2 days until cold and snow return to the ‘Satch

Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 7:36 am

Saturday PM update:

This upcoming system has been in our sights for over a week already, but when you’re waiting for your first storm in a couple weeks — especially an early season storm — the build up can be agonizing as you watch each new model run come in, praying nothing’s changed.  Good news! If anything, models are looking even better for this system.  We’ll have a full update tomorrow.

The other major development today has been general trend toward continued storminess next week.  It’s not super reliable, but the last two runs of the GFS keep storms coming right through mid-month.  Lots of good news!  I just got my new powder boards ready for the season.  Time for it to start dumping!  See ya tomorrow!




Before we dive into today’s Wx discussion, I want to first take a second to welcome any new readers for this upcoming season. For those of you who are relatively new to Wasatch Snow Forecast, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Evan. I started WSF with the help of  a few friends as a way to simply share knowledge acquired from years of obsession with meteorology and snow forecasting.  WSF’s goal is to not just tell you what weather to expect, but also to explain in detail (without being too technical) the science behind what brings Utah its famous snowfall.

Wasatch Snow Forecast’s readership continues to grow with each passing season. We were thrilled to pass 1 million total views late last season and this year we’ve already seen over 100,000 views in the first month of the ski season. WSF’s Facebook presence has grown as well, with over 4,000 ‘likes’ on our FB page. It’s truly an honor that people look to our forecasts as a primary resource in choosing when to take a ski trip to Utah, when to ditch work/school for fresh powder, or even just to plan their commute. It probably comes as no surprise that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to wake up early every morning, spend 30-60 minutes looking over weather charts, then write a discussion — but it is worth every minute of it.   

Thanks again for reading Wasatch Snow Forecast.  Let’s hope for a great season!  Now on to an exciting discussion . . . 

Evan | Wasatch Snow Forecast


Forecast Discussion:

One (maybe two) more day(s) of inversion conditions in the SLC area.  Tomorrow we will see clouds and ridge top winds start to increase a bit as a large trough begins to push south into the Great Basin.  We’ve been talking about this pattern change for over a week now and it’s finally almost here.  Warm advection precipitation may develop tomorrow night in the northern mountains.  Snow levels would be fairly high and at best we’d only see an inch or two by Monday morning.

Monday will be breezy and mostly cloudy as the main front approaches the area.  Valleys will scour out as winds break the inversion.  The main front will start to push into far northern Utah Monday night, reaching the SLC area by daybreak and continuing south through Tuesday into Wednesday.

Tuesday should be a very snowy day in the Wasatch with a good 12-hour window for frontal precip.  Here’s the late 12-km resolution graph of forecasted snowfall for Alta from the NAM model:




This particular model has Alta reaching 8″ by 11 AM Tuesday.  The snow will likely continue into Tuesday evening before turning showery.  Best guess right now would be that the Wasatch will see 6-12″ by Wednesday morning with more possible in favored places like the Cottonwoods.  Additional accumulations Wednesday-Friday are possible as additional weak impulses keep mostly orographic showers going, however it is impossible to forecast exact amounts.

Right now, our best guess is to say from Monday-Friday — the Cottonwoods should see 1-2 feet of new snow with the majority falling on Tuesday.   The rest of the Wasatch will probably see slightly less — 8-16″ seems reasonable.  Of course, these are all subject to change as a good portion of the even is still 4-6 days out, but it gives you a preliminary estimate.

The other big story which we’ve mentioned many times already is COLD.  Bitter cold!   700mb temps still progged to reach -20C!!!  That means single digits most of next week in the mountains! Bundle up.

Models disagree on what to expect next weekend into the following week, so for right now we’ll just focus on this storm and let them make up their minds in the long-term!

Get pumped! Winter’s almost back!


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  • Thank you Evan for waking early to give us great Wasatch Snow Forecasts. Keep up the awesome work.

  • This is great news! Enough warmish weather and yucky inversion. We need to get our Utah mojo going in time for the holidays. 🙂

  • Matt

    Thanks for your forecasts. I think all of us truly appreciate the hard work and effort you put in!

  • Evan, it truly is awesome that we have resources like yours that are so accessible. Although its becoming easier to be a powderhound, not sure if that’s a good or bad thing yet. Your site and the UAC are the first places I visit when I wake up, thanks for getting up a little earlier every morning!

  • Steve

    Evan, thanks for your thoughtful and reasoned discussion.

  • Kristen

    Glad I found you! February will be my first venture to the west for skiing (Park City). Hope for some of that famous Utah POW, because everyone tells me it’s sooooo much better than New England! 🙂

    • Matt

      Kristen, as a native New Englander turned full-time Park City resident, you’ll never want to leave and skiing the east will never be the same after a UT visit. Consider yourself warned! Have a fun trip

  • Adrian

    Thanks Evan. Great read and can’t wait to see how the week pans out. Adrian Downunder, bird bound in feb.

  • Jon

    Evan – Glad to learn a bit of the story behind WSF. Thanks so much for all you do… you’re providing a valuable resource and your efforts are greatly appreciated!

  • Steve

    Love good news

  • Scott

    I’ve been following your forecasts for about a month now and I am extremely impressed! You blow away every weather app I’ve ever had on my phone and your site is a daily stop for me now. I truly appreciate all the hard work you do for our furthered knowledge! Thank you!

  • Steve

    Hope the 00Z GFS was an anomaly. Will see what tomorrow brings.