A light refresher fell overnight at most Wasatch resorts. The next round of snowfall will start this afternoon with additional accumulations likely. Storms will move into the PNW this weekend, but will struggle to bring significant snow to Utah.
Our first two weak waves are through the region. Wasatch resorts reporting anywhere from 1-4″ of snow so far since Sunday evening. Yesterday I mentioned that this series of weak systems in this west-northwesterly flow made me uncomfortable as a forecaster because there was such a finite difference between getting skunked and getting walloped. Today I feel no different, so far precip has had a lot of trouble organizing into anything other than occasional light showers. However, the strongest wave is yet to come. So if we get lucky tonight, we still could reach the original forecasted numbers.
Personally, I’m expecting another few inches tonight, knowing that there is a possibility for us to get lucky. Keep my expectations low, but hope for the best. The farther north you are, the greater your chances of getting lucky will be.
Snow should begin again by this evening and continue into tomorrow morning. I’d expect an additional 3-6″ for Cottonwoods… 1-3″ for PC… and 3-6″ for Snowbasin/PowderMountain… with 5-10″ for Beaver Mountain. Hopefully we get a bit more… but my confidence is VERY low in this storm.
Thursday and Friday should be dry and warm.
Next system starts to impact the area on Saturday. GFS shows us getting a bit more than Euro. Either way, we’ll be in the scraps as the Cascades and Sierra Nevada get the brunt of this storm. The high pressure ridge to our south and east will make it difficult for the trough to progress inland. There are significant timing differences, but generally models show the next wave moving in on Monday with another chance for precipitation. Again, the GFS is far more optimistic with this. For right now, until models can reach a consensus, I’d say Saturday thru Tuesday we can expect times with high mountain snowfall in northern Utah. It definitely does not look significant at this time. Some storm energy is better than no storm energy….
It sounds like a broken record. But until we can fully rid ourselves of this ridge, we will not be able to get consistent snowfall into the region. All potential storm energy currently is subjected to splitting and weakening as it encounters the ridge. All models currently indicate that dominant high pressure returns for the second half of next week and continues through the middle of the month. There are indications, primarily in the ECMWF long range models that the ridge could retrograde off shore after mid-month and give us a chance for troughing…. However, that’s all super long range speculation. There are also small signs starting to pop up that we can break this large-scale pattern late in February into March. For now though, we can only hope that’s true.