Clean Air!

Friday, January 31, 2014 at 6:56 am


Cool northwest flow will allow for a few occasional light snow showers today through the weekend. Other wise we’ll have partly cloudy skies. Next system currently timing for Tuesday.


Storm is pretty much wrapped up.  There is a weak lobe of energy in northeast Nevada right now that could spawn a few snow showers in the mountains later today, but accumulations should be light.  It looks like a northwest flow will continue through the weekend with the main storm track well to our south.

We have now experienced a major shift in our pattern from one of dominant high pressure to Western troughing.  A lot of comments lately wondering why it’s a pattern change if we aren’t expecting to see frequent storms this week.  Important to remember that a pattern change doesn’t mean that we are destined for endless powder — it is possible that pattern changes can take us from one type of dry pattern to another type of dry pattern.  With that said, this pattern doesn’t look to produce major storms anytime soon, but it doesn’t look totally dry either.  More on that in minute.

Yesterday the front dropped south of the Wasatch quickly, which limited our snowfall totals a bit.  48-hour totals ranged from 8-15″ with an average of 12″ from Wasatch resorts.  While this is on the low end of the original 10-20″ forecast, it was nice dense snow that had plenty of liquid in it to help of our SWE.  Good base building snow.

After dropping south of us, the front slowed and even stalled for a bit along the I-70 corridor east into Colorado.  The western slope of Colorado has the perfect topography for creating orographics when there is enough moisture.  Unfortunately, Colorado is so far inland that it rarely sees as much moisture as it did yesterday.  The result was pretty incredible.  Reports of over 30″ of snow at resorts in Eagle and Summit Counties in Colorado, which is extremely rare for them.  Check out this timelapse of the Vail snowstake yesterday:



Fun to watch! Makes me just a touch jealous, although I did have an awesome powder morning yesterday myself.

Back to our forecast…  So after a mostly dry weekend and start to next week, we’ll have a weak system track through the area on Tuesday.  Models have been decently consistent with this feature.  Right now, it looks like the type of storm that could drop 3-6″.  Not a ton, but enough to create some soft turns.

Later next week looks dry.  Models still trying to bring in a stronger system sometime around February 10.   We’ll be watching that one closely over the next few days….

Still plenty of powder out there, especially in parts of the mountains that didn’t open yesterday due to avy control. Go get it!   Be careful if you’re going into the backcountry as avalanche danger is high!


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  • Kyle

    Can you go into any detail about this potential feb 10th storm? Im going to Jackson feb 13th so a pow day would be nice!

    • Sorry… It’s too far away for any detail yet… in a few days we’ll have a clearer picture.

  • Steve

    NWS said GFS has a Friday storm. Thoughts?

    • Yep… GEM has it too. Most of the energy passes to our south in both solutions, but it could fire up some snow showers up north. I didn’t mention it because it’s not in the EC at all — and as you know, the EC is my model of choice for this range. We’ll give it a day and see what the models do before we talk about it.

  • pen fifteen club co founder

    Also please go into extreme detail about the projected March 17th storm I saw in the farmers almanac this summer, thanks

  • dante

    Great time lapse of the snow stake. Love watching that powder build up! Thanks for bringing another feature to WSF. This continues to show why you are the best snow resource available.

  • Brian

    Man, someone needs to tell snowbird they need to work on their snow cam. Tiny blurry jpeg or yuck. We’ve get better snow (usually anyway), need to show it off!!

    • I tend to agree with you Brian. Most Colorado resorts have awesome Hi-def snow stake cams. Utah resorts either don’t have one, or have blurry, hard to read ones. They are clearly very popular and it would be nice if we took a page out of Colorado’s book and implemented these. As you say, if you’ve got it, flaunt it! 🙂

  • dug

    according the uac, avalanche danger isn’t high, but rather is low to moderate, even on north facing.