Monday, January 11, 2016 at 7:25 am


Quiet and cold weather today will gradually warm up through the week.  Systems will attempt to break through the ridge.  Model trends are for these systems to gradually have more success bringing moisture into Utah.  That means mountain snow could be back as early as Thursday.


What a weekend!  It wasn’t exactly deep powder, although you could find some deep stashes in places, but what made this past weekend so great was just the staggering beauty on display.  Moist low levels that brought clouds funneling up the canyons and over the ridges.  These moisture-laden clouds carried perfect little snowflakes that literally made the air sparkle.  The snow was also super adhesive which covered every square inch of many of the trees in white.  To top it off, above the clouds it was the clearest bluebird I’ve seen in a long time.  Of course, the excellent ski conditions was the cherry on top.

Check out this timelapse from the top of Hidden Peak (Snowbird) yesterday looking down the canyon:


And still frames of the sunset as seen from Hidden Peak and Great Western (Brighton) respectively:



Spectacular, eh?  I had such a great time looking at just these webcam images after I got home from skiing yesterday, that I decided to drive back up the canyon to get some shots of the stars, the clouds and the snow.  When I got up to Alta, the clouds had us socked in.  We almost turned around but we saw a few stars peaking out to the east over Catherine’s Pass and decided to wait to see if it cleared at all.  Within 5 minutes, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  Got some great photos, here is just one of many:


Ok… now that we’ve had story time and some eye candy, let’s get to the forecast…

Good news!  Yesterday’s post was titled “Something to Watch”, and it’s no coincidence, as the model trends have continued to portray a scenario in which systems have a bit more luck pushing moisture in from the Pacific and into Utah.  The GFS is significantly more bullish than the EC, but both models would bring a system through on Thursday with a trailing push of moisture on Friday.  Then, another system would move in for later into the weekend.  Long range models hint that this type of active pattern could continue in the long range, perhaps getting even more active toward the end of the month.  Of course, it is extremely early and much of this is speculation.  What does seem clear is that we will have just a short break in the action early this week before we get back to it — shaping up much better than January of last year so far…

I am going to give models one more day to iron out the details as this is still a relatively new solution.  Tomorrow morning we will dive into the details of what we can expect.


P.S.  We love you Bowie!

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21 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Changes

    1. Andrew Ballard

      So with many forecasts saying 1″-3″ for Thursday and Friday, will some resorts likely get more than that? Like last week Sundance got 14″ when everybody else got 5-7″. Is that a common occurrence?

        1. Andrew Ballard

          YEAH!!!!! If models hold, what kind of daily totals do you expect? Super excited!!! So Thurs and Fri look good? Any chance things pull back into Wednesday?

          1. Andrew Ballard

            I’m not from the area, so I’m not sure what’s what. But is he serious? Can this really happen? Are there models that support Steve’s claim?!?!

      1. Scot Chipman

        Right now the 12Z GFS is saying around 16″ for the Thursday/Thursday night storm but ever since the update to the GFS last year it has been WAY over doing precipitation forecast by around 40%. If the current GFS forecast was to hold I would plan on around 8-10″ snow. Weather forecasting is not an exact science and mother nature still does what she wants but 24-36 hr snow forecasts in general are getting fairly good in my opinion.

        1. Walter Whiteman

          Dear Snap Chatman,

          Here we are once again. Like a
          tickle in your nether regions you just can’t resist the the urge to
          hi-Jack a question from WSF to your kick off the proverbial wang measuring contest. Again I have searched Hi and low, through hundreds of pages of vajankle videos, Donald Trump memes, and Taiwanese man lady blogs but have yet to find the Snap Chatman snow forecast blog. Instead all I have found are pictures of of bros high fiving and rubbing lotion on each others backs(The two key activities for a good day of water skiing). You truly don’t care about the children or the troops.

          Your friend,

          Walter Whiteman

          1. Andrew Ballard

            I love anybody who is willing to throw around numbers like 16″ and 8-10″, high-jacked or not.

      1. Faceplant

        No filter. No photoshop. No nuthin. Just a 3 year old iPhone 5 pulled out of a sweaty pocket. It really looked this good this weekend.

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