6:30 PM update:
As expected, southerly flow is sending moisture north into the Wasatch and Uintas. Snow levels seem to be around 7,000 feet but should lower as the evening wears on. Webcams show several inches of snow already in areas like the Cottonwoods. Here is a current view of Alta Ski Area:
As you can see, it is snowing heavily. This is what the radar looks like at 6:30 pm on Monday:
You can see the moisture streaming northward into the Wasatch. This band of precip will move east and out of the area within the next couple hours. Precip will turn more showery in nature tonight through Wednesday as the main Low pressure tracks toward us. Impossible to time pieces of energy as they move into the area, but we should add several more inches on top of what we already have before all is said and done on Wednesday. For now, the 5-10″ forecast (with more in places) from this morning still looks good.
Long range models continue to show an active pattern next week!
It’s storm day! But not just any storm day, this will likely be the one that will be the beginnings of a permanent base for most Wasatch resorts. Most of our previous storms this year have melted off on all but north facing aspects. With continued cool and active weather next week, I think this snow will be here to stay.
The main Low pressure system is located over Western Nevada this morning at 7:30 AM. As the front passed through Reno/Tahoe around midnight last night, there were many reports of lightning and snow — “thundersnow”. For us, wind will be the main weather event for the day with south winds gusting all day throughout the state of Utah. We will see precipitation fill in later this evening as the front moves through the Wasatch and Wasatch Front. It’s not out of the question for us to see a little thundersnow as well in the high elevations with rain in the valleys.
Snow levels this afternoon will be around 8000 ft but will quickly lower to around 6,000 ft behind the front. Steadily dropping tomorrow to near the valley floors.
Precipitation will turn showery tomorrow and continue like that through Wednesday AM. The Wasatch Back and Uintas will stand to benefit from a southerly, then easterly flow tonight and tomorrow. Places like the Cottonwoods, which normally see the highest snow totals, may be on the low end for this event.
Overall, amounts to me look to be in the 5-10″ range above 8,000 ft in the Wasatch with 2-6″ above 6,000 ft. by Wednesday evening. There will likely be some areas like the Uintas that are favored by the southerly flow and could be closer to a foot or more. This is the type of storm that will require frequent updates, so I’m planning on writing a post later tonight as the precip develops.
Looking beyond this storm, all major models pick up the tempo in the Pacific with a series of storms impacting the PNW. It looks like the first of these systems will graze Northern Utah on Sunday night into Monday. It doesn’t look like a major system, but a few inches of snow is likely. Subsequent storms could dip farther south and give us a better chance for snow. Let’s hope they do, because it is time to start building a healthy base!