Storm Day, Baby!

Monday, December 14, 2015 at 5:57 am

Monday afternoon update:

Snow continues for the valleys and benches of the Wasatch Front. As you head up to the Wasatch crest and east onto the Wasatch Back, the snowfall declines drastically.  Our issue right now is that we have a weak flow, which is having trouble pushing the moisture up into the mountains.  The other issue is that the orientation of the flow has been more north to south, without much westerly component.  The westerly component is critical to get moisture to get orographically enhanced as it encounters the steep terrain of the Wasatch.

Therefore, snow is stuck in the valleys west of the crest, and man is there a lot of it!  Some areas of the benches approaching 2 feet!  This morning, I highlighted that if the orographics didn’t produce, we’d likely stay under 2 feet in the Cottonwoods.  It looks like that will be the case right now — although that is certainly far from guaranteed.    Still, there was at least a foot of snow when I was in LCC this morning.  And more snow should continue tonight — so we are still going to be well within that 1-2 feet range in the Cottonwoods.  Park City is reporting 5-8″, still expect a few more inches tonight up there.  So they should at least make the low end of the forecasted 8-15″.

An interesting storm, that’s for sure!   WSF





Snow will continue through the morning, then a break during the afternoon.  Then orographics take over for tonight with additional accumulations likely through Tuesday morning.  Generally active pattern looks to continue all the way until Christmas with storms likely every few days.


Snow has been falling over much of the Wasatch and Wasatch Front for several hours (as of 5:15am) in a pre-frontal southwest flow.  This has favored areas such as Snowbasin which is reporting 12″ of snow already!  Going to have to bump up their predicted totals!


Sundance, another resort favored by this flow saw snow develop later, but is doing well with 7″ so far and counting.

The Cottonwoods do not do great traditionally in a SW flow, but still, snow is falling there as well as PC and the flow should turn more westerly soon.


Outside my house in the Salt Lake Valley, it is absolutely nuking right now with several inches already on the ground.  Getting up to the resorts this morning is going to be tricky.

Snow will continue for most of us through the morning hours.  The front will pass to our south and east for the afternoon and the Wasatch and Wasatch front will be left in a dry slot.  Do not panic if there is a break in the action this afternoon!  It looks like the wrap around moisture and north-northwest flow will develop this evening and snow should fall tonight, especially in the Cottonwoods.

Snow will start to taper off on Tuesday, but not before we’ve seen some impressive accumulations.

Based on what we’ve already seen, I think 16-24″ is likely for snowbasin.  10-20″ for Powder Mountain/Beaver.   10-20″ for PC/Sundance.   Based on the Cottonwoods favored location for orographics, if the orographic machine really starts cranking tonight, I think 24-30″ is possible.  If the flow is too northerly, then perhaps 12-24″ is more likely.  No matter how you slice it, this is a great storm.

The roads will likely close at times for avy control… FYI… be prepared.

Active weather looks like it will continue in the long-range, but I can’t get too into the details.  I have powder to ski, y’all!  See you on the hill.


P.S.  Please use #wasatchsnowforecast for all photos and snow reports today — especially on instagram.  As many of you know, we have a “live” feed of instagram photos on the sidebar that use #wasatchsnowforecast

Powder to the People!  (finally)  Jeez, I can barely see my neighbor’s house!  Insane snow rates right now!


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30 thoughts on “Storm Day, Baby!

  1. Darren Mollick

    As I sit here having breakfast overlooking the beach and ocean in Turks and Caicos, I would like all of you to know that I am daydreaming of my first trip of the season to PC next week!!
    Keep snowing, baby!!!

      1. Justin Wehner

        They cleared the stake at some point. If you watch the 24 hour loop you’ll see it go to ~3, then get cleared, then go to ~2.

  2. Matthew Crain

    Thanks for working so hard even before going out there and slaying some pow pow!! Looking good for our trip to PC, wouldn’t you say

  3. Shad Pulley

    Unfortunately I have to work today.. I have at least 6 inches here in Riverton.. Not sure how it’s possible that I have more snow than PC, but according to the reports I do..

  4. Drew G

    Send some snow to the east. We are dying and being tortured by pictures from CO, UT, BC, and etc…

    We have rain in the forecast and this is what it looks like below…

    1. Chad Niel

      Bruh you guys had your turn last year. I remember spending many a day angrily watching videos from the east lol 🙂

  5. Justin Wehner

    We have about 8″ in Jeremy Ranch, so the Canyons side of PC might have done better than PC proper so far.

  6. NoSnowDownLow

    We started with heavy blizzard conditions around 5am on Traverse Mountain (Wood Haven up towards the top, so a bit of elevation… It was relentless and full white-out conditions.
    I have just cleared the driveway… There is around 9″ on concrete surfaces and little more when measuring on grass. Lots of wind up here this morning too, so some interesting 2′ snow drifts all over the place too.
    Still snowing now and it seems more expected through the night. Quite a storm this one is turning out to be.

    1. NoSnowDownLow

      Just cleared another 4″ off the driveway… So totals since 5am around 13-16″ on Traverse Mountain.
      It is still snowing too, so I presume a few more inches this evening and tomorrow. Quite a producer for the Benches!

  7. Bryce

    Will be up there on Saturday for a week hoping for a consistent string of snow. Very pumped for this dump 😉

  8. Chad Niel

    NWS 24 hour site just updated with significantly reduced totals, went from 12-16 to 4-8 tonight. That’s why you go on the first day I guess, a bird in the hand and all that Jazz…

  9. Steve Noufer

    Evan, any thoughts about next week? GFS is awfully bullish around 21st for a few days. And as someone said, so is CPC for 6-14 days out.

  10. Chad Niel

    Thanks for taking the time to give us an afternoon update man, quieted my anxiety a bit. As long as we get an additional 4 inches tonight I’ll be happy.

    Hope you had a great day on the slopes!

  11. Phillip Rhoades

    Epic day in sw Utah. 20 inches and counting as its still coming down hard. Almost too much snow for most of our runs but we’ll take the additional base.

    1. Steve Noufer

      Seems the Wasatch Back has been getting skunked a lot. Aloha Shannon. I’m Penny’s husband. Good to see you follow WSF.

  12. Tom Bennett

    I give Snowbird a solid B for today. Although getting to the canyon was hard, LCC road was pretty easy. Enough snow to cover the pretty beaten coverage and lots more if you knew where to look. No lines at the Tram.

    Hard to tell about tomorrow (Tuesday). It snowed more at my house in the SLC foothills today, and its still coming down now. Big question is road closure.

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