Two storm systems to affect the area through the weekend. First storm moves into the area today (Thursday) with snow developing in the high elevations this morning and intensifying through the afternoon. Snow should taper off later this evening — 4-8″ likely by midnight. Next storm moves in Friday night and lasts through Sunday with the heaviest snow late Friday night and early Saturday morning. Potential powder days this afternoon, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
Our first storm is moving into the area. It seems to be holding together relatively well. The latest satellite/infrared of the storm shows it just entering Utah now out of Nevada:
Expect snow to become more widespread and intense in the mountains through the morning with heavy snow possible in the afternoon. Rain will fall in the valleys below about 6,500 feet. Snow levels may jump up to 7,000 feet at times this afternoon before falling down to 6,000 feet tonight.
Amounts with this initial wave should remain light. 4-8″ of medium to high density snow through tonight. As mentioned yesterday, it still looks like a “last chair today / first chair tomorrow” type of storm.
A break on Friday before the next system moves into the area Friday night. This storm, as mentioned the past few days, is splitting. The strongest portion of the storm will move into Southern California. I expect to hear some stories of mudslides and flash flooding in that area over the next few days. It’s all good news though, as they desperately need the rain. Southern Utah should get in on the action of the southern split Friday night and Saturday, with places like Brian Head having a decent shot at a foot or more of snow.
Northern Utah will be interacting more with the northern split, which is forecasted to form its own circulation over Southern Idaho. Northern Mountains will see heavy snow develop late Friday night and continue Saturday morning. Snow will then turn showery Saturday afternoon and continue through Sunday in that nature. Amounts with the second storm look like they will top a foot in many locations above 7,000 feet. Snow levels will spike up to around 7K feet Friday night before dropping to 6,000 feet or lower on Saturday.
Winds will also be a factor, as with any storm in Utah, however I don’t see them being as strong as we’ve seen in a few of the past storms. Still, expect breezy conditions on ridge tops. Resorts that are more susceptible to wind holds (Snowbasin/PowMow) could see a few of the lifts close briefly on Friday as the storm approaches.
Break on Monday. EC still shows a weak system moving through Northern Utah on Tuesday while the GFS keeps it more to our north with only a slight chance for snow. Both models agree on another system for late next week (Thursday or Friday) but disagree on the details. High pressure still looks likely to build for the following weekend of March 8/9. Long range projections suggest a possible return to storms by mid-month.