Ullr has had too much vacation time

Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

Thursday PM update:

Southerly flow is starting to pull moisture into the Wasatch with light snow falling in the Cottonwoods and along the PC ridge at 8 PM.  This snow should continue off and on through Saturday with significant accumulations possible for the Wasatch Back and the Wasatch plateau.   The big question is how much of this wrap-around moisture will make it into the Northern and Central Wasatch.  It’s certainly possible that some locations, primarily south of I-80, will see 5-10″ by Saturday evening.  Latest run of the NAM looks pretty good so lets cross our fingers.

Today’s runs of both the GFS and Euro have been hinting at a possible return to active weather next weekend (March 16-17)… We’ll have to watch this trend over the next day or two and see if there is any validity to it.

More in the AM…WSF



Frontal boundary never really stalled over one place for too long, therefore we have widespread reports of 1-2″ with the highest totals coming from PowMow at 5″ which saw a more prolonged time period under the snow band yesterday evening.  Today there could be more snow showers, especially in the northern Wasatch but not too much in the way of accumulations.

Tonight, moisture will start to be pulled into the state from the south.   Southern and Central Utah should get decent snowfall through Saturday with widespread amounts of 6-12″ above 7,000 ft with pockets of higher amounts.  Up north in the Wasatch, we’ll see light amounts from Thursday night through Saturday with wrap around on Friday night and Saturday perhaps favoring the Wasatch Back and especially the Uintas.  Still think the best moisture will stay to our south, so the Wasatch will probably fall into the 2-8″ range with the lightest amounts up north of I-80 and the highest totals in the Southern Wasatch.  Should make the skiing this weekend soft.

Next week looks DRY.  Right now, our next realistic chance for snow won’t be until around the 17th… after that we’ll just have to hope for a -PNA that forces west coast troughing.

For those of you traveling to the area, the snowpack, while not ideal, should hold up just fine through the end of March.  No need to worry about coverage.


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33 thoughts on “Ullr has had too much vacation time

  1. redacted

    i am heading out to park city on sat march 9 and leaving friday march 15 and i am trying to plan where to go and when. went out last year and skied PCMR, deer valley, canyons, snowbird. would like to try alta and possibly solitude this year so my question is this: where should i go and when?

    thanks for your advice and for the good work you do.

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      It really all depends on what kind of skiing you’re looking for. The Cottonwoods have the most snow right now, but staying in PC area gives you nice grooming and good apres ski. I’d ski wherever we get the most snow this weekend on your first day (as it’s probably your only chance for powder), then just mix it up after that.

      1. redacted

        we are looking for the best skiing possible! perhaps hit alta/snowbird sunday and spend the remainder of the week (mon-thurs) in the park city area to take advantage of the groomers? i spent a day at the canyons around this time last year and didn’t care for it at all, but perhaps that was because the conditions were even worse last year than this year!

  2. Nicholas

    Haha. What’s worse? Getting your hopes up for the past two weeks only to be disappointed or having nothing to even get excited about during the same time period.

    1. Anonymous

      The former. This March is turning out to be a total trainwreck. It seems like Miami stands a better chance of snow than the Wasatch. This is becoming frustrating!

  3. Anonymous

    Hi WSF, Good update this morning although more bad news! I noticed that the PNA while going negative by next week is then forecast to go positive. Is there often a lag period between the time it goes negative and when troughing would start to develop? This March is not looking promising so far. I feel like the storms will never arrive.

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      There can definitely be a lag time, and sometimes it can take the models awhile to catch on to pattern changes. The farther out in time you go, as with all forecasting, the less you can trust the forecast. So I’m just hoping to get the PNA into solid negative territory, then we can worry about whether or not it goes back positive. Haha.

      1. Anonymous

        Thanks. Is there anything at all that you see in the models could be potentially be worth getting excited about?

    2. wasatchsnowcast

      Great Mountain bike weather in canyon country next week! Haha. In all honesty, there isn’t much out there in any models. The good news is it can only get better . . .

        1. wasatchsnowcast

          Ever? Yes, there are plenty of times in March where there are 10+ day stretches with no snow in the forecast. But it just seems worse now because we’ve had a rough 2 months leading up to this. Insult to injury.

  4. Anonymous

    It seems the GFS has been hinting at something around 17th or so for a while. Any chance it could be a pattern change. So, at least the last half of march is better. Grasping at straws. I’m in Park City starting the 9th fro 2 weeks. The NWS forecast looks like it warms up quickly. Any thoughts on temperatures from 10-16th?

      1. wasatchsnowcast

        That would be a weak brush-by system if it were to verify next Wednesday. We’ll have to give it a couple more runs to see if it’s an anomaly or a trend.

  5. Steve

    Boy, the 12Z GFS looks pretty nice. I’m latching on to that. By the way, you siad there was somewhere we could contribute to your cause. Can you print that again? I like to support blogs thaty I utilize. Thanks again for a great site.

  6. Anonymous

    Hi WSF, would you agree that the Wasatch has now hit rock bottom in terms of snowfall and skiing conditions for this winter? It has been so bad lately that I feel the another storm cycle, like the ones LCC is famous for, is improbable for the rest of the season. It is sad to see and there not even any hopes on the horizon. March is supposed to be a prime month and so far its been a disaster. It seems like the situation is worse than last year. Do you have any glimmer of hope to hang our hat on?

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      Well, a little bit of snow over the next couple days is better than nothing, then next weekend (March 16-17) is starting to look better in both the GFS and the Euro. Let’s hope the models are on to something. I think we’ll definitely get some more good storm cycles before all is said and done.

      1. Anonymous

        Thanks WSF. I remember the in the weeks leading up to the pattern change at the end of Feb you were so optimistic and hopeful that good things would happen, and they did. Are you not as hopeful about the possibility of a pattern change in March?

        1. wasatchsnowcast

          I was optimistic in February, mostly because the MJO was coming around to some good phases. I was somewhat optimistic for the second week of March about 10 days ago because that was looking good in the long-range models, but that clearly didn’t pan out. Things are starting to look better for the second half of March and the PNA going negative is giving me a bit of hope. We’ll have to wait and see if that works out… I’m always a little more optimistic when a pattern change has the support of the teleconnections as this one does.

  7. Steve

    The NWS Climate prediction center is forecasting above normal precip for 8-14 day period. First time I’ve seen that in a while. Perhaps the last half of March will look better. Crossing fingers.

  8. Steve

    Just made a donation. And I encourage other regular readers to do so. Definitely more valuable than most of the magazines I read.

  9. Mike


    any theories as to why we have had this persistent ridge the last two winters? is it permanent?

  10. Anonymous

    Hi WSF,
    Just checking in to see if the latest model runs are still hinting at a pattern change sometime next weekend?

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