All Smiles!

Monday, March 3, 2014 at 6:47 am


More snow in the forecast!  Weak system brought an inch or two overnight to the high mountains last night.  Stronger system moves in tonight (Monday night) with snow for your Tuesday and yet another powder day.  Another storm moving in late Thursday/Thursday night.


Wow! What a weekend it was!  Thursday afternoon was free refills.  Friday was killer.  Saturday was deep graupel fun!  And for me, Sunday was the cherry on top as I went up to Powder Mountain which was largely closed on Saturday due to winds.  19″ of snow and 7000 skiable acres!  Powder Country and Lightning Ridge were incredible.  Of course, it wasn’t your typical Utah fluff.  But it was still probably my best day of the season thus far.  All smiles!

A weak disturbance moved through last night as expected and dropped minimal accumulation — also expected.  Snowbird and Alta are not reporting new snow, however the Snowbird timelapse shows heavy snow for about an hour last night that accumulated an inch or two, so there might be a fresh layer in places.  Solitude and PCMR are both reporting 3″ of new snow while most other resorts are reporting an inch.  Just enough to soften a few turns up a bit.

The next system will start to move into the area tonight.  This storm isn’t overly strong, but does have decent moisture and instability.  Snow will begin falling early Tuesday morning and should last through the afternoon.  TUESDAY SHOULD BE A POWDER DAY for most resorts in the Wasatch.  If you’re able to make it up, could be worth your time.  Snow levels will be around 6,000 feet, so the snow will be medium density.  Not as heavy as this weekend, but not total fluff either.  Right now I think 4-8″ is likely in the Wasatch.  There is a decent northwest flow behind the front and good instability, which means orographics could come into play.  IF this were to happen, places favored by a northwest flow like the Cottonwoods could see 10″ or more.  But that is a big IF right now… not a forecast.

We clear out on Wednesday with warming temps before the next system moves into the area during the day on Thursday.  This system currently looks to dump its load late Thursday into Thursday night, so it could make for a very good Friday powder day.  At this point it looks like a 6-12″ storm, but the last few runs have trended stronger, so we’ll have to keep an eye on it.

We dry out again and warm up over the weekend with high pressure in place.  Latest trends now suggesting that we could see another storm as early as next Monday, March 10 — however details are still vague.


So what did these past two systems do to our snowpack?  In short, they helped.  15-30″ of snow is always going to help your snowpack, but 15-30″ of dense snow is going to help even more.  The Wasatch saw anywhere from 2-6″ of liquid since Thursday AM.  Here is the latest Snowbird graph:



We caught up to the previous two years again (both of which had poor months of March).  We now sit at 86% at Snowbird which is up 12% from the graph I showed you last Wednesday.  Huge improvement!

Snowbird is one of the worst SNOTEL sites in the Wasatch currently in terms of numbers.  Up north, the numbers look spectacular.  Check out Tony Grove Lake:



An additional 6″ of liquid in the past few days have seen TGL jump up to 133% of average.  In fact, if they were to not receive any more snow the rest of the season, they’d still have an above average year.  It also looks like TGL has seen 26″ of liquid since February 1.  Which means they’ve been averaging greater than 0.75″ of liquid per day!  Remarkable!

Finally, here is a basin-wide map of current snowpack numbers…



Far northern Wasatch is still well above normal, as are the Western Uintas.  Ogden Valley area is now above normal for the first time all season.  Central Wasatch, including the Cottonwoods and PC, is catching up to average.

Given the current forecast, we should continue to slowly improve these numbers over the next week or so.

Couple more opportunities for powder this week — mainly tomorrow (Tuesday) and Friday.  Have fun!


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  • Chandler

    Great lookin forcast! But do you think we will see a cold enough storm for good valley snow before the end of the season?

    • Yes. We might get a little snow Thursday night in the valleys. Valley snow is possible thru April. I’m sure we will get a nice cold storm or two.

  • Danny

    Thanks for the outlook! Been reading your posts daily leading up to my trip this Thursday. Any thoughts on where the best place would be find some leftover powder on Thursday? And best place for powder on Friday after the Thursday storm?

    Debating between Cottonwood resorts and Snowbasin/PowMow. Thanks!

    • I’ve always found that PowMow and Solitude hide powder stashes well — might be a good call for Thursday. Friday is likely going to be good anywhere.

  • Brian

    Maybe I should swap out the studded snow tires on my bike. That would ensure a good valley snow. 😉

  • Bert

    Excellent report.

    First rule of PowMow: We don’t talk about Powder Mountain.
    Second rule of PowMow: We don’t talk about Powder Mountain….

    Looking forward to Tuesday

  • Jake

    Could you do a brighton snowpack depth please? Thanks for all the great forecasts!

  • pen fifteen club co founder

    Yesterday there was talk of ridging next week, what is the status with that?

    • There is still going to be ridging this weekend. But right now models have been trending toward less ridging and a better chance for a storm early next week.