Last chair Sunday, First chair Monday

Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 6:49 am


A cold storm is moving through the area today into tonight.  Not a huge storm but snow could pile up quickly, especially in areas favored by a northwest flow (Cottonwood Canyons).  We see a break in the action starting Tuesday.


Our current storm is moving in…. Snow showers ahead of the front are just beginning in areas south of I-80… areas farther north already reporting an inch or two…



Snow showers this morning with be disorganized and probably off and on in nature.  The front will move in from the north through the day and so too will more organized and heavier precipitation.  For most locations, especially those in the SLC/PC area, today is a LAST chair powder day.  The best powder skiing from this storm will likely be tomorrow morning.

Snow should continue into tonight, with the best dynamics dropping down to the Southern Wasatch.  The wildcard is lake effect / enhancement which is a possibility southeast of the GSL.  No need to change totals posted yesterday for this system, these amounts are through Monday afternoon:

  • Cottonwoods: 10-15″, highest amounts in LCC
  • Snowbasin / PowMow / Beaver Mountain: 6-12″
  • PC resorts: 6-12″
  • Mountain valleys: 3-6″
  • Wasatch Front valleys: 2-4″, up to 6″ on benches

IF the lake does get involved, totals could be higher southeast of the lake, which would include parts of the Salt Lake valley and the potentially the Cottonwoods.

The system will drop south of the region by Monday night.  This Low pressure will close off down in southern California and Arizona where it will spin its wheels for a couple days. This will create a potential for a downslope wind event with the easterly flow.  By Wednesday, snow could spread into far southern Utah again.  Brian Head could see a powder day for Thursday.  If you’ve got New Years Day off, might want to consider a trip down south if things work out for them… I’ll keep you posted.

Northern Utah will remain dry after Tuesday.  Models showing little agreement on the long range.  The GFS wants to drop a moist, northwest flow into far northern Utah next weekend. The Euro keeps this north of the area, then nudges stronger high pressure into the west that would keep us dry for awhile.  The GFS breaks under the ridge next week and brings stronger systems into the western conus (continental U.S.).  The GFS has been more consistent, but the Euro is often the first model to catch on to new trends.  In this case we definitely want the GFS to be right.  Needless to say, I have very little confidence in saying anything other than “We’ll be dry from Tuesday thru at least Saturday this week”.  Beyond that is a mystery right now….



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21 thoughts on “Last chair Sunday, First chair Monday

  1. Steve

    Does PC Ridge at 6-12 mean the montains of PC, Deer Valley and Canyons, while PC at 3-6 mean the town of PC? Not sure I see the differentiation?

  2. Bruce

    If the winds pick up today, where are the best places to ski at snowbird and alta to minimize the wind impact? Thanks

  3. Kurt

    On our way to a first ski trip to Utah! Staying at the Canyons. I’ve been watching your forecasts for weeks! Thanks! Anyone have any tips for Utah Newbies? 🙂

  4. TR

    From the looks of all the cams (UDOT, downtown PC, Bird/Alta) looks like it’s snowing hardest in the PC area. Weird.

  5. Steve

    So, the GFS has been showing precip for Jan. 8-12 time frame for a while. Are you saying euro showing dry instead?

    1. Tim

      Current CFS model output calls for drier than normal for the period Jan 12-25 period. But, then, this is the model that called for drier than normal conditions Dec 25-Jan 1 back on its 12z Dec 18th model run. There’s a reason why the euro operational model only goes out to 10 days – anything beyond 7 days is for $hits and grins

  6. Tim

    GFS long term has been going back and forth in the last 10 model runs (2.5 days) whether to develop snow in Utah for Jan 7-12th. Right now, the 18z is a go for snow. From afternoon Wed Jan 7th to morning Fri Jan 9th, a good 8-12″+ progged, then from sunrise Sun Jan 11th to Mon Jan 12th, another 6-8″. However, the GFs ensemble thinks it’ll be drier than normal during that period while those silly Canadians and their ensemble models think it’ll be slightly wetter than normal. Again, $hits and giggles.

  7. Tim

    After residual snow today, it looks like a prolonged period of drier weather through Jan 7th, followed with a couple of small waves working to beat down a ridge that builds up Jan 4-7th. The 06Z GFS model differs from the previous 00Z run in that at the end of the 384 hour period a trough does form in the western US vice a stronger ridge just off the coast in the older model run. But, the BL is that after today, the rest of the week shall be devoid of decent snows.

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