π + 0.02

Monday, March 16, 2015 at 7:17 am


Warm weather continues.  A slight cool down with a chance for scattered showers late Tuesday thru Thursday.  Another chance for showers possible late in the weekend and perhaps a bit stronger storm for next week.


We remain well south of the storm track, however some subtle energy will work its way into Utah starting on Tuesday and lasting through Thursday.  This is extremely unorganized but daytime heating could help fire up scattered showers, mostly in higher terrain middle of this week.  Unfortunately, snow levels will remain 8000 feet or higher so it won’t do much for skiers.  Nothing to get excited about…

Next system pushes into the Pacific coast on Saturday and reaches our area by Sunday.  The problem is that this trough will also fall victim to high pressure and lose most, if not all, of its punch before reaching us.  The GFS model has any appreciable energy being pushed north or us, whereas the EC holds it together well enough to bring us at least a small storm.  However in either scenario, snow levels would be relatively high with light precip.  Again, probably nothing to get excited about….

A third system is possible for next week (Tuesday 3/24).  In this case, it’s the GFS that has a decently strong storm and the EC that pushes all precip north of the area.  We’ll just have to wait and see which model has a better handle on things, but with our luck this year, I’d put my money on the Euro.

It’s not a great-looking forecast for skiers and snowboarders, that’s for sure.  Our problem right now is simple — the overall pattern continues to favor high pressure ridging.  So any and all storms that try to make it into the area get beat up and/or deflected as they do so.  I know some over you over the past week have occasionally posted maps from the CPC that show above average precipitation forecasted over Utah.  I was less-than-enthused and this is why, those CPC maps don’t generally take into consideration what makes sense based on pattern.  They can easily be tricked by one or two overly ambitious ensembles.  They also tend to lag behind the latest model trends.  Personally, I just don’t think they are of much use, especially if you’re looking at the ensembles directly.

If there’s one thing you can say about my forecast discussions, it’s that they are honest.  When the forecast is bleak, you know it.  When it is promising (you may not remember a promising forecast), you know it.  Right now, there aren’t too many positives.  Sure, next week could end up bringing a better storm into the area, but at this point it’s more than a week away and I wouldn’t get your hopes up just yet.

We will have at least a couple more powder days before all is said and done — so I wouldn’t give up just yet.  If corn snow and spring conditions don’t interest you, then go ride your bike for awhile and when a solid-looking storm is in the forecast I’ll let you know.



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21 thoughts on “π + 0.02

  1. jim

    The Canadian model is still holding out hope for snow on the 19th, 23rd and 25th. It has to be right once in awhile doesn’t it?

  2. Sal

    This site is honest. Which is awesome! Unfortunately, honesty this winter means making me cry every morning.

  3. heyatoya

    I’m betting on the snow to come on the 23rd. I’ve been coming out in March for the last 7 yrs and have not been disappointed. If it doesn’t snow, how cold do you think it will be? I don’t want a dry cold for that week resulting the extreme ice. Fingers are crossed and I will bring whatever MJO I have with me.

  4. heyatoya

    In reply to your pi headline, here is the real result of how the number will work out. 3.1415 + 9 days = storm of 26″ on the 23rd with the next day followed by 5″, next day followed by 3″, then next day another 5″, then topped off the next day with 9″. 3.14159265359, It will be a great next week. Keep the faith.

  5. Chris

    We are coming to Salt Lake later this week (19th through the 23rd) from So Cal. We have been to Utah many times but have never really experienced Spring skiing in Utah. We don’t mind spring conditions, especially corn. We were wondering if you or your readers have any advice on where to ski for the best spring snow. Thanks in advance! You and your readers have taught me a lot through this site!

    1. Kelvin Lu

      I’d suggest Alta or Snowbird as they have the highest elevation snow here and will get enough overnight freezing to keep the snow from being overly slushy by the morning. If you’re going to Park City most spots on the mountain will be too soft by 1 pm and will be get “sticky” which makes it easy to get injured when you’re violently pitched forward as you’re crusing along due to the uneven surface tension between water and ice on your skis.

      1. getoffmylawn

        Zardoz will cure those water vacuum stickies. If you find anyone who has any left, and you remember to swipe the stuff on every 2 or 3 runs! Why can’t I have 6 sets of skis with different base textures like a world cup racer? I tell you, it ain’t fair.

        Today was a great day for classic 80’s double pole plant hop turn mogul technique in PC…hey, find what works and go with it.

        Yeah, Alta might be a better bet. But there’s snow on the ground, there’s fun to be had wherever you are.

  6. jim

    12z GFS has pretty much taken away any snow for at least 10 days…a familiar pattern. I expect the 12z Euro will do the same. Only the GEM still has hope but we all know how that will end.

    1. jim

      Well at least the 12z Euro still shows precip on the 22nd. It keeps the precip on the 25th just to the north. The JMA still shows precip for the 18th and 22nd as does the Canadian. Grasping at straws here. The CPC update today now shows below avg. precip day 6-10 whereas last week day 6-14 was above average almost all week confirming what Evan has been saying that this tool is quite unreliable.

  7. Matt g

    Sierra at Tahoe, Mt Hood Meadows and Stevens Pass all call it due to lack of snow and a deteriorating base area snowpack. Here’s hoping that this warm and rain down low doesn’t cause the same scenarios here in UT. Gotta assume PCMR, Canyons and DV are getting real thin at the base!

    1. getoffmylawn

      PCMR is OK at the base. Bad in the middle, sticky but reasonable depth further up. Jupiter was closed today – don’t know why – yesterday folks said it was bottomless mashed potatoes, OK so long as your quads held up.

      Hard to say how much time’s left for the PC resorts. Canyons skiers today said it was not too good, Deer Valley about like PCMR.

      1. Matt g

        I know it’s “ok” now, but how long can it last? Only one way down at PCMR. If this warm persists, I imagine April 19th closing is a pipe dream

  8. andrew

    I feel like you should start giving mountain bike forecasts…this could go “full circle” and it might start to snow.

  9. chris

    Thanks everyone for the Spring skiing feedback! I definitely agree with getoffmylawn, “there’s snow on the ground, there’s fun to be had wherever you are”.

  10. Ethan

    How well will the areas north of us do over the next week? Specifically Jackson & Targhee, thinking about taking a trip.

  11. Will it ever snow again in Tahoe?

    The most recent GFS shows relatively warm and dry weather during the next 17 days. Crazy year!

  12. ?

    Honestly, how reliable is it predicting weather 10-17 days out? it seems more of a guess after 10 days.

  13. Fred

    Beaver Mt up Logan canyon was SUBLIME spring skiing conditions yesterday. A bit ICY even on groomers at 9:30 but by 10:30 lots of runs had softened up. Agree with the comments about wax. Was wishing I had some by 2:30 when stuff started getting a bit too wet.
    Hadn’t been to the BEAV in probably 20 years (been out of Utah for 18).
    Nice fun mountain, nothing steep or cliffs like the Cottonwood resorts but lots of fun variety. 2 terrain parks and NO LINES.
    Oh, the $7.50 lift ticket price yesterday celebrating their 75th year in operation didn’t hurt *smile*

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