Engines revving up

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 6:34 am

Friday PM update:

Ok… The show has been on all day for the northern Wasatch range with Heavy snow falling at Beaver Mountain, PowMow, and even for part of the day at Snowbasin.  Beaver Mountain already has close to 30″ of snow since Wednesday!  Powder Mountain did experience wind holds this afternoon.  Unfortunately, there will be a threat of that tomorrow and Sunday as well as the winds with this system will be high given our proximity to the jet stream.

Farther south, it was more of a “revving the engines” day for the Cottonwoods and PC.  After a few inches of snow last night that made for some nice skiing, we saw mostly just very light snow today.  Radar returns are starting to pick up again down south.



If you notice the green and blue blob to our west over north-central Nevada, that will be moving toward us tonight.  Precip should pick up in intensity late this evening through the night with 5-10″ likely in the Cottonwoods with 3-6″ in PC.  Up north, another 6-12″ is likely overnight.

Tomorrow, another reinforcing wave moves in by afternoon with heavy snow continuing up high.  Another 5-10″ is likely.  A break late on Saturday night before a final push on Sunday into Sunday night with an additional 5-10″ possible then.

Snow levels still look like they’ll rise tonight up to 6,000 feet, then rise further on Saturday up to 7,000 or 7,500 feet.  Elevation is your friend. The wind and the rain are your enemies!  Happy Powder Hunting this weekend!  WSF



Atmospheric river taking shape for this weekend.  Today we will have off and on snow that will start to pile up by this evening.  Heavy, dense snow will fall in the high mountains on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  1-3 feet of snow looking likely by Monday night above 7,500 feet.


Light snowfall continued to fall all day and all night up near the Idaho border where the boundary has been stalled.  9″ fell at Beaver Mountain in the last 24 hours.  Other reports this morning are highly varied, as is often the case in warm advection scenarios.  2-3″ at snowbasin and PowMow.  3-4″ along the PC ridge line.  2″ in LCC and 6-8″ in BCC.  Sundance reporting 5″ so far.  Even Brian Head saw a surprise few inches from the southern branch of yesterday’s system.   Already got comments this morning wondering if this was another bust. Short answer: No.  The storm hasn’t even really started yet, if you read yesterday’s discussion, we didn’t even expect accumulations in the Cottonwoods/PC until last night, and even then we said “a few inches are possible as far south as the Cottonwoods” overnight — and 2-8″ fell, which is actually more than I would have expected.  So we are on track! Remember, this storm goes until Monday evening with the heaviest snow on Saturday and Sunday…. patience….

Engines just getting revved up today with the atmospheric river.  Expect off and on medium density snow to fall during the day today.  Another 2-8″ possible by evening.  Accumulations will be highly varied again in the SW flow.

A bit of a break early tonight before snow picks up again early Saturday.  Saturday we should see heavy snow with snow levels rising off the valley floors.  High density snow will pile up in the mountains.  Another wave for Saturday night into Sunday of heavy snow.  A final wave pushes in on Monday will snow levels dropping a bit again and densities lowering.

Snow levels, wind, rime, and avalanches are all still concerns this weekend.  Right now it looks like snow levels will peak around 7,500 feet Saturday night into Sunday morning.  I can’t know for sure if winds will close lifts, but it’s certainly a possibility.  As is rime, which can put a nasty crust on the snow.  It’ll likely be a ‘hope for the best’ scenario when chasing powder this weekend.  I would suggest finding a wind protected area that is as high in altitude as possible (not an easy task).

Total accumulations still look good.  The northern Wasatch is getting off to a slower start than I would have expected, so I think just a blanket 1-3 feet is a good bet above 7,500 feet throughout the Wasatch by Monday night.

Just because we love maps, here is the latest NAM through Monday:



Still showing a broad area of 3-4″ of liquid in the Wasatch!  And to our west, you can see an even broader area of 5-10″ of liquid in the Sierra Nevada.  This is desperately needed for their water supply going into the summer.  Unfortunately, their snow levels will be above 8,000 feet, which is well above most of their resort bases.

Long range:

Storm track pushes farther north into the PacNW next week, but it looks like Northern Utah will at least get the southern portion of these storms with additional chances for snow.


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17 thoughts on “Engines revving up

  1. Scot Chipman

    Lots of snow on the way which is great! I’m sure a few have noticed that the 12km NAM is forecasting 40″+ for Alta by Monday afternoon http://weather.utah.edu/index.php?runcode=2014020712&t=nam218&d=MG&r=ALTA which would be amazing. The 4km NAM is even crazier forecasting 60″+ by Monday afternoon http://weather.utah.edu/index.php?runcode=2014020712&t=namhires&d=MG&r=ALTA The models almost always over forecast snow in this type of situation but we can always dream!

  2. pen fifteen club co founder

    Four inches at the bird, minimal daytime snowfall. Medium density snow. Overall nice skiing. Can’t wait for a couple feet of sierra cement to help open up some new adventures on the mountain!

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      Great western and Milly can be susceptible. But I think the others are more protected. I can’t recall being there on a super windy day, perhaps someone else can offer a better answer….

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