Focus switches to Northern Utah tonight

Monday, March 2, 2015 at 7:07 am

Monday PM update:

Everything still on track… Latest model runs suggesting 8-14″ with up to 20″ in the Cottonwoods by Tuesday evening.  So stoked!



Snow showers will spread into northern Utah from the south today with relatively high snow levels.  The flow switches to the west then northwest on Monday night into Tuesday as a reinforcing and much colder wave moves in bringing more snow.  Dry weather for late this week into the weekend.


Closed low off the California coast has been nearly stationary and has but funneling moisture into southwestern Utah all night.  Brian Head reporting an additional 14″ of heavy, wet snow. That brings their storm total to 37″!!!  They should see another 6-12″ today as the moisture shows no signs of abating.  This moisture is just making its way into the Wasatch.  Eagle Point which is in Central Utah has received another 8″ of snow.  Around Salt Lake and PC, resorts just getting 1-2″.  Showers should continue through today with a few more inches possible by evening.

Tonight, the low should finally start moving east while at the same time a cold wave moves in from the northwest.  This should switch the flow from southerly to westerly and eventually northwesterly by early Tuesday morning.  Generally expect snow to increase tonight in Northern Utah. Tomorrow could be very good for places like the Cottonwoods with a favorable northwest flow.  6-12″ by Tuesday evening with perhaps more (up to 18″) for the Cottonwoods.  Tuesday could feature very good storm day skiing/riding!

By Wednesday we clear out and start to warm up as high pressure moves back into the area.

Long range:

Not much good news I’m afraid.  We had our pattern change and it brought us 10 days of very active weather. It looks like we are about to enter a 10-day cycle of mostly dry and warm weather.  Unfortunately, while the Wasatch saw several storms recently, we didn’t get any BIG storms during this pattern change.  Southern Utah seemed to be favored each time.  Brian Head will likely have seen close to 70″ of snow in 10 days once this storm wraps up.

Looking ahead we have slight chance for a few showers on Saturday the 7th…. Long range models keep pushing back the return of storms.  A few days ago it was the 10th, now it looks more like the 14th… Needless to say, not much confidence in the long range.  March will start off right with some snow today and tomorrow, so go enjoy it while it’s here!


P.S.  Because the low has been so stationary, the forecast for insane snow in the San Juans isn’t really verifying.  They’ll be getting their snow later today and tonight, but I doubt anybody will come close to the 8″ of QPF that models were forecasting a few days ago.  Still, I’m in Telluride and we’ve received 27″ since Friday on the upper mountain, can’t complain too much.

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  • Faceplant

    Any reason you’re so conservative on the cottonwoods? Most forecasts have double your 6-12 prediction. Are you seeing something different?

    • Yes, I’m using a phone to look at models! Well, models generally put down .75-1.25″ of liquid and with the cold air, ratios will be fairly high. So 12-24″ of snow is possible in the Cottonwoods for sure, but with the luck we’ve been having its better to forecast conservatively and hope for the best!

  • Anna

    How far north do you see the weather pushing? Do you think we can we expect some accumulation at Snowbasin and Powder Mountain in the coming days?

    • Yes, they should get 6-12″ mostly tonight and Tuesday.

      • Anna

        Hooray! Thanks for reporting the goods WSF!

  • jim

    Evan, technical question…in following the latest storm cycle for Utah and Colorado, I noticed a big difference in projected snowfall amounts between models as things progressed. The NAM was more consistent over the period, although they all over estimated snowfall for Colorado (maybe underestimated for Utah). Is the NAM, given that it is a shorter range model with higher resolution (12k) generally more reliable in these situations? I found the GFS and Euro didn’t handle it well.

    • The NAM is short range and higher res, so it’s often best in short range. I think the Gfs and EC were more eager to move systems thru and often times cutoff or closed lows end up spinning their wheels longer and dropping farther south than Gfs or EC suggest. Such is the case with this storm.

      • jim

        That’s what I figured. Thanks.

  • Roc

    Evan, is tomorrow or Wednesday morning my best bet in lcc for the best snow…can only go in late to work one day. Thanks!

    • LCC

      Would like an answer to this as well!

    • Tomorrow would get my vote!

      • Roc

        Tomo it is! Pray they don’t close LCC for avy control/have lifts closed. Got the powder giddinessssss

  • Al Anon

    Yep underestimating this one. Best not to have unwarranted bias (either conservative or wish-casting) as short term model outputs have done fairly well lately, if anything underestimating QPF. 12-18″ for Wasatch Back…PC/DV doing better at first in southerly flow and then Canyons catching up tonight tomorrow in WNW. 18-24″ in upper CWoods. We are all forecasters these days, aren’t we?

  • az

    Quick question, we are coming in for the week of 3/30 – 4/6. how are conditions at PCMR/Canyons typically at this time? I know spring conditions but are most runs open then? thx guys

    • PC Local

      Should probably be ok – even if it’s a rough March, the snow usually holds on relatively well. Some of the south facing slopes may be closed, but most things should be open.

  • Roger


    Thanks for the detailed forecasts and comprehensive explanation of the storm cycles. I’ve been following this blog for a couple weeks now as me and three friends are headed to the Wasatch from 3/6 to 3/15.

    Given the most recent long-range outlook, are we looking at a dry and warm time out there? We’ve been skiing the frigid temps of Northern VT all winter, so I wouldn’t mind some spring-like conditions, as it seems like the base has had a nice refresher over the last week or so.

    And how much weight do you put in this long term forecast given that it has changed a bunch over the last few days? Thanks in advance for any insight! And cheers for the great work.


  • Kenny

    I see a low pressure in the pacific North West developing in the 10 day models. I also have noticed a fairly decent amount of moderately cold air wrapping it’s way around it.
    Any chance that we see another good storm cycle from 2/14/15 and the days after?

    • Ted

      Only if you have enough faith Kenny….

  • JonS

    Planning a trip down to LCC today for first day ever at Alta (usually ski up at Snow Basin/Powder)….any favorite powder runs?

    • Every where is good. Collins and high-t in the morning. Then supreme. Then hike baldy shoulder in the afternoon… So many options!

  • Does the public have access to your source for Radar information?