High Pressure is a Storm’s Kryptonite

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 5:45 am


Two more days (Thursday and Friday) of warmth before a storm moves in Friday night and Saturday.  Light snow accumulations (3-6″) expected to soften up your turns on Saturday.  More chances for snow next week.


Not much change in the forecast… This storm is bringing lots of rain to central California and a good amount of snow to the Sierra.  Believe it or not, their mountains may get 2 feet of snow, but that’s still a raw deal when you consider some areas of the coastal range and central valley will get 5+” of liquid.  If this storm weren’t splitting and sliding south, it would have more perpendicular flow to the mountains and generate more lift and the mountains of California would see a truly epic event.

As for us in Utah, the storm will be well and truly split by the time it gets here.  We will be left with the scraps.  Still, the mountains should see snow develop Friday night and continue into Saturday morning.  Looks like 3-6″ with perhaps a bit more in a few areas.  Most of the storm will feature a southerly flow — expect the southern slopes of the Uintas should do well. Saturday should be a good day to at least rip a few inches of powder on the trails, but I suspect you’ll hit crust if you venture off piste.

We clear out on Sunday with cooler temps (snow-making possible).  The next system moves into California on Tuesday and reaches us Tuesday night into Wednesday.  This storm is also likely to split as it encounters high pressure over the intermountain west.  Models continue to bounce around between bringing us nothing to bringing us an ok little storm.  Right now I’d guess we’ll end up with another 3-6″ but that is certainly subject to change.

Another storm (again splitting) looks likely for about Saturday, the 20th.  But details this far out are vague.  At this time it does not look overly strong either.

Long range:

We are in this splitting pattern right now so storms have a difficult time maintaining strength as they move inland.  The upside is that at least the pattern is active so we have the opportunity for storms to do better against the ridge than forecasted.  And perhaps eventually we can break down the high pressure ridge, although I don’t see that happening soon.



I have been getting a lot of questions regarding whether people should cancel trips to Utah due to our recent dry weather.  Right now, most resorts are operating the majority of their lifts with plenty of open trails.  If off-piste skiing is your thing, then yes, currently early season conditions exist and you’ll have to be careful.  But if your trip is not until January/February/March, then you’ll have nothing to worry about.  Our base continues to grow steadily all the way until it peaks in mid-April.   It’s not like the east coast where the base can melt out from under you if you’re not getting snow.  Just one or two more storms will go a long way to covering up remaining obstacles.  Hopefully that puts your mind at ease.

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10 thoughts on “High Pressure is a Storm’s Kryptonite

  1. Peter

    Except for the fact that VT just picked up almost 20 inches over nite which a pretty good base in play already…

    1. Collin

      Yup, Any of you planning on coming to UT for a ski vacation, I would consider other options like VT. That place is amazing!

  2. Zac


    I was just wondering what the Christmas forecast (white Christmas?) looks like for both the mountains and the valleys? I know it’s still 2 weeks away, but I was just curious of what it looks like right now.


  3. Steve

    Latest GFS not great for the splitting storm after this one. Has it going way south. These days (and I realize I’m looking at things with the glass half full) it seems if there are competing models, the one that says less snow is ALWAYS the one that wins out. Doesn’t seem quite fair.

  4. Val

    Where in Utah is their resorts operating most of their lifts forecast man….. Canyons has 2 lifts that get you on rideable trails which in reality is only one lift because the other lift takes you halfways up the same trails that the first one does…. … wrong information being passed down!!

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