Relatively warm and dry this weekend as several more resorts kick off the 2015-16 season! The next system moves in late Tuesday night into Wednesday. Just in time for some cold Thanksgiving powder.
Our quick moving system yesterday clipped far northern Utah. It brought some good accumulations to the areas near the Idaho border. Tony Grove Lake station showed 12″ of new snow from 2.5″ of liquid. That is some thick cream! Great snow for early season to put down a base and fill-in the cracks. The Cottonwoods received 3″ of dense, graupel snow that skied great on top of the snow from earlier in the week! Great opening day for Snowbird and Alta.
Now we are in waiting mode for the next trough which will arrive late Tuesday into Wednesday. We have a very amplified pattern in the Eastern Pacific with a ridge building in the Gulf of Alaska. As this builds north, it’s going to allow a trough to drop down its back side and into the Western continental U.S. This trough has arctic origins and will be very cold. 700mb temps right now will drop down to around -15C, which means snow levels easily reaching all valley floors and teens up in the mountains. Here is a look at the trough on Wednesday mid-day:
You can see how strong and cold it is right over the Great Basin. This storm should bring a period of snow to the area on Wednesday with snow showers likely lasting through the Thanksgiving holiday. The Great Salt Lake is also still relatively warm, so hopefully it will help us out a bit as well.
To my eyes, this is not a major storm in terms of the amount of moisture it carries. However, it is slow-moving and very cold, which means high snow ratios. Even an inch of QPF in the mountains could yield 15+ inches of snow. I’m going to hold off one more day before I speculate on totals, but I’d guess right now they will be enough to make for some really good powder turns in the Wasatch on Thanksgiving Day.
Nothing like some POW to get your appetite piqued for a holiday feast, amirite?