For Powder, Head West

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 4:36 am


Warm and windy today before a rapidly weakening storm moves in tonight into tomorrow. Saturday could feature a few inches of fresh snow, especially in Southern Utah.  Another weak system possible for Wednesday/Thursday.


The storm is battering California still.  If you’re dying for fresh powder, head to Tahoe…. It’s been a few years since going to Tahoe for powder was advisable.  Good for them!  It’s painful to look at for Utah powder hounds, but check out the live camera of Sugar Bowl’s lodge picnic tables this morning:



And their base lodge….



As of 4:20am Mountain Time, it’s still coming down strong with close to 2 feet already.  Unfortunately, the storm energy that is bringing all this snow is sliding south and weakening rapidly.  By the time it crosses the Great Basin, all we’re left with is scraps.  This isn’t a surprise, I’ve been saying all along that it was likely to split, but still… It hurts!

Today, winds will be howling out of the south.  Tonight the storm moves in and by the end of the day Saturday the mountains of northern Utah should pick up 3-6″… There may be a few places favored by a southerly flow that get a bit more.  Conversely, some places may see less.

We have a few days of break before the next system moves in mid-week.  This one is also splitting and latest model trends bring it south into Arizona more than Utah.  But Brian Head might get some decent action out of this system.  One more wave is likely for about Saturday the 20th but it also looks likely to dive south of the state.  Of course, all of this is subject to change and we may get lucky, but at present… things aren’t looking so good for deep powder in the next 10 days.

Long range: 

Not much change in the pattern until around Christmas.  The EC ensemble mean favors a flip in the pattern to ridging off the west coast and a trough in the central US.  Too early to know if that will be good for us…. but at least it’s a change…

Also, I went out of town on business right after our big pre-Thanksgiving dump and have been on the East Coast ever since.  I’ll be back in Utah this week and perhaps that’ll be the missing ingredient! 😉


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10 thoughts on “For Powder, Head West

  1. steve

    This is my 4th season and definately my last where I come for 1 month between 12/15 and 1/15.
    Last year was the best, The first 2 were bad,this one looks like the worst. Not even cold enough for snow making. What a bummer, should have gone to Florida or Killington instead!

    1. AZ

      I may be wrong, but it will be tough to beat 2011 in terms of the worst snow before Christmas. I too have been bringing my family for 4 years for Christmas and new years… I was in Utah for biz in Dec 2008 and got the wrong impression for December snow then… I think its lackluster until January normally, anything else is just getting lucky

  2. Mike

    Funny, I thought your posts were coming very early in the day. Being on the east coast and heading to PC on Tuesday I always look to see the latest on the storms. Hoping for a bit more out of these next 2 systems. Seems like we will be heading to solitude and alta if PC and DV are light. If you get back and make it to the mountains give us an update on the conditions. Thx

  3. Darren

    Fingers crossed for Santa to bring some weather Utah’s way for Christmas/New Year’s week! Go away, ridge!!!

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