Fresh cold smoke is out there! A cool northwest flow with embedded disturbances will keep clouds and the threat of a few additional snow showers with us through Saturday. High pressure builds for Sunday-Wednesday of next week with dry weather. A return to storms looks likely late next week.
Yesterday went almost perfectly according to plan. Front blitzed through the area during late morning – early afternoon, bringing a couple hours of heavy snow. After that, we relied on orographic lift and instability in the northwest flow to bring us additional snowfall. It took a while to get going, but with the help of a little lake enhancement, we got a few extra inches overnight.
24-hour totals stand as follows. The Northern Wasatch came up short with the front racing through and very little help from orographics in the afternoon/evening. Generally 1-3″ fell up there. For the PC ridgeline, resorts are highly variable. The Canyons reporting 5″. Deer Valley 4″. But PCMR, in between them geographically, is at 10″…. Looking at automated sensors, this might not be out of the question, as they could have been under a bit of a lake band last night. For the Cottonwoods, reports are anywhere from 7-12″… with the 12″ reported by Solitude. When you break down the numbers, the original forecast of 4-8″ with up to 12″ in the Cottonwoods looks like it was pretty close to reality.
I was able to ski yesterday afternoon and evening at Brighton. The snow was excellent skiing. It was very cold and very windy, so exposed areas had plenty of snow crust. But if you stayed in the trees, a lot of that wind-blown snow was being deposited in places that made it feel much deeper. Blower powder! Similar reports of great ski days came in from all over yesterday, so today should be awesome as well if you’re going up. Beware that the cold northerly winds will continue through the day, so bundle up!
Cool northwest flow continues through Saturday. There are a couple weak disturbances — one tonight and another on Saturday — that could flare up a few snow showers in the high terrain. Accumulations, however, should be light.
High pressure still expected to build in on Sunday through early next week with warming temperatures.
Because it’s still 7+ days away, it’s still in the “long range” but there is a pattern change taking place late next week. Right now global models are still in good agreement. They show an initial system moving in on Thursday of next week. The GFS and GEM are fairly weak with this system while the EC is much stronger. I think the GFS and GEM might be right, unfortunately. Usually ‘ridge busting’ systems lose a lot of energy and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen. All models then follow up the initial system with a second, stronger system for next Saturday, March 1. Not going to trouble myself or you with any details this far out, but we are monitoring the long range models. These systems have lots of subtropical moisture so they could be significant, however snow levels may be higher again… Too early to know for sure, but that is often the case with these type of storms.
P.S. I will be out of town, visiting my retired parents in Arizona this weekend (I know, how cliche). So the posts may be later in the day than normal through Monday. Luckily, we don’t look to have anything too exciting in the forecast through then so it shouldn’t be too much of a sacrifice. Just an FYI….