Sunday PM update:
A nice band of valley rain/mountain snow has developed in the Salt Lake Valley up into the Cottonwoods and spilling over to PC. As expected we saw generally 2-5″ today around Park City and up north and 4-6″ in the upper Cottonwoods. The snow was wet, but still fun. A good day for Gore-Tex! I think another hour or two of heavy snow in the Cottonwood and perhaps PC with a few scattered snow showers overnight will help bolster the snowfall totals. This should make skiing tomorrow pretty good as well. Totals will likely end up in the 3-6″ range for Park City resorts and 5-8″ range in the Cottonwoods — basically, exactly what was forecasted :-). We will then ridge up for the next couple days with dry, sunny days. Unfortunately, the weather gets a lot more complicated later this week. I’m still trying to get a feel for what we can expect — more details tomorrow.
I don’t want to freak anybody out, but the 12z GFS totally backed away from the idea of troughing for mid-month. The 12z Euro was still showing a cold, deep trough and the 18z GFS came back a little bit. It’s just one model run, but bears watching. More on that tomorrow as well . . . WSF
Snowfall, albeit wet and heavy, has arrived again to the Wasatch after teasing us with Spring the last couple days. Snow levels seem to be running between 6-7K feet this morning with rain falling in valley locations. This winter, we’ve seen almost all cold storms, which means that it’s been quite a long while since we’ve had a good soaking rain in the valleys.
Today snow will continue in the mountains this morning with perhaps lulls here and there. The peak snowfall should come this afternoon before the front moves through when snow levels will crash to valley floors but precip should be tapering off so I don’t expect much accumulation behind the front tonight. This is a very moist system but lacks dynamics, so precip intensity will never be all that intense. Still sticking with 2-5″ with up to 8″ in places like the Cottonwoods.
High pressure will build in tomorrow through Wednesday ahead of the next system. This is a complex system and I still don’t have confidence to forecast totals. Right now it looks like Wednesday night a frontal boundary will stall somewhere in the area, but exactly where is still in doubt. Latest model runs place it mostly north of the Wasatch in Southern Idaho, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this move south in future model runs. Wherever this boundary ends up stalling, they will have a good chance to see significant snowfall. Away from the boundary, snowfall amounts will likely be minor. The southern portion of the system, meanwhile, will “cut-off” and drift into the desert SW. Right now it looks to track slowly through Northern AZ toward the four-corners. This could bring significant snowfall to S. Utah somewhere in the Friday/Saturday timeframe. It will also pull in a cold, moist northwest flow into the Wasatch that could keep periodic snow showers going on Friday and Saturday up north. This is a complex pattern that is still 5-7 days away, so please bear with me as I try to get a feel for things. If you’re a regular reader, then you will know that these cut-off lows can cause headaches so I’m going to try to keep my sanity by not making any concrete forecasts just yet.
Looking way out ahead, both the GFS and Euro continue to suggest retrogression of the ridge and major troughing developing in Week 2. Let’s all hope they hold on to this idea!
P.S. The cut-off low late next week could bring lots of snow to places like the San Juans and other mountains of Southern Colorado. Road trip to Wolf Creek, CO next weekend? Who’s down?