Southern Utah Double?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 6:53 am


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.

Long range: 

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!


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17 thoughts on “Southern Utah Double?

  1. Mike

    It was really nice to meet you, Evan. You were right about Alpen Glow. It was by far the place to be and there wasn’t any wind there. So many faceshots! Pretty cool to see our local weatherdude on the mountain! Cheers!

  2. Money Maker

    Haha, I’m pretty sure I rode the lift with you on Sunday and asked if you read WSF and you were like “yeah, I do sometimes” or something….. I didn’t realize it was you until you said what you were wearing yesterday. You shoulda said something! lol. but anyway, Sunday and Monday were super fun, just wish I didn’t run into that log and screw up my ankle. next time lemme buy you a drink

  3. Anna

    Never been to BH so I’ll keep the Alpenglow lift in mind. Got any other good BH runs to recommend for newbies to the area?

      1. Will it ever snow again in Tahoe?

        We made the trek as well, but spent almost the entire day on Roulette. I echo the many thanks for your good work on this website.

        I didn’t even try Alpenglow yesterday (and am now kicking myself for ignoring it). The last time I skied the lift, the only decent fall line (that I could find) was directly under the lift. But that area had extremely thin cover, coupled with rocks, logs, and tree stumps. Where were the goods yesterday off of Alpenglow?


        1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

          Right under the lift is a bit sketchy with rocks and logs, etc. But just off to either side are decently steep lines through some tree glades. That was the spot we hit repeatedly yesterday and it was good. Certainly not long runs, but you could get in half a dozen or so faceshots on each run.

  4. Alex

    Evan, I’m coming in from Orlando Friday morning. Rented a condo at the base of PC for 10 days, but I think next Monday I want to ride Brian Head, or Eagle point if they get dumped again compared to CC or Wasatch.

    I’ll probably make the trip sunday night and ride monday morning at BH. Any recommendations for an inexpensive place to crash…other than the Jeep? Haha.

    If you’re out at BH Monday, would love to say what’s up!

  5. Scott Beal

    If you ever come to Snowbasin – please let us know in your post – I would love to say hi and thank you in person:)

    Thanks again for doing this website – it’s amazing and I read it daily.


  6. chris

    I stumbled upon this website a few weeks ago and am appreciative of the details and sentiment. I have been reading it daily and enjoy the readers’ comments as well. Coming from California, March 19-23, so looking at this website closely to figure out the best places to ski during that time. This will be my 7th trip to Utah. We love Alta/Bird and Pow Mow. We have never skied the Park City resorts and are interested in trying them if and only if the conditions are good (otherwise comfortable sticking with the old reliables). Thanks again for the insights!

  7. Alan Billman

    I am a Snowbasin skier, and wanted to say thanks for your updates and trying to help with the weather models.
    Was not sure where to post a comment to you, and its not that big of a deal, but on your webcams page, you show the Snowbasin Wildcat webcam, but it is actually the Allen Tram up to the Men’s Start looking NW from the John Paul Lodge.
    Thanks again for all you’re doing to try and keep it real but positive!
    #snowbasin #skiutah

  8. jim

    12z euro shows stronger storm March 4 and 5th while the gfs shows weaker system. How are those ensembles looking? Long range euro not overly impressive but ok.

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