Tonight’s weak system is looking even weaker to my eyes. HRRR guidance shows it splitting and the moisture with the front looks meager. I think we’ll be lucky to get anything more than a couple inches tomorrow morning. Hopefully I’m wrong and we get surprised!
A fast-moving, weak storm will move through Sunday morning, bringing light accumulations. Another wave of energy Sunday night will bring additional accumulations. A very moist jet with settle over the region late Monday thru early Wednesday with heavy mountain snow and high winds.
Storm 1 – Late Saturday night into Sunday morning:
This system is fast-moving and not overly impressive. I think the quick movement will limit our totals. I think 3-6″ for most mountains. Perhaps a chance for a bit more in the Cottonwoods if things go well for us. Snow levels will be down to valley floors.
Storm 2 – Sunday night:
A wave of energy moves into far northern Utah. Another 3-6″ is possible for mountains, mainly north of SLC (Snowbasin, PowMow, Beaver). Cold temps should keeps snow levels below 5,000 feet.
Storm 3 – late Monday thru early Wednesday:
This is the strong storm that has a very strong jet associated with it. An atmospheric river event. Heavy precipitation likely at times with snow levels rising. Still think they will max out at 7,000 feet or less, which would keep precip type as snow for most resorts. However, this is a much warmer storm than we’ve been seeing, so snow densities will be high. Winds will also be very high, especially on the ridge lines. Avalanche danger will be likely be extreme, please consult the UAC before venturing into the backcountry. I’d recommend staying out of the backcountry for this storm.
Overall, snowfall totals will likely be in the 1-3 feet range with this third storm, mostly above 7,500 ft. There is a possibility for more than that in the Cottonwoods.
Storm 4 – Christmas eve into Christmas Day:
Latest trends have been to drop this system south of the region with limited impacts. If this storm trends more progressive again, we could see additional accumulations.
Total accumulations over the next 5 days will be high. Here is a look at probabilities of snow amounts:
These maps are of northern Utah (note the Great Salt Lake), the far right image shows a large spine of the Wasatch is almost guaranteed to receive 2+ feet of snow. Would not be surprised for the Cottonwoods to see 4 feet of snow from now until Wednesday evening.
As mentioned yesterday, due to the winds and high density snow, it might not be the best skiing, but it will go a long way to helping us build a snowpack.
P.S. Sorry for the cliche title, I couldn’t think of anything else and it’s somewhat apt.