Split Decision

Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Sunday update:

The models seems to be finding a bit more agreement and it’s no surprise that they are compromising on a middle ground.  Euro is not quite as robust with precip today and the GFS offers us a bit more.  Looks like late Wednesday into early Thursday we should see some mountain snowfall.  It will likely be a smaller system with modest amounts, but at least it’s something.

After that, it looks like the ridge will continue to be the most dominant feature in our weather pattern.  According to the CFS model, the next 10 days (March 8-18) offer little precip except for the aforementioned system:


However, the following 10 days (March 18-28) look noticeably better:


How much faith do I put in this? Not much.  But it’s Spring now (meteorologically speaking), and that means that the atmosphere is undergoing changes, hopefully for the better.  The MJO has been a non-factor this year in a mostly weak state, when it has strengthened, it has done so into unfavorable phases.  Currently it is forecasted to get very strong for the first time in several years.  Unfortunately, it is strengthening again into less-than-favorable phases, but there is some hope that it could propagate into better phases by the end of March into April.  #GraspingAtStraws

Anyway, all we can do is hope a more active pattern returns again for the end of the month.  Until then, we can hope our storm this week produces.




Warm and dry weather will continue for the remainder of this weekend and thru the middle of the upcoming week.  Right now all models have a storm system moving into the area Wednesday night into Thursday.  The GFS has been consistent showing this storm weakening considerably as it moves into the Great Basin — probably only bringing a few showers.  However, the ECMWF (Euro), holds the system together much better and would actually bring the mountains of Utah somewhat decent accumulations.  The Canadian Model (GEM) is somewhere in between.  It will be interesting to see which way models trend over the coming days… Let’s hope the EC has a better handle on things…  Stay tuned..


P.S. In case you know missed it on our Facebook page, here is a video of me getting fresh powder all day on Tuesday at Solitude.  There’s no 50-foot cliff drops or fancy pole mounts.  Just a good old fashioned POV ski edit. Enjoy!

March 3, 2015 – Solitude from Wasatch Snow Forecast on Vimeo.

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14 thoughts on “Split Decision

  1. Steve

    Evan, any thoughts on pattern after next weekend? For both Southern and Northern Utah. Arrive on Saturday for 2 weeks. Was thinking of heading down to Zion on Monday for a few days, but all depends on the weather. Don’t want to hike in the rain or miss fresh powder. I know it’s speculative, but trying to get an idea.

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      GFS and GEM have a follow-up system for around Sunday 3/15 that could bring precip to the region but the Euro keeps us dry through the weekend after the Thursday system. In short, I don’t have really any confidence in any one solution, which is why I didn’t bother to bring it up today. Sorry, Steve. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have more clarity.

  2. jim

    Evan, looking at the various models it looks like temps will remain warm over the next two weeks. Do you expect that the snow levels will remain at or below base elevation in LCC? The latest euro shows decent precip around the 12th as you said but the euro uses 10:1 snow ratio. From what I have observed the euro doesn’t handle the local topography very well in determining snowfall amounts (orographics, lake enhancement etc..), the GFS and certainly NAM do a better job. Your thoughts?

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      Yeah, it’s not a cold pattern, but it’s not extraordinarily warm either. Still early and it will totally depend on how the storms track, but if the EC model verified, snow levels would probably be in the 5-6K range… GFS would probably be closer to 7K feet. We’ll probably end up with something in between and 6-7k foot snow levels. I don’t think we have to worry too much about rain at the base but who knows… still 5 days away and things can change. Let’s tackle these problems when we at least have model consensus.

  3. az

    Question. Ive been to Brighton, Snowbird (can’t stop going there when I can) Canyons and Park City. We stay at the base of PC lifts, so when I go around to the Cottonwood Canyons I can’t peel myself away from Snowbird. BUT, after watching your video, I want a reason to spend a day at Solitude instead of Snowbird. I know the place is amazing, but give me a reason to turn up the canyon early instead of continuing to the Bird. Whats it got that I can experience the best there?

  4. Jim Sou Cal

    I’ve been lurking, but now, shortly heading to Bird base, staying in the canyon, Mar 10-14. First time, home mountain is Mammoth in CA, which has a bunch of nice above tree line chutes. So I am geting the stoke, and really appreciate the insightful forecast Sir Evan. I enjoy it all so pow or not, looking forward to my first tram ride… Also bringing the GF who is an all mountain skier who doesn’t rest… Let it snow, I say…

    As we are closer, maybe I can impose on y’all for best runs for conditions du jour.

    Thanks… 🙂

  5. Brett

    props on the video. I had second chair on GW at Brighton that morning and rode hard for 2 hours until the lift lines filled in. Have to say, it was a good morning and pretty DARN GOOD!!! this is my first full season being in UT and being a surfer from FL, it felt good to surf some good UT pow for real. Thanks for the great forecasts.

  6. Matt

    So now that miracle March is officially a bust and now we are hoping for a miracle April; when do we call it a season?

  7. Steve

    Evan, I know it’s always possible that there could be tons of snow last week of March and first of April, but assuming it’s at best average, just wondering how this year will rank for total snowfall for the season. I would think it has to be up there in low snowfall ranking. Not that that is a good thing.

  8. Mark

    Did you pick up any core shots while filming that video? 🙂 I was two for two at Solitude Tues and Wed. We still need to build us some base!

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