Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 7:28 am

Thursday update:

Nothing changed in the forecast (below)… Figured I would just put this map out there.  Numbers aren’t all that bad, but they will continue to fall with warm temps and no significant snow in the forecast through the end of the month.  If you look to our west, it could be A LOT worse.  Tahoe resorts may struggle to remain open as warm temps this week accelerate the melting of their already meager snowpack.  Cascades of Oregon aren’t any better.  The drought is getting extremely serious in California.  Gotta feel for them…





Dry conditions to continue for the rest of this week with a substantial warming trend as high pressure takes total control.  Near record high temps likely by early next week.


High pressure is in control now, but it will strengthen and shift overhead through the week and by late weekend / early next week, we’ll be looking at near record highs.  Today the forecasted high for the town of Alta is 29F.  By Sunday, that high reaches 44F.  On Monday, current forecast is for a high of 51F up on the mountain.  Full on Spring skiing!

This ridge is almost summer-like in how it looks in models.  Adding to that summer feel is that middle of next week (late Tuesday and Wednesday), the models depict a cutoff low will move into the desert southwest from the south and spread moisture north into Utah.  It looks remarkably like our typical monsoonal flows we see in July and August.  It will bring a chance for precipitation to the region, but because of its warm origins, snow levels could easily be above 8,000 feet.  I’m not expecting much from this feature at this time.

Long range:

After our “monsoonal” moisture surge next week, we return to ridging to close out January.  Good riddance!  Right now, the GFS has been very consistent in moving a trough into the west coast that could bring us a series of stronger systems.  This is outside the range of the 10-day ECMWF, but there are a few Euro ensembles that support this.   All January, long-range pattern changes failed to come to fruition — so you’ll understand if I’m not ready to climb aboard on this idea yet.  But for right now, it is our only hope.



If you’re in the market for new ski gloves, whether for resort or backcountry, I strongly recommend Free the Powder.  It’s a local company that strives to create high-quality, affordable gloves.  I was introduced to their gloves about a month ago and was blown away by how warm they were and how much dexterity my fingers retained.  Right now, they’ve got a sale going on and you can get your hands on a pair for only $45. Support local business!


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11 thoughts on “June-uary

  1. Bruce

    Coming to Snowbird/Alta for the first week of March. Fingers crossed that February will make up for the lack of snow in June-uary.

  2. look to the west

    take a quick read at the Tahoe snow updates… You’ll appreciate even a dry spell in the Wasatch! What a disaster they’ve been left with over there, poor folks…..

  3. Tim Bowers

    Hit the Canyons today. Holding up well but boy is the west side of Murdock peak which is served by the Condor Express sure is bare. I guess that area is hit or miss and highly dependent on consistent, deep pow events. However, I can see these PC areas go to $hit quickly if this dry spell, and now warmth starting soon comes to fruition.

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      Afraid I’m not too optimistic. The old GFS was usually too quick to rid us of strong high pressure. No reason why the upgraded GFS would be any different. I think we will eventually rid ourselves of this god-awful pattern, but it might take longer than the GFS indicates. The ECMWF long range ensembles are all over the place, but I’d say more of them favor the ridge staying strong into the first week of February than vice versa. Things can change in a hurry, but for now, aside from our cut-off low middle of next week, it looks like the dry weather will continue. sigh….

  4. brig

    uggggggggggg. Something tells me that we will be seeing more of this ridging and higher temps in winter occurring more and more often for the rest of our lifetimes.

    When you can’t see downtown SLC from 500S and 1000E, something has to change locally.

    Sure there will be anomalous winters, but they will be just that – anomalies.

    Hope I am wrong.

  5. East Coast Greg

    FEB 5TH trip to Canyons. DAGGER! and don’t make fun of me for going to Canyons….not my call. may just have to drink whiskey and rip some icy groomers like a true East Coaster.

    Thanks for the forecast and hard work! hope you have better news soon!


  6. Steve

    Thanks for the pointer to the gloves. I needed some and I like to support local companies. Bought mine this morning.

    Can you reply with the URL for the snow pack chart you have above. I found something similar, but not that one. Thanks!

  7. Jake

    It’s no fun to see what’s happening with the snow here, but man is it sad to see what’s happening over in CA. Two resorts there did close today because of lack of snow, I think it was Dodge Ridge and Badger Pass. I was hoping El Niño would really help with the drought there but it seems like this is the warmest and driest year in a very long time.

    I’m hopeful though, models look like a pattern change is coming next week. Keep praying for snow.

  8. franknbeans

    I’ve been a long time flylow gloves guy but am getting strongly persuaded to these local guys especially with the fluffy bunny, but are they gonna stand up to 100+ days at least??

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