Friday PM update…
In this situation, the best news is no news — and that’s exactly what we are seeing. Models have remained consistent today. Moisture will be advected into the area tonight ahead of the system. Generally light snow could start as soon as midnight in the Wasatch. Heavier snow will start right around daybreak with an inch to two likely by 9 AM when lifts open. Snow should continue for much of the day in the mountains (and valleys).
Tomorrow night, orographics will keep snow going. Lake effect snow is looking increasingly likely over Salt Lake County toward the Cottonwoods. A nice long window for both orographics and lake effect, we could see some locally hefty totals if all comes together just right. Powder skis ready for tomorrow and Sunday? See you up there!
8:45 AM… Updated graph…
Is a 20+” storm possible in the Cottonwoods….maybe?
A very fun and powdery weekend lies ahead. This morning’s model runs have continued the trend of making this system look better and better. Hence, why we’ve seen our forecasted snow totals go from 3-6″ two days ago, to 5-10″ yesterday, to a new forecast of 8-16″ today. Not that we mind having to make these upward adjustments.
This is a unique system for two reasons. The first reason is that it is going to affect the entire state with a hefty dose of precipitation — it’s not uncommon for a storm to affect the entire state, but it is uncommon for it to be so broad in its effects. This leads us to our second reason — the cold air already in place. Not often do we have a cold arctic storm like this entering an already record cold environment. The combination of these two factors means all elevations and latitudes of Utah will stand a good chance of seeing accumulating snowfall. I can’t remember another time in the last 5 years when that has been the case.
A southwest flow will develop ahead of the system late today through tonight. We should gradually start to see an increase in snow showers in the Wasatch. By the time lifts open tomorrow, there will probably only be an inch or two on the ground. However, it should snow through most of the day Saturday with conditions only getting deeper.
The flow will turns more northwesterly late in the day on Saturday after the passage of the trough axis. This is the flow that is notoriously good for bringing places like the Cottonwoods their biggest totals. Orographics will keep snow going at least through Saturday night and likely into Sunday. Lake enhancement will also be a factor. Every global model shows good enhancement southeast of the lake.
Sunday is going to be the real money POWDER DAY. Right now I think by Sunday night, total accumulations in the Wasatch will be in the 8-16″ range — with a chance for more in the Cottonwoods, especially if a lake effect band sets up. We’ll keep a close eye on that this weekend. Here was last night’s graphical look at accumulations for the Upper Cottonwoods:
Gives you an idea of the potential… I’ll post an updated graph later this morning.
Looking ahead, we’ll be dry for most of next week with a gradual warm up. Next chance for a storm is late Thursday or Friday!
It’s only going to get better and better out there this weekend! Enjoy!