Our break in the action continues today. Next chance for snow in the Northern Utah starts on Thursday into Thursday night with mostly light accumulations. Another potentially strong storm for Southern Utah this weekend. Possibility for a better storm for Northern Utah early next week.
I am back from Brian Head in southern Utah after two days of skiing powder. Forecast was for 1-2 feet and the mountain ended up receiving 16″… Of course you always hope for the upper end of a forecast range when you’re powder chasing. But I’m not complaining about two great powder days. Only downside of the trip was that yesterday morning the weather cleared for a bit and allowed the same downsloping easterly winds that affected the Wasatch front yesterday to hit much of the upper mountain at Brian Head which put a thick wind crust on exposed areas. Luckily, there were parts of the mountain where there was hardly a breath of wind, so you could find deep powder deposits there and lap those all day.
Right now we are in a break in the weather, but there is a lot to talk about, so I’m going to skip ahead to Thursday when snow returns to the region. Thursday into Thursday night we’ll have moisture stream into mostly northern Utah ahead of a low pressure system that is dropping down the pacific coast. This should be mostly light snow, but I’d expect most northern mountains to pick up a few inches by midday Friday.
The low pressure system itself will be diving down the California coast before turning inland and tracking through the southern Great Basin and into the desert southwest. This track is now depicted in all major models so confidence is growing in that idea. Unfortunately for us in Northern Utah, this solution is not ideal for snowfall in the Wasatch. Instead, the best precipitation will once again be concentrated on Southern Utah and eventually the San Juans of Colorado. Maybe if you were unable to make the road trip south this time, you have a second chance… There is a chance the low could turn inland sooner, there’s also a chance it could drop even farther south and the whole state could be missed. As of right now, this is the expected QPF through the weekend:
San Juans of Colorado (Telluride, Durango, Silverton, Wolf Creek) look particularly delicious! They are currently just starting to dig out from up to three feet (or more) of powder from this previous storm. While I’m on the subject, check out the Telluride snow stake cam from yesterday:
Anyway, all I’m saying is that if you’re looking for a place to road trip for Sunday/Monday. It might be worth keeping this in mind. I’ll keep you up-to-date on any model trends over the coming days so you’ll know for sure if it’s worthwhile.
Northern Utah should probably only see a few inches this weekend. Of course there’s a chance we can get surprised, but at this time it’s just not the right storm track. However, models have a second system moving in early next week and this one they are currently tracking right over Northern Utah. If it were to play out as currently depicted, we’d see a decent amount of snow. Here is the same QPF map, but now showing the totals from both storms:
Because the track of these storms is so important, I figured I’d put their approximate track on the map as currently depicted by the models. The first system (green arrows) is the one for this weekend, the second system (sky blue arrows) is for early next week:
Stay tuned as the forecasted tracks of both of these systems are likely to change in the coming days.
I have very little faith in the long range. Right now the general trend is to dry us out from about March 5-10, then perhaps bring action back after the 10th. However, model ensemble spread is huge right now, so I have zero confidence in anything. Luckily, the pattern seems to be progressive and any high pressure that does set up should be short-lived.
P.S. Yesterday at BH I figured if I mentioned what I would be wearing I might get one or two people to say “hello”. I ended up saying “hello” to probably 20-30 of you! I was amazed! It was awesome to share a powder chasing trip with so many other diehards. One of the lifties actually asked me if I knew why there were so many good skiers/boarders there. I spent most of my day lapping Alpenglow lift where the snow was untouched by the wind. Hope you had a good time as well! Felt so good to be slaying powder again!