Our fourth morning in a row with fresh snow in the mountains of Northern Utah! Our parade of frequent but generally weak systems continues. Another storm moves in for Monday afternoon/evening, then another for Tuesday night into Wednesday. Ski conditions continue to be excellent!
A weak system passed through yesterday afternoon into the overnight hours. The forecast yesterday was for 3-6″ with perhaps a bit more in favored locations like the Cottonwoods. Reports this morning show 7″ for all Cottonwoods resorts except Snowbird which is reporting 11″. Park City ridgeline resorts did well with 6-8″ reported up top. Snowbasin and PowMow both got several inches and Beaver reporting 7″. So our tradition of these weak storms doing at, or slightly better than, expected continues. These frequent storms sure do make for great ski conditions!
A break today thru early Monday before the next system starts to work moisture into the area. Snow levels should be at 5500 feet or so for this next wave. It looks quite weak to my eyes, so I’d expect only a few inches at best for most locations.
Another break for Tuesday before another system moves in Tuesday night into Wednesday. Again, not particularly strong but probably better than the Monday storm. Here is the precip forecast from the NAM for the next few days:
You can clearly see the two systems Monday afternoon/evening and again Tuesday night. Nothing huge but totals from the two combined in the Upper Cottonwoods should be over an inch of liquid which is 12+” of snow.
It looks like a more extended break for Thursday and Friday and perhaps Saturday. Models do indicate a storm possible for the latter half of next weekend. We’ll keep an eye on that.
Usually I refrain from posting much about the long range when there is so much action in the short term. But there are a couple things I am seeing that are worth mentioning. First of all, some of you may have seen the 06z GFS this morning that was quite bullish for us for the next 10-15 days. It was even more bullish for Northern California where it was showing biblical rain events. I think it’s safe to say we can throw out this solution for now. The EC is not on board and the operational GFS doesn’t even have support from its own ensembles. For whatever reason, since one of the recent upgrades, the GFS seems to go hogwild with precip in the 5-10 day range. Then it backs off once it comes within 5 days. For that reason, I’m barely giving the GFS any credence beyond 5 days and I would suggest you do the same.
What I am seeing, however, is that both the GFS and ECMWF ensembles are very consistent showing this pattern of generally weak systems continuing for the next week, then they start a major transition of ejecting east coast trough and building heights in the central North Pacific. This allows a trough to form in the interior west for the last few days of January into early February. Now, this is very far out, but the models have been consistent and the teleconnections support this idea. I would not be surprised if we transition to an active pattern with stronger storms around the end of the month.
P.S. After today I will have 28 days of skiing under my belt so far this season. Of those 28, 19 have featured 6″ or more of fresh snow. Frequent snowfall is what makes Utah so special. Definitely making up for last season’s dismal returns!