Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 7:24 am

6:30pm Update:  

Everything still on track… precipitation is pushing into northern Utah right now and looks rather impressive on the radar.  I’d expect a good period of snow overnight.  The forecast for this morning was 4-8″ for favored areas like the Cottonwoods and up north.   The snow densities should be a little high, so the snow tomorrow morning could be creamy.

My one concern at this point is wind.  They are quite gusty already in places and should only increase overnight.  There might be some wind crust on the powder tomorrow in exposed areas.  See you on the hill!  WSF




A new season is underway!

For returning readers, welcome back to Wasatch Snow Forecast for another season of riding the emotional roller coaster that inevitably comes with tracking storms and hoping for deep powder. For new readers, welcome to our little community of devout snow enthusiasts.

I started WSF five years ago to indulge my obsession with powder skiing and meteorology. It was originally intended for a small audience of close friends, but, for lack of a better metaphor, things snowballed into what it is today.

The purpose of WSF is to provide an accurate, no-hype forecast that doesn’t simply rely on an icon to tell you when snow is coming, but instead describes the science behind the storm, analyzes different possible outcomes, and provides information based on this data as to when conditions will be best for your recreational purposes.

Luckily, most of the data we use for forecasting is freely available to the public. While I provide my own interpretation of this data via the WSF discussions, I encourage all of you to check models for yourself and share your opinion of what you’re seeing. I know dozens (hundreds?) of you have developed an interest in meteorology due to my forecasts and now check models independently. Honestly, nothing makes me happier. A love for snow and meteorology is what makes this site work! So please, check out some of the links and maps provided on the Resources page if you haven’t already. If you have questions, I’ll try my best to answer them all.

Comments are always appreciated on this site as well as our social media pages. Please keep discussions appropriate and weather/ski related. If I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that the internet has more trolls than the children’s section of the library. If you feel the need to make an inappropriate or unrelated comment, please re-consider. Trolling a weather blog is sad. Other than that, please comment regularly with questions, insights, snow reports, etc.

Please also remember that while the field of meteorology has made huge gains in recent years, it is still an imperfect science. There will be times when the forecast models are wrong as well as times when our forecasts are wrong, sometimes with pleasant surprises, sometimes with disappointment.

Other than that, let’s have a great season! Let it snow, then snow some more, then snow again…and again… and again… until June! SNOW! At the very least, just let it be better than last year!





A weak, but fairly moist wave of energy will push through Northern Utah in a northwest flow late Thursday night into Friday morning.  Snow will fall above 6,500 feet with some powder possible for Snowbird and Alta’s opening day on Friday.  A break this weekend, before a stronger, colder storm arrives before Thanksgiving.


Today will be mostly cloudy with snow developing up near the Idaho border and slowly working its way south.  A moist, but dynamically weak system is going to move quickly through the area tonight into tomorrow morning.  Snow should reach the Cottonwoods later tonight and continue through the morning hours.  It’s looking like a small powder day is a good bet for opening day tomorrow at Snowbird and Alta with up to 4-8″ of snow possible.  The other favored area will be up north, where places like Beaver, PowMow, and Snowbasin could also see 4-8″ of fresh.  You can see the favored areas below:


Park City and areas to the south of the Cottonwoods will likely see lesser amounts, as this is primarily a far northern Utah event. The reason the Cottonwoods should do well is because of their favorable setup for a northwest flow.

The system should quickly be out of the area by later in the day on Friday.  The weekend should be warmer with dry conditions as more resorts open for the 2015-16 season!

All eyes are still on the trough for next week.  We’ve been talking about this for a few days.  Models are starting to come into better agreement but still differ on timing and exact strength.  Right now it looks like a cold system with snow falling on Wednesday into Thursday.  Still unclear whether Wednesday or Thanksgiving Day are the better days for powder.  All of those details will become much clearer by this weekend.  Stay tuned…



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20 thoughts on “Underway!

    1. GSATT

      For now, I like it! Gonna get some laps on the lift then pedal the rest of the day in the sun soaked valley. Yeah buddy!!!

  1. John Dubock

    As a windsurfer we study the wind each spring/summer/fall. Its tough to predict wind, basically you have to show up on the beach as Utah wind can be fickle. These forecasts are so much better since the author skis, and cares. It might be true that when the 2002 Olympics came Utah gained about 200 new weather stations since snow prediction was critical. Its still less than a science as each day changes /evolves, morphs into a new weather pattern. Mark Eubanks had his white jacket, which meant good chance of snow. We have WSF and appreciate the constant flow of data.

  2. Dustin McHenry

    Looks as though NOAA may have re-done the URL for the QPF page….the link here is not working for me. Just a friendly heads up! Thanks an cheers.

  3. Peter Donner

    First, Evan, you know you do fantastic stuff. The trolls are unfortunate: 99.99% of people are fine if flawed, it’s the 0.01%, always the 0.01% who are nincompoops. I read these comments on various sites and feel I should let the site author know they are not reflective of the readership, but never do. Anyway, here I’m disapproving all inappropriate comments in advance, blanket.

    Ok, the real adventure. What you’ve been calling the blob, and a couple of meteorologists call the warm phase of the North Pacific Mode. Midway down the post, capital weather has graphics of Pacific sea surface anomolies Nov 1997 and Nov 2015.


    The blob shows up as a distinct warm spot in 2015, but not in 1997.

    Just want to peak your curiosity. Not expecting definitive research leading to precise forecasts of snowfall this winter. Thinking the blob could set up the same ridge we have been seeing the last two years.


    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast

      You’re right about the trolls, Peter. They are a very small minority.

      The blob is definitely still there. Much more so than 1997. Most climatologists, however, believe that it won’t be much of a factor. Some have suggested it’s more likely a symptom of ridging last year rather than a cause. Anyway… El Nino is the big bully on the playground these days. There is a good chance the blob will die over the course of the winter, according to seasonal models. Of course, nobody knows for sure, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. So far, no signs of it affecting the patterns.

  4. Ryan Pramer

    Thank you for all you do. First year following and have already learned so much about weather and snow predictions 🙂

    The Wasatch Ski community is fortunate to have such information! #prayforpowder

  5. Jelmer van der Meer

    Wondering how we’re doing for a base. That seemed to be a problem in the last couple of years, how is it this year? Stable?

  6. AudioHTIT

    WSF is the go to place for an accurate and helpful forecast, thanks!

    “trolling a weather blog is sad”… ha! very.

  7. Justin Wehner

    Disgusting warm temps in Jeremy right now, I have a hard time imagining any snow tonight. Fingers crossed…

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