The split before the strike?

Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 7:20 am


A weak, splitting system is moving through today with snow showers continuing this afternoon into tonight. Light accumulations.  After a nice weekend, a stronger, colder system moves in Monday and Tuesday of next week with more significant accumulations possible.


Today our weak splitter is entering the region.  It’s taking awhile, but eventually showers should develop and become enhanced this afternoon behind the front as the flow turns more northwesterly.  Snow levels should be at about 8,000 feet this morning and gradually fall to below 7,000 feet by tonight.  Yesterday I said 2-4″ above 8,000’… looking at the data today, I think even that might be optimistic… 1-3″ might be more reasonable, perhaps some areas favored in the northwest flow could get higher amounts if we’re lucky.  Here is the total snowfall through tomorrow morning:


A few inches at best…  We should clear out on Friday and have very good weather for the Halloween holiday.

A stronger and colder system is still looking good for Monday and Tuesday of next week.  Right now it looks like the best snowfall will come late Monday thru Tuesday morning.  Snow levels this time will drop at least down to bench locations and perhaps some valley floors.  Here is the same snowfall output including next week’s storm:


We are just entering that 5-day window of confidence in some of the details.  Right now it looks like 6-12″ for the high elevations would be a safe bet, but there could be an opportunity for more if things come together right for us.

These maps use model data to give a probability of receiving more than 6 and 12 inches respectively:

You can see that most mountain locations are almost guaranteed to see 6″ or more, and 12″ is a high probability for some favored locations of the Wasatch and Uintas.  There is also a chance that the GSL could get involved behind the front and enhance totals for some areas — we’ll have to watch for that.

As mentioned earlier, this is a cold storm so the snow will have a low water content.  Ideally, I would like to see early storms with higher water content because that wet snow really does a good job filling in the cracks and laying a stable base layer… but I suppose we shouldn’t be too picky.



Check out Brian Head this morning!  The southern split of this system is producing down south!



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  • Florida Sam

    Love the point on the WC of the snow.

    Do you have any info you can share about snow water content? I know out west WC is generally lower than in the east. but it’s hard to find anything that really describes the relationship between temps and WC. and generally the differences between the Sierra snow, rockies, PNW, north east…. etc.

    I’d love to read more on snow quality to get a better understanding.

    your rock!

    • Generally the lower the temperature, the lower the water content. Of course, there are other factors in this equation such as relative humidity and atmospheric profiles. Utah’s snow is usually between 5-10% water content. Some areas of the northern Rockies see fluffier snow than we do. But our snow is much less wet than Sierras or Cascades. And generally drier than the East coast, but due to their climate, they see huge variation from storm to storm. If this all interests you, I’d highly recommend Jim Steenburgh’s book “Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth”. He gives a great overview of snow science both in Utah and around the world.

    • NoSnowDownLow

      Based on Prof. Steenburgh’s science/book… There was a useful infographic created for Utah’s claim of “The Greatest Snow on Earth”…
      I found it at the following website:
      Interesting and simple explanation of how the snow moves across geography West-East and loses its moisture.

      • What you are referring to and the graphic shown is an absolute myth. Steenburgh and others, myself included, adamantly refute the idea that a storm “dries out” as it crosses the desert. More moisture in the atmosphere is better. The dry snow is a product of the air temperature more than anything else. It is true that a lot of super moist storms have denser snow, but that is because they often get their moisture from tropical sources and therefore the temperature is usually warmer, hence higher snow densities. The Sierras and Cascades have maritime climates where the air temperature is moderated by the ocean, therefore they generally see higher snow densities. Utah, and to an even greater extent Colorado, are continental climates that see more cold air associated with the storms and therefore the snow is drier.

        Don’t buy into the nonsense that the storms “dry out” when they cross the desert.

        • Steep Powder

          Much of that graphic is crap!

  • Evan Thayer

    Rumor has it you performed an eleventh illuminati trial. you fed your daughter bullshark testosterone pills to make her a Man and gave them to get for her birthday cake because your a promale misogynistic fucking pig. Now it’s time to perform the 12th and final trial. Post about how the sun is going to fucking blow

  • Evan Buttfucking Thayer

    How will the moon exploding effect our weather? If this question makes your balls itch then just say I don’t know but my balls itch now