2 Days Until Snow Returns

Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 6:51 am


Weak system today and another weak system for Friday will bring clouds to the area.  A much stronger system for this weekend with bring more significant accumulations to the mountains of Northern Utah.


Two systems right now are feeling the full wrath of the ridge as they try to move east.  One will brush us today in a weakened state with a few clouds and perhaps a light shower in the mountains.  The other system tomorrow will split and bring only a few more clouds to the area.

The stronger system we’ve been talking about all week will drop in from the northwest on Saturday.  Snowfall will pick up through the day with the cold front moving through during the afternoon.  Snow should continue behind the front through much of the night, especially in the mountains.  Accumulations by Sunday morning should be 6-12″.

On Sunday into Monday, additional trailing disturbances will pass through.  These are very weak and subtle, but will aid in orographic lift that will generate periods of snow, particularly in areas favored by the northwest flow (Cottonwoods).  By Tuesday morning, there’s a good chance that these areas will have picked up another 6-12″.

That brings 3-day totals to 1-2 feet, with the higher amounts likely only achieved in areas like the Cottonwoods that are highly favored by a northwest flow.  Park City and Northern Wasatch resorts will probably be looking at closer to the one foot mark.  It looks like there won’t be any one mega deep day, but likely three very good ski days in a row — starting on Sunday.  The wildcard will be lake effect/enhancement.  If everything goes our way, it’s possible that we could get higher totals in a few select areas, but for now I think setting the expectations lower is wise since this is far from a given.

Long range:

Huge differences in the models right now.  Both models keep moisture in northern Utah on Tuesday but then the GFS builds a strong ridge over the west for Thanksgiving into the following weekend.  The Euro, however, drops a cold system into Utah late Wednesday with showers lasting into the morning of Thanksgiving Day.   If the GFS is right, we’d have a dry holiday with temps in the 50s in the valleys.  If the Euro is right, Thanksgiving Day could feature some powder skiing in the morning with temps only reaching the 30s during the day.  We’ll have to wait and see which model gives in to the other…



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  • steve

    Sounds like a downgrade of expectations?

    • Patrick

      NWS is saying 1-3 feet with higher amounts possible in the upper cottonwoods. I’ll take it!

      • There’s certainly the possibility for that… But trends have shown a little less moisture, so I’m going conservative with totals.

        • Patrick

          I’m a bit of a weather/model junkie myself :), but the good news is the overnight Euro trended quite a bit wetter from the midday Wednesday model run so hopefully yesterday’s trend of less moisture is over. Regardless should be one of the better Thanksgiving week’s in years with regards to fresh powder! Keep up the hope!

  • chandler

    Would you except the euro to be correct about the thanksgiving storm as its the more reliable model?

  • eric lewis

    My totally amateur worry….this sounds like last season, initially optimistic models w.r.t. the long and medium term, which diminish, often due to ridging not budging. Anyhow, I will take a foot, but would prefer a meter!

    • Thats what she said

    • Ben

      Welcome to the Wasatch, where the only thing more inflated than the yearly snowfall averages are the surgically “enhanced” Mormon housewives.

  • Mark

    If I were to have a morning off, would Monday or Tuesday be the better day?