Tropical Paradise today, Arctic Cold tomorrow

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 7:28 am

Quick Wednesday PM update:

Things are drying out behind the warm sector precip bands from this morning/afternoon.  I think we did as well as we could have possibly hoped for with accumulations above 7,000 ft ranging from 2-5″.  This sets the stage for the colder system tomorrow morning which will set up a great powder day!  Current thinking would bring an additional 4-8″ of snow tomorrow to the Wasatch with the possibility for a bit more in places. This falling on top of what we already have from today brings snowfall totals to 6-12″ by Thursday night.  Yet another cold system will move in on Friday bringing several more inches of snow… Things are going to get better and better over the next couple days!   Looks like we will slowly dry out later this weekend but we can’t rule out a few more snow showers from time to time in the cool northwest flow.  More tomorrow… Enjoy!



Lots of moisture streaming into the area with tropical origins today.  Very little in the way of dynamics however, so what we’ll be left with is generally light rain below 8,000 feet with snow all the way at the tops of the mountains.  Wet snow will be slow to accumulate so I don’t expect much more than a couple inches at the top of the mountain by the end of the day.

Cold system moves in between midnight and sunrise tomorrow and will quickly lower snow levels down to most valley floors.  Not a ton of moisture with this system but much better surface dynamics.  I’d expect another 3-6″ with up to 8″ in places like the Cottonwoods by Thursday evening.  That would bring totals at resort bases to 4-6″ with up to 10″ on the mountain tops.

Friday we start to see the moist, northwest flow continue with weak waves rippling through the area.  With so much cold air in place, significant orographic and lake enhancement are likely as this northwest flow continues through the weekend into early next week.  This is a very difficult pattern to predict snowfall totals, but even weak systems can surprise us–so we may have some sleeper powder days this weekend in places.

Overall, expect temperatures to turn much colder tomorrow after today’s rain showers with snow likely at times both in the valleys and in the mountains.  By the time the ridge finally cuts off the flow next week, areas favored by the northwest wind direction could be looking at decent accumulations.  Today may be the first day of astronomical Spring, but you’ll quickly find out that Winter isn’t done yet.

Long-range… GFS wants to keep systems going through the end of the month while the Euro is having trouble making up its mind as to what it wants to do next week.  For now, I’m just going to focus on the active short-term.


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5 thoughts on “Tropical Paradise today, Arctic Cold tomorrow

    1. wasatchsnowcast

      Yep, things are working out well for us so far today. The more we can get today of this heavy, wet snow, the deeper it will feel tomorrow when the cold fluff arrives.

  1. Mark

    Yes, we certainly need the biggest buffer we can get between the light stuff that will be arriving shortly and the frozen tundra of the past week!

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