Friday, December 11, 2015 at 6:55 am


A bit of fresh snow from last night’s fast-moving cold front.  A few snow showers possible at times thru the weekend, but accumulating snow will return by early Monday morning and likely continue into Tuesday.


Everything pretty much went to plan with last night’s cold front.  The forecast yesterday morning was 3-6″ with 5-9″ for the Cottonwoods.  Most resorts are in the range of 2-7″ so far.  Seems like the highest totals were in BCC (6-7″).  Snowbird and Alta both with 5″ reported.  Alta-Collins sensor shows 5-6″ of snow fell before settling down to 4″.  As expected, the fast movement and the lack of instability and flow behind the front were limiting factors.  It’s a good amount of fresh snow to get your legs reacquainted with pow.

Generally, we’ll be in a break thru the weekend.  The next storm has been trending a bit slower.  This is significant because it would mean less snow Sunday night.   Right now it looks like snow would develop sometime in the middle of the night on Sunday night and continue through Monday morning.  This would put down a few inches for first chair with several more inches of snow accumulating throughout the day on Monday.  The big difference with this storm is that it will hopefully succeed where last night’s failed.  It will have a good period of post-frontal, moist, unstable northwest flow.  Very cold air will promote high snow ratios and even give us a chance for some lake effect action.  Because of this, snow will be likely to continue thru Monday night and into Tuesday and possibly beyond.

As for totals, it looks like the front itself on Monday will put down 4-8″ for most of the Wasatch with perhaps 6-12″ for the Cottonwoods.  Behind the front, orographics due to this northwest flow will be a wildcard.  Conceivably, I could see us getting anywhere from a few additional inches to a foot or more, especially in favored areas like the Cottonwoods.  Here is a map of totals from the GFS:


You can see that the Cottonwood Canyons is a bullseye for some decent accumulations.

As mentioned yesterday, due to our luck this season.  I think giving it another 24 hours is wise before we start getting too invested in this storm.  At this point it does look like Monday could be a good storm riding day and Tuesday could be a deep powder day for the Cottonwoods if the northwest flow delivers.  Keep your fingers crossed!


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  • Gretchen

    Any chance of adding an arrow to that image to show a visitor where the Cottonwoods are located? I know it’s near the lake, but not really sure where to focus. Just thought I’d ask – loving the reports!

    • Drew G

      The Cottonwoods are at the nice, bright-blue bulls eye (see the black circle in the image below). Hope this helps.

  • Steve Noufer

    How’s it looking after Tuesday?

  • Spank Tickleman

    Southern Utah is looking stormy this morning. This was the scene between Cedar City and Beaver in the last hour.

  • Things look good for orographic snow to continue behind the front on Monday before the flow turns more northerly on Tuesday limiting orographic snowfall. Lets hope the models change ever so slightly and keep the cold unstable northwest flow going through the day on Tuesday. This storm is so close to being a BIG storm for the Wasatch if the flow would just stay northwest through the day on Tuesday but as of now on the 12Z GFS it is taking it slightly too far south which turns the 700mb winds more northerly along the Wasatch front which is not ideal.

  • Jeremy

    Snowbird had some creamy turns today. Overall fun day, though we need more terrain open. Hopefully that Monday-Tuesday storm will fix that!