Complicated storm

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm

I mentioned earlier how I would recommend watching radar in case a band set up over one certain area… Well it set up this afternoon over cottonwoods and PC… Tomorrow is going to be awesome! Also, no record low february for LCC! Get some!


Saturday mid-day update:

Brian Head has been under a persistent band of heavy snow this morning. Snow totals may be even higher than originally anticipated. If you’re not already there, it may be worth the trip for tomorrow.

Saturday AM update:

Southern Utah sees the brunt of the storm Today.  Brian Head already reporting 5″ this morning.  Northern Utah could see occasional snow at times as well.  There could be a lull in Southern Utah on Saturday night and Sunday before things pick up again Sunday night into Monday.  It’s such a complicated forecast with so many aspects that can change, that it’s easiest to just say that the high elevations will have off and on snow all weekend.  The farther south you go, the higher accumulations should generally be.  By Monday, still thinking 10-16″ for southern mountains with 1-6″ for northern Utah…. There could be banding of showers with deformation zones setting up…  Again, I think your best bet is to keep a close watch on radar and webcams and be ready to travel to wherever is getting the most snow.

Monday night and Tuesday storm isn’t the strongest and is quick-moving.  It’s cold though and snow levels should drop to all valleys with perhaps a chance for lake effect behind the front.  At this time 6-12″ for the Cottonwoods seems reasonable with 4-8″ elsewhere… but I have a feeling this numbers will need to be tweaked up or down in the coming days.

Break in the action is well-advertised in all models starting Wednesday and lasting 5-7 days with warm temps returning.  Most models then slowly move a trough into the west coast between March 10 and 12 with active weather returning for the mid-month period…


So yesterday I mentioned we were in danger of having the driest February on record, on the heels of one of the driest January’s on record.  It’s not going to be pretty, but lets see what that did with our snowpack.  I’ll continue the theme of my last snowpack post and compare it to the three previous years, all of which ended drier-than-normal for most of Utah.

Snowbird is just about tied with last year and 2012, but is trailing 2013…. Unfortunately, both last year and 2012 had good ends of February and beginnings of March, so unless we get a lot of snow soon, we’ll be lagging behind each of the last three years.


Thaynes Canyon at PCMR is now squarely behind each of the previous three years.


Ben Lomond Peak which is the closest site for Snowbasin and Powder Mountain is probably faring the worst… Way behind last year and even trailing the dreadful 2013 season.




Our one tiny ray of light this year is yet again Tony Grove Lake up near Logan.  It’s now below the median, sitting at 93%, but it’s still better than any of the three other locations above.  It’s now in second place and even if they don’t see another snowflake, it should be better than 2013.



Welp, there ya go… I’ll wait until the end of this storm cycle, then post these charts again to see if we got any change.  I’ll also post the latest westwide basin colored map with all the snowpack percentages throughout the Western US…

I’m down in beautiful Telluride this weekend.  Good timing as they should get hit pretty hard! If you’re down there, give me a holler!


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22 thoughts on “Complicated storm

  1. Ted

    This season is giving me a head ache…. Well at least a crappy day on the mountain is better than good day at work. I’ll always have faith in Utah for at least one more pow day.

  2. tuan

    Thanks for the great work Evan! I hate to sound negative but I think its a lost season. I think we may have one more decent day of riding left for the year. It doesnt look like anything significant is in the horizon and its almost the start of March. This is my last year in Utah as Ill be graduating soon and I just cant believe how unlucky it has been for me. The last 4 years have been pretty much meh. I thought I would at least get one year of just “average” snowfall here in the Wasatch but it doesnt look that will happen. It be nice to know what a 500″ year feels like.

    Ill be in Whistler next year so hopefully things will be better there. Thanks for all the great work and I bet it will dump again as soon I move =).

    1. Dan

      Hey Tuan. Go ahead and move to Whistler. We don’t need whiners like you around here any how. If you think the season is over, get a clue. March is typically the biggest snow month for the wasatch.

      1. Tuan


        I think you need to take a chill pill. I’m not moving to Whistler because of the snow conditions here the last few years , it just something I have wanted to do and experience while I’m young . I love Utah

      1. tuan

        How many good days were there in January or Feb? =)

        Look, I get that everyone wants to be optimistic and I really want to too, but it has clearly been a bad year, worse than 2011-2012 IMO.

        I still enjoy the mountains regardless of how much snow we have. I go up 4x a week, but I am just being realistic here. I am not the typical Utah snow snob where I only go riding on light puffy POW days. I go regardless of the conditions but it has been BRUTAL. I be perfectly fine with SOLID snow conditions, but for most of the year , its been crusty/icey snow, at least at PC.

        Looking at the models, we dry out for nearly another week it seems with HIGH temps. Couple that we a low snowpack, especially in places like PC, and higher sun angles and its not going to be pretty.

        At best, we wont be seeing anything significant until MID month. This isnt January or Feb anymore, its freaking MARCH. The season is winding down here.

        Id gladly eat crow if we have a Miracle March, but looking at the models, which I admittedly suck at, I just dont see anything significant.

  3. Ball Don't Lie

    10.8 inches of snow water equivalent at Park City assuming a 40% packed density equals around a 2 foot base. So how does the marketing department at PCMR get to 56 inches? The bases on my skis believe the scientists and not Vail PR.

  4. tjcorda

    Evan, Thinking about skiing Telluride on Wednesday/Thursday. Can you comment on the conditions you find

      1. Robert Panzer

        I’m down in Telluride as well Evan.
        Today started slowly, with snow intensifying to inch per hour accumulations by noon. Waves on and off, even some sunshine, but steady snowing since the sun went down.
        There’s a lot of last week’s snow still on the hill, but most good steeps were still fairly bumped out even by 3pm, not quite enough snow yet to reset the ecth-a-sketch. The overnight should soften it up a bit, and by Monday it should be plain sicko.
        The base is skinny, plenty of rocks, stumps etc….
        Give me a buzz if you want to ride some Evan, it would be great to meet you.

  5. tjcorda

    Skiing brianhead Mon/Tue because of free passes. Need some steeps in telluride to chase away the the no snow blues.

  6. Laura

    Thank you Evan and enjoy the well deserved powder in Telluride. I will be back in PC at the end of March so I’m hoping the active pattern you see in the long range materializes.

  7. Kendall

    Great work and graphs. Thanks for the updates. As bad as it is, seems worse in my head than actual due to the warm winter. Snow happens.

  8. Marcus

    Do you think there’s a chance we see anything the second week of March? I’m flying out to make the pilgrimage and hoping for something…

  9. brig

    About 12-16″ of heavier snow at Brian Head. Keeping speed through the flat is a challenge, definitely a few nice turns to be found. First time here since I was 14. Forgot how flat it is. Storm sure produced a on the high end of estimates. Some spots are deeper but the heavy stuff n the flats is causing lots of boarders to do some slogging.

    My skis can make the sections- barely.

    Hope Bcc and Lcc get the goods soon.

    We need some big March and April dumpage.

  10. Anna

    I remembered Thanyes being awesome in 2013, but this year… Total opposite. PCMR has had it very rough this season for sure. Thinnest cover I’ve seen this month, seconded only by Sundance. I’m glad they’ll be getting some goods soon.

    I spent what felt like ages trying to find the Alpenglow lift at Brian Head! The whiteout conditions did not help. I got a few good powder runs, but the exhaustion from hiking took its toll on my runs. Still, a sweet powder day after the lack of snow!

    I swear, Utah weather is truly some of the most erratic and drastic I’ve ever witnessed. In the last 2 weeks that I’ve been here I’ve ridden almost everything from thigh-high powder to solid ice. I’ve loved every moment of it. Only an awesome weather site like WSF could possibly hope to accurately convey these complex weather patterns. Thanks for all you do!

    P.S. I’ve got 1 more week left of my ski trip. Make it good and tell me I’m getting snow from 3/5 onwards!

  11. Mike

    Just be happy you are not a plant…then you’d have a legitimate complaint. Skiing is skiing. Grab some turny boards and practice your carves, bumps, etc. Quit all the whining. Enjoy the variable conditions. Or move to Whistler, get on a Canadian forum and complain about the rain.

    Real skiers don’t cry. They just ski.

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