries to split it as well. We think the EC and GEM have a better handle on this system but the GFS’s stubbornness still keeps confidence low. It’s also a fast-moving system so that will limit accumulation potential. Our best guess right now is 6-12″ but if the EC wins out, we might see a bit more than that.
Northwest flow pattern should continue with fast-moving systems moving through the area. Looks like we’ll have another one on Wednesday of next week, and another Friday or Saturday after that. Still too early to tell how strong they’ll be but if we can get 6-12″ out of each of them, we could be heading towards Christmas with 2-4 feet more snow than we currently have.
It’s a very complicated pattern and the models are reflecting that with a plethora of differences between them. We’ll just have to wait it out before we can give you all the details and hope for the best!
P.S. We are starting a blogroll of Ski / Snowboard related blogs in the Wasatch. We know many of you document your days via blog entries, videos, etc and would like to share them with your Wasatch shredding family. If you have a blog that is ski-related and you’d like to have us share on this page, please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org We will take a look to make sure it’s appropriate and then throw it up there for you!