The first, weak wave of moisture moved through yesterday and last night. 3-6″ fell in most areas of the high Wasatch. The next wave will move in this afternoon into tonight with cold temperatures and an additional 4-8″ of mountain snow.
Yesterday we saw the weaker, less organized of our systems move through the area. The forecast was for 3-6″ by this morning and that seems to be almost exactly what we saw. Without ski areas reporting, it’s very difficult to get exact amounts. Snotel sites can help, but there are only a few really good ones in the Wasatch, and even they perform better once we have at a couple feet of snow on the ground. However, Alta-Collins shows 3″ of new snow and I have a report of 4″ from a friend at Snowbird. So it’s safe to assume we saw 3-4″ in the Cottonwoods. PC ridge webcams show a similar amount. Farther north, Ben Lomond Peak is showing almost and inch of liquid which probably means at least 6″ or more of snow. Ben Lomond Trail, at a lower elevation is showing 5″ of new snow on it’s snow depth sensor. So yesterday’s forecast of 3-6″ with the highest amounts north of SLC seemed to work out. If you have more specific reports, please share!
Also, farther south actually did alright yesterday. Eagle Point timelapse showing they had themselves a snowy day too:
Right now (7am) we are currently in a break between our two waves, but even in this “break” there are still some snow showers around. The next wave will move in starting this afternoon and into tonight. This is about 12 hours earlier than models were showing yesterday morning. It’s important to note that this is now more of a Friday night system than a Saturday system.
This is a tough system to forecast because it appears as if the heavier snowfall will be associated mostly with the frontal boundary. If the front moves through quickly tonight, the snow will be limited and we’ll only get a few inches. If it moves through slower and/or stalls a bit. We could do much better. Such stalling occurred with a subtle boundary in Colorado along the I-70 corridor on Wednesday through yesterday. Some areas have received over 20″ of snow!!!! Here is a timelapse of Crested Butte ‘s snowstake yesterday:
I’m doubting will get that lucky here in Utah but you never know. Right now I’m thinking an additional 4-8″ for the high elevations of the Wasatch by Saturday morning seems reasonable. That would bring Thursday totals to 7-14″, which has been the general forecast for the past few days. So no surprises so far!
We will clear out Saturday afternoon and have a VERY cold Saturday night and Sunday morning. High pressure will start to warm us up (valley inversions likely) early next week. By midweek, we start to attempt to break down the ridge. The first system will likely only bring us light precip (if anything) late next Wednesday or Thursday. But the systems look like they’ll each have more success than their predecessor breaking through the ridge. Hopefully we can get some decent systems into the area by next weekend. If so, the pattern could set up favorably leading up to Thanksgiving.