It Begins

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 5:38 am

Wednesday Noon update:

Snow continues to fill in, primarily north of SLC, at this time.  Snow levels are at about 5,000 feet this morning but should rise above 7,000 feet this afternoon before falling again tonight. 

All models now in agreement that the front will continue moving south tomorrow rather than stalling over northern Utah.  We’ll still get plenty of snow, but the main event should be over by Thursday night with only orographic instability showers on Friday.  This means the 2+ feet of snow that was a possibility in previous runs of the EC/GEM now looks unlikely.  That’s ok, I’ll settle for 10-20″.  Models still show weak impulses keeping periodic snow showers through the weekend.  WSF


A moist winter storm will begin to affect the area today.  High density (wet) snow will fall today above 8,000 feet.  Snow levels will drop tonight as snow rates intensify.  Snow will continue Thursday before turning to showers by Thursday evening.  Total accumulations should be 10-20″ above 8,000 feet.


Warm advection pre-frontal precip is starting to spread into far northern Utah.  Snow will begin to fall throughout the morning hours today in the mountains with rain showers in the valleys.  As the moisture and warm air become more abundant, snow levels will rise.  They may peak close to 9,000 feet for a short time today before lowering this evening again.  Even if snow levels do stay at around 8,000 ft, it’s going to be a good day to wear gore-tex or even the old trashbag if you’re up on the hill.

Tonight the main front is going to be approaching the area.  Precipitation should intensify late tonight through the early morning hours on Thursday.  By the time ski resorts open tomorrow, I’d expect 6-12″ of snow to have fallen.  Tomorrow is going to be a very good powder day with snow falling throughout the day in Northern Utah before tapering off in the evening.

Yesterday, the EC model stalled the front over northern Utah and allowed a second impulse to track through Northern Utah on Thursday night.  The GFS kept the front moving through the area and put us in more of a showery regime for Thursday night and Friday.  Today, the EC keeps the front moving slowly and turns off the hose by Thursday evening.  The GFS is similar with a slower solution than it had yesterday.  I think the models compromised on keeping the front moving, but at a slower pace.

This means two things:  1. we likely won’t see the crazy amounts of snow that were possible in Northern Utah if the front stalled and 2. Thursday is probably going to be the best powder day if I had to choose one.  It’ll be storm riding however, so if that’s not your thing, maybe Friday will be a better day.

All models show snow showers continuing through the day Friday and even into early Saturday.  Additional accumulations should be light, but could further soften the snow for powder refills.  By Sunday we should be mostly dry again with only a small chance for lingering snow showers.

Total accumulations should be in the 10-20″ range, with most of this falling by the end of the day on Thursday.   I do think there is a chance that certain areas see up to 2 feet under the most persistent bands of snow, but it is impossible to know for sure where these will be.

Long Range:

Looks like we’ll be dry for the first half of next week.  Both GFS and EC have a system possibly effecting us around the 7th..  After that, there is no agreement in models whatsoever, so we’ll just have to give it time.


P.S.  Please comment below or on our Facebook page with storm reports.  Also, tag any snow/ski photos you take over the next few days with #wasatchsnowforecast for it to show up in our Instagram feed on the right sidebar.  Have fun! 

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5 thoughts on “It Begins

  1. Zach

    Yesterday many of the snow forecasts from sites like onthesnow, snow-forecast and wunderground were estimating around 14-20 inches for most resorts and today it has dropped significantly to 7-12 across the board it seems. Now few places are expecting more than about 10 inches in total … Did the storm really weaken that much overnight or do you think these estimates are conservative?

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      Nope, didn’t really weaken at all. The only difference is the EC moving the front through a bit faster, perhaps those forecasts were putting more weight on the EC. Still think 10-20″ above 8K feet is likely…

  2. Piper pilot

    Skiing at pcmr today. Light snow this am then more moderate snow after noon but very wet. Maybe one inch as of 2 pm.
    I enjoy your posts throughout the year!

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