Parade of Weaks

Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 6:29 am


Our first weak system is bringing snow showers to the mountains of Northern Utah this morning.  A break this afternoon before the next system moves in tonight into Friday with additional snow.  A break Friday night and Saturday before a third system moves in Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Additional systems likely next week.


Storm system #1 is moving through right now.  Up north, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain have each seen a couple inches so far.  It just started snowing in the last hour or so in the Cottonwoods but it coming down at a good clip so far:


Snow showers should continue thru the morning.  Generally I would expect snow amounts today to be in the 2-4″ range with perhaps 6″ in the Cottonwoods.  Always a chance for persistent banding to deliver more than expected.  As mentioned yesterday, today is mostly “dust on crust”.

A break this afternoon and evening will be short lived as storm #2 enters the region.  This one has been showing signs of diving into Southern Utah and giving that area the best snow.  Good news for Brian Head.  Bad news for the other 14 Utah ski resorts in the central/northern part of the state.  Still, even with a dive to the south, we’d still all get additional snow with amounts generally in the 4-8″ range for most mountains with 6-12″ for the Cottonwoods.  Only a weak to moderate system.    So these two storms combined should bring anywhere from 6 to 18″ of snow to the mountains of Utah with orographically favored areas (Cottonwoods) likely to receive the most.

Another break Friday night and Saturday before a third system moves in Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Another generally weak system but it should add another at least 3-6″ of snow, perhaps a bit more for some areas.  It will be a tad warmer so the snow densities on the mountain could be slightly higher for you skiing on Sunday.

Overall, you can see these three systems quite clearly on the current (06z) NAM output:

Because these are weak systems, the total precip from all three is about equal to one good storm.  Still, we have three opportunities for storms to overperform, and storms spread out over a long duration like this makes for great ski conditions with consistent refreshes!

Next week, we have a possibility for another system Tuesday/Wednesday.  This was looking decently strong in the GFS with a potential for a pineapple connection, but models are backing off on this idea a bit.  Instead, bringing in yet another fairly weak system.  There is another potential system for next weekend (January 22-24) but confidence is very low right now.

To sum up, we have an active pattern with a parade of storms, but at this point, the storms are generally weak.  Still better than the splitting pattern that models were forecasting at this time last week!


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  • Andrew Ballard

    6″ overnight was a good start for Powder Mnt. In the car headed that way now 🙂

  • Mike Miller

    Well timed welcome present— I fly into SLC tomorrow midday and will be skiing primarily Pow Mow (season pass) and a few others for the next 2 months — WOO HOO ….man I am getting excited 🙂

  • Dave Raue (kletter1mann)

    As a recent east coast transplant I’m thinking “dust on crust” means something different here vs, say, New Hampshire. At the infamous Cannon Mtn dust-on-crust means a dusting over deadly bullethard ice or rain crust. Please tell me that here it just means a coating over hard pack!

    • Chad Niel

      In this instance, at snowbird anyway, you have got 3 inches of snow on top of a surface that had fresh snow on Saturday and maybe spent 3 days with temperatures above freezing. I’m guessing that’s probably not what you would call dust on crust in New Hampshire =)

    • Fred

      Yeah bro. LOTZ different than the ICE at Hunter Mountain, NY, I had to deal with for 3 long seasons. No real CRUST in Utah (especially at 9k+ feet) until spring time.

    • I Agree with Chad, the conditions this weekend will be rad!

  • Beaver Mountain got 2″ over night and it is currently snowing
    moderately! I know we are a small family owned resort, but don’t forget
    about us up here at the top of Utah! 🙂 When you gunna come up here and
    ski with us? I’ll getcha a lift pass, and show you around if you’d

  • Andrew Ballard

    Rode Powder Mountain today. Was insanely deep and amazing. What a great hill. Tomorrow is going to be intense. There’s a winter weather advisory tonight into tomorrow in the mountains.

    • Glad everything seemed to work out for your trip. The magic of Utah delivers again.