Great Way to End the Year

Monday, December 29, 2014 at 6:05 am

Monday PM Update:

Holy moly was today good!!!! Best day I’ve had in a couple years in fact!  Snow continues to fall in weak bands of moisture that linger over the area.  I’d expect these to clear up soon, but I would have expected that earlier this afternoon…. so who knows….   Snowing at my place in Draper and reports of snow still in Park City as of 6:15pm.  Alta webcams show snow continuing there as well.  Don’t question the will of the snow god, Ullr, we accept the gift bestowed upon us gratefully.

Big story late tonight and tomorrow is WIND.  Downslope winds will be howling and with fluffy snow on the ground, we could see blowing snow tomorrow with wind chills well below 0F.  If you live in or near an area that is susceptible to downslope wind event (you know who you are), I’d consider staying home tomorrow.  Full update in the AM…



Snow showers will continue today, particularly in areas favored by a northwest flow and/or southeast of the GSL.  We clear out on Tuesday with mostly dry conditions for northern Utah for the foreseeable future.  Southern Utah could see some snowfall Wednesday and Thursday before clearing out as well.


Yesterday was amazing for many areas, particularly the Cottonwoods.  It was the perfect cold northwest flow for them.  If you remember back to Saturday’s discussion, I posted the 4-km NAM graph that showed up to 19″ of snow for the Cottonwoods by Monday morning… I said that model almost always over-forecasts, but if there is one storm where it could be correct, it’s this one. Sure enough, Snowbird/Alta are reporting 18″ of snow and it’s still snowing up there a bit.

The good news is all resorts across Utah saw the goods delivered yesterday.   7-10″ fell at resorts north of I-80.  7-13″ at the three Park City Resorts. 6″ at Sundance.  12-15″ for Big Cottonwood Canyon and 18-19″ for Little Cottonwood Canyon.   Eagle Point is not reporting yet, but I’m sure they got some snow as well.

Today, snow showers should remain at times across the Wasatch, however they will be most numerous in the Cottonwoods which are favored most by the northwest flow.  The lake was also a factor last night as a lake effect band developed.  It sputtered at times and shifted position frequently.  Generally it was pointed at Davis County, not really helping any ski resorts.  The lake could continue to be a factor today and enhancement may occur down toward SLC and with any luck, into the Cottonwoods as well.  Accumulations today should be < 3″ unless significant lake enhancement occurs.

Tomorrow we clear out.  A closed low will form in Southern California and Arizona and could bring some snowfall to far southern Utah mountains Wednesday and Thursday.  We will remain cold up north with inversions developing in the valley.  Mountains will start to warm by Thursday with high temps reaching normal by the weekend.

The GFS has now jumped on board with the Euro and moves the ridge axis closer to the coast which shuts the door on inside slider storms for us.  Both models now keep us dry for at least a week.  However, both models also hint at trying to break down the ridge during the second week of January.  It’s not an ideal scenario, but periods of dry weather occur every winter and at least this time temperatures will remain seasonable.  I’ll post full numbers tomorrow, but at this point we are at, or above normal in most locations across the Wasatch.


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26 thoughts on “Great Way to End the Year

  1. brig

    Should be a champagne ending to 14 with the dry cold settling in. Thanks for the great forecasts and reports.

  2. Travis

    It’s actually been coming down heavy here in PC for about an hour, looks like an inch in town just in that time.

  3. TR

    The overnight snow around Canyons/PC was a nice surprise. Look at the stake from midnight on at Canyons. Cranked back up somehow late night.

  4. Ryan

    According to the snow stake camera at Canyons, it has been falling at roughly 1 inch per hour for the last 6 hours or so. Here’s to another EPIC day!

  5. Harry

    Question: My 7-12yo sons need to take snowboarding lessons when he get there mid-Jan. Of PCMR and Canyons, which is better?

  6. Steely Dad

    I tried to hit the last chair part of your your forecast yesterday but was stymied by an unbeknownst LCC closure! Not sure why. Conditions did not look as bad as they were on Xmas. I read that people were even stuck at Alta. Does anyone know when they opened the road to allow skiers to go home?

    1. BoarderBoy

      Was there trying to beat the rush this time. Packing up car at 3:45, noticed and heard road was closed. Report was 5 at the earliest or maybe even nine!. At ten to 5:00 the line started moving, from goldminers, and then via bypass road was a fairly easy, low and slow, drive down the mountain, back to CH by 5:30. Kinda weird, but nice to not be stuck.

  7. Jeremy

    My first chair of the day at Bird was at 11am and it was nuking. My lines in the steeps of Gad2 were refilled at each drop in. Powder Eatin’ Grin on my face the whole time. The road closed around 245pm, I might be a little off on that estimate. My legs couldn’t do anymore by 3pm. I waited the closure out in the cafe at the bottom of Gad. They opened the road at roughly 345pm. There was a slow train of cars down the canyon so I waited until 430pm till I jumped in the truck to head down. The train was moving safely and steady by then.

  8. Tim

    Not a good outlook, per the 12Z GFS. Dry as all get out through the 13th. Even the GFS parallel isn’t offering much hope other than a stronger but quasi-cutoff low off the Cali coast by day 10 that could some onshore and squeeze a few inches but my confidence in that is low. Euro and the Canadian models keep it quiet for Utah. The only outlier is the NAM where that cutoff low in the 4 corners this midweek wants to spread northwestward with some teasing flurries or showers by Thursday but still too limited in moisture to really do any worthwhile damage. 2nd week in January could get warmer, namely, 5th through the 10th.

  9. ?

    Wtf was with the traffic going into LLC this am? Is that normal? After waiting 2 hours we turned around and left still 17 miles from snowbird

  10. BC

    Natural selection.. The ones who want it bad enough get trapped on the good side of the control work, those who don’t get spared from having all that cold snow blowing up their nose.

  11. Zerker

    Still snowing at the Canyons, not puking like before but been steady all day for the most part, its a great day too bad I get to sit here and watch everyone while I work at red pine, should have never picked up this shift 2 weeks ago =( So I’ll just have to take a nice hike when i get out there in a couple days to experience this lovely freshness

  12. Jeremy

    Snowbird was DEEEP. Well worth the 2 hour drive up LCC. Visibility above 11,000 feet was pretty awful though.

  13. TR

    Canyons has to be close to 18-19″” so far from this storm. Forecast was for 6-12″ if i recall. This place continues to be all over the map with its numbers.


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