One Last Round of Snow

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 7:19 am


Another disturbance will move through Northern Utah today, bringing high elevation snow and wind to the mountains.  This wave is warmer, so we’ll see snow levels rise to 7,500 feet by this afternoon.  3-6″ is possible above 8,000 feet by tomorrow morning.  Thanksgiving looks warm and sunny!


Moisture is advecting once again into the area from the northwest and snow is starting to fall as of 7am in many mountain locations in Northern Utah.   There is also plenty of wind up high so be prepared for that if you’re skiing.  Unlike our waves of moisture on Sunday and Monday, this wave is much warmer and snow levels will actually rise throughout the day up to 7,500ft or so by this evening.  Accumulations won’t be huge (3-6″ above 8,000ft), but they will be upside down so it’s going to make for some mashed potato turns, especially this afternoon.  A good day for Gor-Tex.

We should clear out tonight as the moisture retreats north again.  High pressure will allow for beautiful and warm weather for Wednesday through Friday.   Several more resorts opening for Thanksgiving.

Moisture will creep south again this weekend but should stay in Idaho, although a few showers in the far northern Wasatch are possible.  Meanwhile, a deep trough will dig off the coast of California on Sunday and start bringing heavy, much-needed rain and snow to that region. The Sierra Nevada could be measuring snowfall in feet early next week and boy do they need it!  For us in Utah, we have to wait for the trough to progress inland before we see our precipitation.  All major models have this happening either late Monday or early Tuesday of next week.  However, there is some indication that the trough will split as it moves inland with the best moisture heading south into far Southern Utah and Arizona.  Still a lot of time before this system so no point stressing about it yet.


This last storm went as perfectly to forecast as you can imagine.  All last week, the forecast was 1-2 feet with up to 3 feet in the Cottonwoods if everything went according to plan.  Well virtually all resorts saw 1-2 feet.  The Cottonwoods, however, received the benefit of that beautiful northwest flow we love so much.  6″ in the past 24 hours for Alta brings them up to 37″ for the storm total.   Brighton and Snowbird had similar numbers with Solitude just a few inches behind.  That’s almost perfectly at that magical 3 foot mark we were shooting for! So how much did it help our snowpack?  A lot!

Snowbird is now ahead of the median year (blue line is this year):



So just like that, we went from the bottom half of years to the top half.  I checked all snotel sites in the Wasatch and this is the case everywhere.  The effect was even more pronounced up north.  Tony Grove Lake outside of Logan:



Well ahead of the median! Of course, with how early it is in the season, the upcoming days of dry weather this week will likely drop us back down to about average by the time the next storm hits.  But that’s a much better situation to be in than playing catch up like we were for most of the last 3 years.


P.S. If you weren’t able to make it up to the mountains yesterday, don’t worry, there wasn’t much to see…


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2 thoughts on “One Last Round of Snow

  1. eric lewis

    How unstable is this upside-down snow likely to make the snowpack for the longterm? Are we looking at another year where places like Devils Castle are closed for most of the season due to early season snowpack instability? Thanks for the good works!

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