Thursday PM update:
Light snow tomorrow in the mountains with the first wave still looking good. Just a few inches at most….. Stronger wave still expected to move in on Saturday with snow most of the day. Totals by Sunday morning should be in the 7-14″ range in the Wasatch with more possible in select, favored locations. It might not be quite as big as it was looking briefly yesterday, but its still a good one — and who knows, maybe it will surprise us!
Storms are still on track to arrive starting tomorrow. The first shortwave is fairly weak but will bring a few snow showers — and perhaps a few inches of snow — to the area tomorrow morning. The second stronger and colder system will move in early Saturday, lasting into Saturday night. The two storms together will combine to bring fairly significant snow to the mountains of Northern Utah.
The only difference from yesterday is that the most recent run of most models now show the system moving through the Northern Great Basin quickly rather than dropping and settling into the central Great Basin like they showed last night. This faster movement will bring snow into the area sooner than expected on Saturday, but will also end precipitation faster on Saturday evening. This will limit snowfall a bit.
Right now, I can break down our snowfall amounts like this:
- Friday: 1-3″ Wasatch above 6,000′
- Friday night: Break between systems
- Saturday: Main storm day, 5-10″ Wasatch above 6,000′
- Saturday night: Storm winds down, 1-3″ Wasatch above 6000′
Overall, it looks like 7-14″ for most of the Wasatch when you combine the first system with the second. Places like the Cottonwoods, which are heavily favored by the northwest flow and potential for lake effect Saturday night, could see up to 18″. Here is the NAM’s forecasted snowfall amounts for Alta:
Alta is expected by the NAM to see over a foot. The previous run to this one was showing upwards of 2 feet. I think two feet is a little high, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we split the difference and saw closer to 18″.
Things still look very good. Let’s just hope the models don’t get even faster or farther north. Remember, this cold weather will also allow everybody to make plenty of man-made snow. So it will go a long way, no matter what, to getting terrain open.