Monday, February 9, 2015 at 6:18 am


A weak storm system will move through today into tonight with scattered snow showers in the mountains of northern Utah.  Accumulations should generally remain light (1-4″).  High pressure keeps the region warm and dry for the rest of the week after Tuesday.  A pattern change starting to show up in the long range.


Mild again this morning in a southerly flow ahead of a weak system that is tracking northeast through the Great Basin.  The Wasatch will get clipped today and tonight by the front which is currently can be seen ejecting eastward through northern Nevada.  Snow levels will start our high but will drop quickly behind the front to below 6,000 feet.

Accumulations look pretty meager… Only 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch of liquid maxes shown in most areas of the Wasatch.  I’m guessing most areas will see an inch or two, but can’t rule out localized areas seeing 3-5″ by tomorrow morning.

High pressure takes firm control later this week and we once again warm up way above normal.  That should last through the weekend.

Early to mid next week is when things start to look interesting.  I think yesterday’s collection of weird animated GIFs did the trick, because ever since, we’ve had 4 runs of the GFS and 2 runs of the EC that have shown an interesting scenario.  What happens is that early next week a cut-off low spins up into the desert southwest with moisture spreading into Utah.  At the same time, a cold system drops down from western Canada.  This could bring some precipitation to the region, but at this time amounts don’t look significant.  The real interesting part is that both operational runs of the major models (Euro and GFS) then show the southern split of the jet stream undercutting the ridge, potentially bringing the area significant precipitation for the middle of next week.

This gif of the GFS is the best way I could figure out to present this scenario in visual form.  Notice the moisture from the north and south converging over Utah toward the end of the week before a stronger system undercuts the ridge and moves in from the west:


So how likely is all this?  That’s tough to say.  This is a complicated pattern that is still 7-10 days out, which means that it’s almost guaranteed not to play out exactly as currently depicted in the models.  However, this is the most moisture throughout the entire intermountain west that we’ve seen in a very long time.  There is good model agreement as well.  All of this leads me to think that at the very least we’ll get a significant pattern shift.  At this point, a pattern shift of any kind is desperately needed.  We’ll keep an eye on this over the coming days.  In the meantime, get creative with your snow summoning rituals!


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38 thoughts on “Interesting…

  1. AZ

    Well…….. Im coming in Friday for 3 days and I have two choices….. Be happy with what is there or whine like a little b%&ch… Ill choose the first

    See you on the slopes!

  2. eric lewis

    Have already burnt all wookies within the region. Arriving on Sun, until following Fri, hope your pattern change predictions pan out!

    1. Kevin

      I’ll be in the area the same days as Eric, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the pattern change. Thanks for all the updates!

  3. Hector the booty inspector

    My snow ritual involves colonoscopys. I hope it snows soon. This month has been rough!

    1. brig

      Is there an altar to Ullr where the collected polyps are offered? Is te poster Aztech somehow a part of this ritual?

  4. Craig

    The snow gods have heard my prayers! I fly in on 2/20 for 7 days in the Wasatch. Please let this forecast hold out!

  5. brandon

    Do you recommend anyone for whistler weather? I’ve loved wasatchsnowforecast for Utah and am looking for a good site for up there. Thanks!

  6. Lori

    I’m telling ya’ll- St. Eulalia , the Patron Saint of Snow will answer prayers!! She did once before in Dec for us, so trust in the power of prayer! Bring on the blizzards!!

  7. Ryan

    Skiing from the 19th – 22nd. Hope this change pans out! Was spoiled with last year’s snow from 2/7-2/10. Thanks for the updates!

  8. Chuck

    Looks like a few of us coming in next week. Let’s hope this plays out like we hope! Taking my 15 year old on his first ski trip outside of the Cascade concrete!! Where is everyone planning on skiing??

    1. Ryan

      Going to PCMR. My buddy and I go west once a year–bringing out a friend that’s fairly new to skiing (and never done anything outside of the Poconos) we’ve been talking up the conditions we’ve been in so I’m hoping this pans out since I don’t want him to be disappointed with expectations set too high!

  9. Erminator

    I am flying in next Thu from 7000 miles again. My original plan is to ski 7 days but now I may just cut short and spend some time at Moab instead. Hopefully things will improve by then. Luckily I already had a week of continuous powder in Niseko this season.

    1. mandee

      Dang auto correct messed up my post ugh!!! **** Since we haven’t got SNOW this winter. Is our SUMMER going to be horribly HOT???

  10. brig

    Ridge crushing and jet stream bending south …

    Bring on the moisture and banish this never ending high pressure dome.

  11. Gavin

    Hi, If this pans out, is there a cold front associated with this that will bring snow to the valley floor. I ask as I have family coming in that ironically want to play golf 🙂

  12. David

    I have to leave SLC on a business trip next week and can either be gone M-W or T-Th. I need to book my flights today. Which day would be the better bet for skiing: Monday or Thursday?

  13. Scott Beal

    Finally a potential change in the weather pattern:)

    Thanks again for providing us with your predictions – you may not always say what we want to here but we appreciate your time regardless!

  14. jim

    12z euro backs off snow for next week. Back to showing virtually no precip thru Feb. 19th. Can’t get anything to stick for more than one or two runs.

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      Right you are, Jim. But, the ensembles are all over the place in both the GFS and EC with some continuing to undercut the ridge and others only dropping weak systems down the backside of the ridge. So while the deterministic runs may show one thing, the ensembles are still undecided. No choice but to give it some more time and see which way they go…

    2. Will it ever snow again in Tahoe?

      With how persistent this ridge has been, it would not surprise me in the least if the Wasatch gets shut out for another 10-20 days. Although the models can’t figure out exactly what is going to happen, none of them appear to show a significant trough; rather, they appear to want to either slightly flatten the high pressure or to move it slightly north before retreating back to its comfortable blocking position. Hopefully, the models are wrong (again) and the crown of high pressure moves east so that a consistent 1-2 week trough can develop in the West.

    1. Oak

      Won’t sugar coat it. Skied DV yesterday. Good coverage on top. Groomed cement in the AM – skied okay – like skiing in the east. After 11:30 or so, softened and then by afternoon was soft to slush. Rained on and off all day today in downtown PC. PC summit cam shows maybe an inch of snow today. PC and Canyons base areas are really hurting with visible bare spots. Honestly – I’m beyond bummed and in disbelief that conditions are this bad in Utah in Feb. My best advice for anyone making the trip out here is to prepare yourselves for very much less than ideal conditions and head to the higher resorts in the Cottonwoods if you are able. Total bummer.

  15. Darren

    Anyone with comments on snow conditions at LCC/BCC resorts? We arrive Saturday night and are contemplating 6 days of skiing at LCC/BCC using our place at Canyons as base camp or driving up to Jackson Hole but only getting 4 1/2 days in there. Any guidance from the local faithful would be greatly appreciated!

  16. Jack Maynard

    Heading out March 3rd. For 6 days. First trip to Utah and looking for the fluffy stuff to play in. Keeping the faith! Sunshine is second choice. Rain? Yuk!
    Anything else to do in Sault Lake City?

  17. Anna

    Former SLC resident, just moved to the North-East where we are getting unnatural powder right now (too bad it turns to ice in a few hours thanks to subzero temps and low altitude)! HOPING that the snow dumps will follow me as I come visit Utah for 3 weeks starting on 2/16! Will be pushing positive energy towards the upcoming pattern change! Many snowdances ahead!

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