Changes are upon us

Friday, March 15, 2013 at 9:31 am

Today will be warm, but not as warm as yesterday and clouds should be on the increase during the day.  By tonight into tomorrow, we’ll see a very weak impulse pass just to our north and east.  This could bring a few light snow showers to the far northern mountains but nothing in the way of accumulation.

Weak to moderate system will move in on Sunday. The next impulse will dig a little deeper Saturday night into Sunday with snow beginning from north to south early Sunday morning.  Sunday could be a fun day of storm skiing/riding.  This system is far from being strong and the snowfall should start to clear out by afternoon, but accumulations of 3-6″ is possible with up to 8″ in select areas of the northern Wasatch.  It will also bring much colder temperatures with snow levels falling to valley floors behind the front.

After a brief break on Monday-Tuesday, the next, stronger storm will move in on Wednesday. This storm is still looking good to potentially bring significant accumulations to Utah mountains.  The frontal passage is currently timing for Wednesday night with snow continuing behind the front through at least Thursday and likely into Friday.  Thursday and Friday could be really good powder days.

Models agree that we will clear out for next weekend after this system, but still too early to know how long it will be before the next system moves in.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.


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27 thoughts on “Changes are upon us

  1. Anonymous

    Great news WSF. What do think is a reasonable estimate as of now for snowfall accumulations for the mid-week storm?

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      Really tough to call this far out. It will likely be at least a moderate storm with potential to be significant. I generally define moderate as 6-14″ and significant as more than 14″. In a couple days I should have a much better idea.

  2. Anonymous

    Hi WSF, do you have any concern regarding the amount of moisture that will accompany the midweek storm?

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      Concerns about what specifically? Whether we’ll have enough moisture to generate snowfall? No. Whether there will be enough moisture for major snowfall? Yes. In my opinion, there’s never quite enough moisture in any storm. 😉

      1. Anonymous

        I was thinking about moisture for major snowfall. I was reading the Tahoe Daily Snow, which stated the following: “The biggest change today is the model agreement that the low pressure in the Northeast Pacific will push inland more quickly Wednesday into Thursday cutting off the moisture Pacific flow. With the snow not lingering into Thursday anymore…” Any thoughts about this situation in Utah?

        1. wasatchsnowcast

          Gotcha. Well when a Low drops down off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, the more time it has to spin and pull moisture off the ocean. Brian likely just sees the Low moving inland a little quicker than earlier anticipated and therefore shutting off the tap sooner. The Sierra is much more dependent on a Pacific than Utah, so I can see why it is a concern for him. For Utah, I don’t see any major change in the overall QPF/snowfall.

  3. Steve

    The 18Z GFS seems to look worse for both storms. What are your thoughts? Is trend going wrong direction? Which given this winter would not surprise me. Would love to see a future storm that actually trends stronger on the models.

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      We are within range of the short range models now for Sunday’s storm so I start trusting those a lot more than the GFS and they still have been looking good (well, at least good enough for my forecast from this morning). As for mid-week, it might not look quite as good as previous runs but it’s not horrible either. You’re right, the models owe us a nice positive trend.

  4. Anonymous

    Hi WSF, This is bad news about the 18Z GFS and the mid-week storm. What do you think is going on? I know its early but what are you thinking for accumulations, worst-case scenario? By the way, you do a tremendous job with this site.

  5. Anonymous

    Steve in an earlier post was commenting on how the run looked disappointing. I, myself, have been unable to access it. Sorry for any confusion 🙂

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      Yeah, I commented back to Steve. There have been runs in the past couple days that have looked slightly better but there have also been runs that have looked slightly worse. Not every model run will be the same so there’s no point worrying about it yet. If we live and die by each model run, we’d all go insane. Haha.

  6. Anonymous

    Do you feel as though there is a “buzz” at the resorts about the impending storm? Are people getting excited?

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      It hasn’t really been talked about much honestly. Usually the “buzz” doesn’t start until a couple day before the storm. I think WSF readers are the main ones who are excited.

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      Sunday, I would head north to Snowbasin or PowMow. Snow should start earlier on Saturday night up there and they’ll be closer to the best storm energy. If you can’t make it up there, the Cottonwoods almost always do better than PC for fresh snow.

  7. mgilly

    Dear WSF, While I don’t live in Utah and only ski there once a year, I love to follow your site for some of the long range ridge analysis. Do you have any opinion on if the ridge will develop or otherwise persist towards the very end of the month. I have noticed that when that sucker forms, it seems to brings warm temperature and lack of moisture to much of the West, Pacific North West and British Columbia 🙁

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      It looks like ridging will build over most of the West next weekend and last for at least a few days. It’s impossible to say if the ridge will last until the end of the month or not.

      1. Anonymous

        Hi WSF, are you still thinking there will be a long-term pattern change to favor more storms or will next week be like every other storm cycle this winter…one and done? Also, do you think that there will be enough snow from next weeks storms to significantly improve the ski conditions? Thanks!

        1. wasatchsnowcast

          A couple days ago all global models pointed to an active pattern continuing. Now they are trying to build a more dominant ridge next weekend. We’ll see how long that ridge lasts . . .

          Any new snow will improve the ski conditions in my opinion.

      2. Anonymous

        WSF, how are the ski conditions holding up. I am concerned being that it was so warm this week. Are you at least still feeling good about the mid-week storm or are hopes of that fading as well?

  8. Nicholas

    Spent the past week at Snowbird. Coverage is still fine. I was able to ski everything except Great Scott and Jaws.

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