Eve of an active pattern

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 7:11 am

Tuesday PM update:

12z runs were not overly kind to us in the Wasatch hoping for good snow out of this first system.  I’ve been skeptical for several days now that the track was too far south.  Yesterday I was surprised to see 1-2 feet in the NWS forecast for the Central Wasatch.  I stuck with my prediction of 6-14″ and I think even that might be a stretch now based on recent guidance.  NWS has drastically cut their predicted snowfall totals as well to 5-10″ by Thursday.  I think that is about right.  Wish I had better news to report, and hopefully this system over-performs.

Tomorrow will feature light snow increasing in intensity later in the day with snow on Wednesday night.  Thursday may still be a good powder day with the 5-10″ of fresh.  The good news is that the systems for Saturday and again next Tuesday look pretty good right now, so at least we’ll have a couple more shots at good snow if this one doesn’t pan out.



In Southern Utah the action will get going tonight, in northern Utah, tomorrow.  Low is still expected to track along the AZ and UT border tonight and bring hefty snow to the mountains to the south.  Snow will mostly start filling in behind the Low tomorrow in the Wasatch and could be fairly heavy Wednesday night.  Still going to stick with 6-14″ for the Wasatch with 10-16″ for the high mountains of S. Utah.

Thursday afternoon and night will be a bit of a break.  A weak impulse, coupled with warm advection ahead of the next system, will fire up some snow showers on Friday into Friday night with light accumulations in Northern Utah.  The next system will move in Saturday morning and looks to target the northern half of Utah. Still a lot of questions about this system but I’m feeling like it will be a pretty good one, as long as it doesn’t split too much, with 1-2 feet possible above 8,000 feet.  It should start to wrap up on Sunday.

Next system still timing for around Tuesday.  Possible another system later next week.  More details tonight . . . WSF

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  • Sam

    Pew Pew Pew….turning into Pow Pow Pow!

    Lets go Mother Nature, lets see what you can do! Show that groundhog what’s up!

  • Anonymous

    Hello WSF, encouraging update this morning:-) Is the big storm forecast for Saturday still looking promising or is it likely to be another dud? Thanks!

    • It still looks decent… I’m not convinced it will be a major system and there have been signs that it could split a bit as it enters the Great Basin. I would be surprised if it were a total dud. The system Tomorrow-Thursday has dud written all over it, however.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks! Are you getting a sense that the Wasatch will not benefit much from this recent pattern change? Do you still see substantial snowfall in the coming days? Thanks as always.

        • The Wasatch will definitely benefit from the pattern change. A few days ago, I was hoping that we would get close to average snowpack by the end of the month. Now, I’m not sure that is going to possible as some of the systems aren’t quite as robust as they were looking initially. Still, something is better than nothing, and you never know, this storm cycle could exceed expectations.

      • Anonymous

        Okay. Thanks. I am just concerned as I have planned a trip to LCC for the third week in March and hope that there will be sufficient snow to ski on by then. Any thoughts?

        • Don’t worry about that. There will be plenty of snow to ski on . . . even in our worst years, there is enough snow in LCC to keep good skiing going through April.

  • Anonymous

    Hi WSF. As of this morning, it appeared the Euro was trending towards a more “split flow” scenario for this weekend’s storm. That would translate into a less potent storm, correct? Can you elaborate on any recent trends with the Euro and the GFS? To my untrained eye, the 12z GFS run still looks good for the Wasatch – do you agree?

    • Correct, if that were to verify, the strongest energy would dive south of the Wasatch. 12z run of the Euro was more promising, however, and showed less of a split. GFS looks good still, but perhaps not quite as good as it did a couple days ago. I still think it will be a good storm, but might not be a great one.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks so much for the response. Two other quick questions: 1) Is the 2/26 storm still on? 2) I’m flying out from the East Coast on Saturday and I’ll be staying at The Canyons – do the Park City resorts look to benefit at all from any of these systems? Or, would I be better-suited skiing elsewhere?

        • It does still look like there will be a storm around the 26th, but it’s still a bit early to know the details. Park City resorts will definitely benefit. They probably won’t get quite as much snow as the Cottonwood Canyons, but they should do just fine.

  • Anonymous

    Hello WSF. I have a question: In the worst case scenerio, how much snow do you think is likely for the upcoming Saturday and Tuesday storms? Thanks.

    • For where, specifically?

      • Anonymous

        LCC/BCC. Thanks!

    • Worst case scenario is a foot from the two storms combined. Best case scenario would be four feet from the two combined. Most likely scenario, somewhere in between. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Great. Thanks! Not that bad…

  • Anonymous

    You know the old saying about there being only two types of people who try to predict the weather?

  • Anonymous

    Good evening WSF. I want to thank you for all of your amazing weather insight. You really do a terrific job! Are you at all concerned that the Wasatch might not even receive substantial snowfall from this pattern change, in particular Alta/Snowbird? It seems like the storms are dying out before they reach the region. There were really high hopes for the Sat. storm and now there is speculation that like it will be splitting and favoring the South once again, at least according to the SLC National Weather Service. Are you seeing anything different from your analyses? Thanks!

    • There was a run or two of the EC that was showing some splitting but the last couple runs have been better. Just enough to make meteorologists worry! I still think it will be a decent storm.

  • GC

    thanks WSF… your work has been an extremely helpful resource for researching this info. looking forward to visiting your backyard this coming week.

    • We look forward to it as well. Hope you have a great time! Thanks for the kind words.

  • Laura

    Hi WSF…in light of your concerns of the Saturday storm splitting and diving south, checking in again to see if Friday is still a better day to travel west on i80 verses Sunday?

    • Friday is still the day to go.. I think you could probably do Saturday without too many problems, but Friday is the safe bet.

      • Laura

        thanks WSF, I will follow your always sage advice.

        • And I will always answer your Utah weather questions! Or if you have questions for the Sierra, those too. I did grow up in Tahoe so I’ve got a pretty good handle on the weather patterns there as well.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like the NWS is very concerned about Saturday’s storm splitting in two also.