It’s a nice weekend for a White Wasatch

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 7:10 am

Wednesday PM update:

Models still looking good!  The word “major” is starting to be thrown around when describing this storm…  I’m not quite ready to go that far because I’m so afraid, paranoid really, of being burned by the models.  Also, the word major is totally subjective to the person using it.  There are some who think any storm over a foot is major. There are others, like me, who consider major to be 3 feet or more.  I prefer the word “significant”.  A ‘significant storm’, in my book, is anything that brings a foot or more of snow to the Wasatch.  I think we are for sure in for a significant storm, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “major”. . . . . . . yet.

Here’s the latest 00z NAM to spice up your night.  Look at all that blue over the Wasatch!  Good stuff!





Mild, boring weather has been lulling us to sleep lately.  But the second you say the word “powder” . . .



Yep!, It’s here folks — a snow filled forecast with the season’s first lift-serviced powder days.

There are two big changes from yesterday’s forecast.  The first is regarding the weak wave I mentioned yesterday for Friday… well, that wave doesn’t look nearly as weak in most models now.  It’s still not strong by any means, but instead of just seeing clouds and cooler temps, we should get at least a few inches of snow as well starting early Friday morning and continuing through about mid-day.

The next change is the timing of the well-advertised second system this weekend.  In previous forecasts, it looked like this would  move into the area late on Saturday and be more of a Saturday night and Sunday system.  Now, it appears as if precip will start Saturday morning, pick up in intensity Saturday evening into Saturday night, with snowfall winding down on Sunday.  There is also a very real possibility for lake effect or lake enhanced snow downwind of the GSL.    You’ll forgive me if I wait another day to make my first snowfall forecast, as model performance lately has been poor.  I will say that when you combine all accumulations from Friday-Sunday, it looks like totals of well over a foot are certainly possibly in the Wasatch range.

The other story besides snowfall is the cold.  700mb temperatures this weekend will drop to around -12C, which translates to teens and 20s in the high elevations of the Wasatch.  Cue the snowguns!  Local area resorts should take full advantage of this weather — starting on Friday, we should have 5 or 6 solid days of good snowmaking weather.  Let’s get those resorts open guys!

I’m primarily focusing on short-range right now since this is our first system in couple weeks, but if you’re planning a trip and need to know the outlook ….  It looks like after this weekend we dry out and warm up for a bit.  Then it’s really anybody’s guess as we head toward the following weekend and Thanksgiving, each model has a slightly different solutions.  Long-range CFS shows us more dry than not until Thanksgiving, then starts to turn on the valves as we head into December.



This would make sense given that the PNA is going strongly negative.  Hopefully we have an epic end of the month and December.  But remember, long-range forecasts like this are far from an exact science.

Enjoy the glorious return to snow this weekend!


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  • Glad I discovered your blog! Since I normally ski in the Northeast, I am a follower of your ski-weather-geek colleague, Joshua Fox at This winter I’m planning a trip to PC/DV and have been wondering where I can get all the nerdy details on PNA and NAO and Siberian snow pack. YAY!

  • James

    how long would PNA be negative?

  • James

    I would like to know if there will be enough snow for me to justify buying a snowblower before the weekend?

    • Buy it Friday, use it Saturday and Sunday, take it back to the store on Monday. 🙂

    • James

      dont forge my name

  • MiaMia

    Woohoo! My snowblower was collecting dust

  • Spencer

    I’m with you on the definition of a “major” storm. Major to me is at least a 18 inches in the valley, and double that for the mountains that doesn’t stop for days, or comes down all at once.