Dud Alert! But Mother Nature has ample opportunity for redemption!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:20 am

12z Nugget: 

Instability will increase this afternoon, increasing the chances for snow showers.  Wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a quick few inches in the Cottonwoods.  Latest NAM came in looking unbelievably juicy for the Thursday-Friday system.  If it were to verify we would be looking at 30-40″ of snow by the end of the day Friday.  DO NOT TAKE THIS AS A FORECAST!!!!! As always, it is one run of one model, but even half of that amount would be pretty nice, eh?  Also, 12z run of the GFS looks great for snow on Sunday-Monday… hopefully the 12z Euro will be equally optimistic.  As always, WSF will keep you updated…WSF



Storm has mostly moved through the area.  A few instability showers will remain in the northwest flow that could add another inch or two on top of what we’ve seen.  Break on Wednesday before the next system moves into the area late Thursday into Friday.  More snow likely in the long range!


Cold front weakened significantly as it dropped south last night.   That meant the best totals were found in the northern resorts with 4-7″ being reported north of SLC.  Cottonwoods reporting 2-5″.  PC ridge resorts getting 2-4″.    Additional snow showers likely today in a cool northwest flow that could add another inch or two.

Today’s system was a bit of disappointment, and disappointments happen.  Whenever this happens, inevitably you get comments like “it seems like all our storms have been disappointments this year”.  The fact is that so far this season, we’ve had more storms that have over-performed than we have under-performed.   Trust me, I track this stuff very carefully.   In fact, we are only 3 days removed from Saturday where we saw 6″ in the Cottonwoods when we only expected an inch or two at best.  It all evens out.  And remember, originally the forecast for this system was just 3-6″ — It was always expected to be the weakest in the series.  Moving on to bigger and better things…

A break tomorrow before moisture starts to increase on Thursday.  Snow should start in the mountains by Thursday afternoon and continue through Thursday night into Friday.  If you remember, the big question with this system is where would the best snowfall set up.  Yesterday, it looked like central Utah… but today, most models have shifted the boundary north into northern Utah.  This is good news for most resorts in the SLC/PC region.  This system is stronger and much longer duration than the one last night so amounts should be higher.

Another potentially strong storm will move into the area starting Sunday thru Monday… Still early to worry about details, but its been looking good in the latest models.  All major models have another system following this one around Wednesday of next week.  If you’re disappointed by the snow amounts that fell today… Don’t worry, there’s plenty more chances ahead for powder!



4:20 AM:

Dud Alert!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good old fashion stinker, sure… we’ve had some underperforming storms, but not a total dud.  They do happen!  Cold front weakened rapidly as it moved south and only brought a couple inches to the Cottonwood/PC.   Cold front held together better farther north.  Snowbasin snow stake looks like 6+”.

We’re not totally done yet, however! We should see orographic snow showers develop this morning in a northwest flow — could add several inches to the total.  This storm will likely be a bust for most places at our 5-10″ forecast… I hope you didn’t put too much faith in the NWS’s 10-16″ Cottonwoods forecast yesterday.  WSF

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  • star

    we don’t put faith in ANY of your forecasts as utah sux… for snow in 13-14

    • Kaykoh

      Seems like you’d fit right in over in Colorado.

  • Evan, it seems that most of the forecasts have been duds this year. But, contrary to the what Star seems to imply, it’s NOT your fault. Most people LOVE your forecasts.

    • Thanks Caroline. Actually we’ve seen more over-performing systems this season than under-performing. Maybe people just remember the duds more…? Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty more chances for snow over the next 10 days! Stay positive!

      • Caroline

        You’re right Evan. I’m just being ungrateful.

        • Haha… I think living in Utah makes us all powder snobs! We expect the best!

          • And very high expectations. If they got this snow in Australia, they’d be OVER THE MOON!

          • So I’m thinking Evan, that since it’s been snowing quite heavily for about 2 hours now, that maybe you were right..just timing was a little off. 🙂

  • Eric Lewis

    As your punishment….you must ski Las Lenas this summer, and report daily! Hey, the day we blame you for the weather is the day you take on powers that, well, ain’t likely to happen!

  • Smuttyb

    I disagree about the duds. People just remember them more.

  • Max

    No worries brotha. This why it is called a forecast. Seems like refills are on the way soon. Keep up the good work. You are the best source for pow in Utah.

  • zanon putnam

    love your forecasts! i been following for 2 yrs straight now. And im a Snowbasin local so im stoked on the performance so far up there

    • work

      Ya im a big fan man, read you all the time, been helping me and my friends out alot!!!

  • stormrider

    Hey, storms can underperform sometimes … but they can overperform sometimes too. Definitely not willing to throw you under the bus on this one. We’ll take anything we can get at this point.

  • Bob

    It happens, thanks for all you do!! You’re the only resource I recommend anyone look at for winter weather!

  • Frank

    Thank you for your reports which I’ve been reading daily in the last couple of weeks. I’m flying in friday night. Cheers

  • Spencer

    We’re going to have a dud here or there because of the fact that it’s forecasting, and that it is not always correct since things are constantly changing. Plus forecasters are correct around 85% so there is some room for error. Think how many times the local news stations have gotten it wrong before.

  • Josh

    I’ll take this under-performer now when we have several more chances for more snow. We have had a couple over-perform when there was no snow in the foreseeable future.

  • This storm was forecasted very well by the models but for what ever reason the National Weather Service (which normally does a great job) was going with much more snow. Yesterdays 12NAM was forecasting 7″ for Alta and the 12ZWRF-GFS (my favorite) was forecasting around 4″ for Alta. I don’t want to speak for Evan but the National Weather Service forecast tends to influence others forecasts including mine which is why I went with a little more snow than the models but not nearly as much as the National Weather Service. Good news as Evan has pointed out is that there are more storms on the way!

  • I am happy to get what we have received. Been disappointed so much this year that any boost is a welcomed event. Hoping for a great Feb. Come on next storm give it to us!!!

  • Spank Tickleman

    As long as the forecast isn’t “more ridging”, I’m happy… Snow is snow at this point and I’ll take any amount of it we can get…

    • Agreed, any amounts of snow on the soft base we have is nice. The fact that we’ve seen frequent snow for the past week has really made for some great conditions. And between you and me, I think the upcoming week could be the best we’ve had since the 2010-11 season. *knock on wood*

      • Mark

        Where can I find this “soft base” you speak of? It certainly is nowhere to be found at Solitude! Even the groomers are very, very firm.

        • Mike Mc

          Solitude has the goods, you just go down that one spot right where… nevermind =)

  • Cynthia

    Love your site. You make even disappointing news palatable with your scientific background mixed with wit and humor. I look forward to your subject headings every time. They tell the best stories.
    We plan our ski days around your forecasts. If the powder doesn’t materialize we just keep working- so when it does we don’t feel guilty for taking the time off. At least with your forecasts we have the best clue of what to expect. We are snobs. We are looking for optimal conditions every time.
    Keep up the great work. I have many friends that all look to you for planning our “powder flu” days.

  • Chandler

    WSF…Ski trip up to grand targhee leaving Thursday night. How bad do you expect the roads to be?

    • They have the potential to be very bad… Any chance you could leave Wednesday night instead?

      • Chandler

        I’m not sure. We could leave around 2 30 at the earliest on Thursday . What time about do you expect the snow to fill in? Think it would be good to re schedule our trip to catch all this pow? 🙂

  • Steve

    Sometimes a Utah “dud” storm is nice. Keeps the crowds away and I get some nice skiing all to myself.

  • Jack


    I’ve used your site for accurate snow predictions on my 4 trips out to the Wasatch. You always do a great job summarizing the technical details and relaying them in layman’s terms. Fantastic stuff – keep it up!

    Now, I know it’s still in fantasy-range, but what are your thoughts on the end of the month? I’m flying into SLC on 2/21 for a week of skiing. Any early thoughts on whether or not this pattern will continue to deliver?

    My sister is flying into SLC on Friday. I’m worried she’s going to get all the good snow and I’ll be left with nothing!!!!

    • Yep, still too early to tell. Long range ensembles are all over the place… I certainly hope this pattern lasts awhile!

  • WHN

    Super stoked for this coming week, buddies and I are flying in Friday night and staying for eight days in the PCMR area. Keeping my fingers crossed, keep up the good work WSF!