Here we go again . . .

Friday, December 20, 2013 at 6:51 am

Friday PM update:

Everything is still on track for tomorrow’s system.  Light advection snow will begin tonight after midnight.  Accumulations by sunrise should be minimal, a couple inches perhaps.  Snow will become heavier after sunrise and continue through much of the day before dwindling in the evening.  6-12″ for the high elevations still seems reasonable by late Saturday night.  Snow will be heaviest and start earliest up north, so the best ski days might be had up at Powder Mountain and Snowbasin, especially with the 18″ they saw yesterday…WSF



More snow is on the way for tonight and tomorrow.  Saturday (and perhaps Sunday) should be a powder day! Unsettled northwest flow will keep a chance for snow showers around through Christmas.


Before we get into the details of the next storm.  Let’s quickly wrap-up totals from yesterday.  Looks like PC ridge resorts saw 9-12″ of snow,  the Cottonwoods came in at about a foot, and the big winners were Powder Mountain and Snowbasin who saw 17 and 18″ respectively.  The one outlier in the Cottonwoods was Brighton, which is reporting 16″ storm total.  I skied Brighton last night and I would say a foot+ is ubiquitous, but my ski companion and I did estimate a few spots in the woods to be about 15-16″…. so perhaps it is an accurate report.  All I know is I was getting faceshots on most turns 🙂 .  Overall, the storm performed right at expectation, and even over-performed directly under the deformation zone up north — so we are satisfied.  Moving on . . .

Next system is currently dropping into the PNW and heading toward the northern Great Basin.  Snow will likely begin to develop over the region by late evening in far northern Utah, and about midnight or just after in the mountains near SLC.

Snowfall with this next system will be more widespread than our storm yesterday, so I don’t have to deal with the stress of trying to figure out where any narrow snow bands will stall.  Snow will continue through the day on Saturday and taper off during the evening.  Here is a look at total QPF for the system from the 4-km NAM model:

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

You can see the blue of the Wasatch depicting areas of .5-.9″ of liquid.  This translates to about 6-12″ of snow, which is our forecast for the high elevations.  Because this system relies more on orographics, areas like PC which are east of the crest might not see quite as much and may end up in the 4-8″ range.

Unsettled northwest flow will send little ripples of energy through the area until at least Tuesday.  This will give us a chance for occasional snow showers leading up to Christmas.  But accumulations look minimal.

High pressure builds back in from Christmas day onward until at least next weekend.  Blocking ridge just off the west coast is showing no signs of relenting until at least after the new year.  Which means our only shot at snow is “backdoor” storms like we saw yesterday and will see again tomorrow.

Enjoy an extra powdery weekend!




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7 thoughts on “Here we go again . . .

      1. Ryan C

        Shucks. My chart skills are very rudimentary (I yield to the great WSF) but it looks like you’re right. Hopefully we’ll be back to normal by January. This Christmas surprise can’t keep us going forever.

  1. Steve

    Given what the GFS and CPC show out next 2 weeks, I presume the signs are not very strong. looks pretty dry. Very good this recent precip came in or holidays would be very bad.

  2. Flaccid Phallusman

    I belive WSF has mentioned a possible pattern change early January. I hope we get a large Jan/Feb to even out the snow average.

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