What a crazy pattern we have for the second half of this week. Not much has changed since yesterday… System will approach the area tomorrow with valley rain and mountain snow developing Wednesday night in far northern Utah. On Thursday into Thursday night, the frontal boundary looks to stall somewhere over northern Utah. This could bring substantial rain/snow to certain areas. Current thinking would put the best snowfall north of SLC toward Cache Valley and the Idaho border. Areas south of the boundary will see significantly less snowfall through Friday. I have been very hesitant, as some of you have noticed, in forecasting snowfall amounts, mostly because in this type of pattern, a difference in 50 miles in where the boundary stalls can mean the difference between just a few inches of snow and well over a foot. Best thinking right now is to just say that the northern Wasatch stands a better chance of seeing significant snow from the stalled boundary than the central or southern Wasatch.
On Friday, the boundary will weaken and move out of the area as the cut-off low portion of the storm approaches from the southwest. This looks to track over Southern Utah on Friday-Saturday, where significant snow is possible. This weekend, you might want to consider a road trip to Brian Head or Eagle Point. The low should pull moisture north into the Wasatch and then create a bit of wrap around precip on Saturday that could favor the Wasatch Back and the Uintas. Because of the southerly track, don’t expect Wasatch accumulations to be overly great this weekend, but we could see several inches on top of what falls with the initial system on Thursday-Friday. By Sunday, the low should finally start to move out of the area and we will see dry weather return.
I know this is all very complicated so it might be hard to follow (it’s hard to follow myself). But to simplify: Wednesday night through Friday will favor far northern Utah mountains for snowfall. Friday through Saturday the emphasis for heavy mountain snow will shift south to Southern Utah. My concern is that the central Wasatch range will be in between the two events and not see significant snowfall from either. Hopefully we get decent snowfall from both phases of this system. We can hope, right?
Long range: Next week we dry out for at least the first half of the week. GFS keeps the ridge over the west coast more amplified and pushes most systems just to our north and east, Euro develops a flatter zonal flow that could bring a couple weak to moderate systems through the area later next week. Still a lot of uncertainty in the long-term so we’ll focus on the complicated near term for now. We’ll give the models a few days to figure out the long term before we lose sleep over it.