Let the games begin . . .

Monday, December 2, 2013 at 7:30 am

Monday PM update: 

Everything is starting to happen now in the Wasatch.  Pre-frontal precip is firing up along the Wasatch Front, Crest, and Back.  Park City ridge has seen a couple hours of decent snow already with 2-3 inches on the ground up high.  Forecasted snowfall from this morning still looks good — the big question will be where exactly the front stalls tomorrow.  We should have that answer tomorrow morning.  Let’s hope it’s a tiny bit farther north than models are currently indicating. 

No matter how you spin it, this should be a great storm for the Wasatch.  The forecast through the rest of the week, the weekend, and next week still shows more snow! Get them powder boards ready!


An exciting week ahead of us, so let’s get right into it.

Winds will be strong today as the front approaches the area.  There will be plenty of clouds and light snow or rime is possible in the high elevations.  The main front will move into the northern Wasatch late this afternoon and reach SLC by midnight.  Overnight, the Wasatch should see a quick burst of snow with snow levels dropping to all valley floors.  Snow should taper by sunrise north of I-80 where I expect 4-8″ to fall.   South of I-80, snow should continue at least through mid-morning tomorrow before we probably see a break in the action. Accumulations south of I-80 should be in the 6-12″ range by Tuesday afternoon.

The front will stall tomorrow south of SLC… It looks like from about Provo south to Cedar City will get hammered with the mountains of Central Utah seeing 10-20″ by late Wednesday.

The Wasatch will see light snow re-develop in a more showery format Tuesday night into Wednesday.  Additional accumulations look to be in the 3-6″ range through Wednesday night.

Overall, I think total accumulations through Wednesday night look like this:

  • Wasatch north of I-80 above 6,000 feet:  6-12″
  • Wasatch south of I-80 and north of Provo: 8-14″
  • Mountains of central/southern Utah: 10-20″

NWS has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the mountains south of I-80, forecasting 1-2 feet.  Remember, their job is to protect lives, so they assume the worst cast scenario.  I think the more likely scenario, at least at Cottonwoods and PC resorts is the 8-14″ range.

On Thursday, the NAM pushes some more energy into the area.  It’s very weak, but it could very well bring us a few inches, as the cold air will squeeze out every last snowflake.   Friday will again have some more chances for light snow.

The next system is progged to move in on Saturday or Saturday night.  This storm will reinforce the cold air and bring the entire state a shot at more snow.  Doesn’t look like a major storm, but another 4-12″ is certainly possible for the weekend warriors.  This is 5 days away still so subject to change but worth noting for sure.

The skiing will be great this week.  Tuesday will be a powder day with 4-12″ of new snow in the Wasatch.  Additional accumulations on top of that should make Wednesday fun as well.  Thursday/Friday have a chance for more snow too.  Then the weekend storm looks to make Saturday and/or Sunday a powder day too.  Bosses be warned:  there are a lot of “sick” people this week.

The other story for this week is the cold air.  If you don’t know already, this is probably going to be the coldest week of the entire winter season for Utah.  Temps on the mountain tops will struggle later this week to get above 0 F.  In the valleys, we will be stuck in the teens and low 20s.  Take winter precautions NOW.

A quick look at next week shows a good chance for continued active weather with a more typical (not so frigid) storm track.  Good signs all around.



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  • Erix

    Thanks for posting each and every day. I follow your site religiously for skiing and for work. When you post accumulations, what elevations are you using? Bases of ski resorts or peaks?


  • Nice job of not buying into the hype! I’m thinking a general 6-12″ (8-12″ Cottonwoods) of snow for the northern and Utah mountains above 7,000 ft with local 12-18″ for the Oquirrhs/Uintas, 12-20″+ for the central/southern Utah mountains. I hope we are both wrong and the Cottonwoods get 12-18″ like the NWS has forecasted.

    • I think there is potential for more, but we all know that you shouldn’t forecast based on potential but rathe the highest likelihood.

      • I agree there is potential for more, lets all hope the cold front stalls 150 miles farther to the north!

  • Steve Chapman

    Wow Chip Skipman, you should make your own blog.

    • Good one, I’m sure you know I do but I’m not as dedicated as Evan and only do about one post for each storm. I now forecasting/hoping for 8-14″ for the Cottonwoods……

  • Steven A Chapman

    Skip Dipman,

    Nobody cares.


    • Hey now… No need for insults

    • Many don’t which is fine, I’m a meteorologist that grew up in Utah snow skiing and do it mainly for fun and for my friends/family.

  • Steven A Chapman

    I ski for all the wounded veterans in Iraq that can’t ski anymore. Why don’t you care about them Chip?

    • I do care but where are you going with this? My dad was a pilot in Vietnam and is still MIA so be careful of where you are going.

      • Alright guys. Let’s keep comments respectful and Wasatch weather/skiing related.

  • Steve

    So, I mentioned that I am going to be there to ski between the 8th and 15th. I should know by now not to get unduly happy or sad based on a couple of runs of the GFS, but at least for now, it’s looking pretty good for that time period. But I should know by now that the models can change very quickly.