Deja Vu

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 8:16 am

After seeing a few more model runs, I’m feeling a bit better. 12z Euro trended farther north with the track of the low for the Tuesday night-Thursday system. 18z GFS still tracks it over S. Utah but is at least a bit farther north than earlier model runs. Other good news is that both Euro and GFS are coming into better alignment for later next week and they continue to bring cold systems into the Great Basin.



More tomorrow…

From the AM:

Not too much has changed since yesterday in the going forecast. Generally speaking, we should be high and dry today through tomorrow. Sunday we’ll have another system drop down the backside of the ridge and clip Northern Utah. Good news with this is that while it doesn’t have a lot of moisture, it does have a nice, well-defined front that will help scour out any inversion that might be developing in the valleys. At best, we’ll see a few inches from this system, primarily north of I-80. Most of the snow should fall during the day on Sunday. Monday will be a bit of a break in the action as the area braces for a stronger system.

This next system is looking almost identical to the system we had last weekend. It’s going to drop down the west coast and then slowly work its way into Utah late on Tuesday. Like I mentioned yesterday, my big fear is that it will drop too far south to give us good snow. Latest runs of the GFS and Euro didn’t do much to alleviate this fear either. If you are a regular reader, then you might recall this was the exact same fear I had before last week’s system. No matter where the Low ends up tracking, it will pull reinforcing waves of moisture into the area behind it in a northwest flow. A wise man learns from his mistakes — so I’m approaching this system with a lot of caution. Like the last system, this is a complex, long-duration snow storm that has potential to be very effective. But like the last one, I feel it has the potential to under perform a bit.

I still think that at worst we’ll end up with accumulations in the moderate (8-14″) range between Tuesday night and Thursday for the Wasatch. But I am not sure I’m willing to call this a “significant” system quite yet.

Despite my misgivings, I want to assure you that we are at the very least headed in the right direction. The storm will provide all of Utah with beneficial snowfall. After this system wraps up on Thursday, we should remain in an active northwest flow that will continue to drop systems into the area. The exact strength and timing of these systems is extremely difficult to nail down at this point. But overall I expect us to start making up ground on the overall snowpack numbers and I think several powder days will be on tap over the next two weeks or so.

Stay tuned . . .


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  • Anonymous

    Oh no! This latest report sounds so discouraging. Do you still see a major pattern change taking place with consistent storms or is the high pressure ridge which has been dominating the area going to remain in place?

    • I wouldn’t worry too much! I still think we’ll have a decent snow next week and some powder days! And the pattern looks to remain active at least through the end of February.

  • Anonymous

    Hello WSF! Thanks again for the great detailed update. Given your forecast, are you at all concerned that he pattern change which had been foretasted might no be either as significance or long-lived. Any insight would be great. Thanks!

    • Pattern is definitely changing, and it still looks like a long-term change, but I am concerned that systems might drop down the coast and then track too far to our south next week to bring optimal snowfall.

  • Anonymous

    Hi WSF. I love your site. You guys are amazing. I am heading to the Wasatch in mid-March, probably LCC. Are the long-range models suggesting an active pattern continuing until then. How do you feel the coverage will be on the slopes of say Alta/Snowbird at that time? Thanks in advance for any thought you may have!

    • Too early to tell what the pattern will be like that far out. Despite being a bit below average right now, the coverage in LCC is still good. And with the cold, active pattern coming up for the next couple weeks, I don’t expect that to change.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the insight! Much appreciated. Do you think there is a strong chance that Alta/Snowbird will have at least 100 inch base by mid-March?

  • Anonymous

    Too far south for the Wasatch Resorts? how about for the resorts in southern utah? Will the storms hit there?

    • The storm will hit all resorts in Utah with some snow. But if it does track south, it will definitely favor the mountains of Southern Utah. Models are still trying to figure it out so stay tuned.

  • Anonymous

    Do you think with the upcoming pattern change and increased snowfall that the base at Alta/Snowbird has a reasonable chance to reach at least 100-inches by mid-March?

    • If this pattern delivers for us for a somewhat extending period of time, it is definitely possible for LCC to reach a 100-inch base.

  • Anonymous

    Regardless of how the mid-week storm pans out, are there signals for storms next weekend and beyond? I wish we could get a few optimal storm tracks for the Wasatch….

    • Right now it looks like storminess will continue until at least next weekend. Hard to tell for sure beyond that.