After a couple more days of quiet weather, a storm will approach on Friday with a strong cold front pushing in on Friday night into Saturday. Snow is likely for all Utah mountains this weekend. Another system could bring snow to mostly Southern Utah on Monday into Tuesday.
High pressure is still in control, but that will change quickly this weekend. Storm starts to drop into the area on Friday, could see high mountain snow start has early as Friday afternoon ahead of the front. Initially snow levels will be relatively high, 6k feet or perhaps a touch higher. The cold front will push in Friday night and bring heavy precip to the region and cause snow levels to crash down below 5,000 feet behind the front on Saturday, likely reaching valley floors eventually. This storm has a lot of moisture with it. GFS paints 2-3″ of max liquid while the Euro is in the 1-2″ range. I think 2″ for the max is a good middle ground with 1-2″ for most other areas. That means that by the time this front has sagged south and east of us on Sunday morning. The upper elevations will be looking at 1-2 feet of new snow.
Yesterday we talked about the Euro and GFS being in disagreement about the following system. The GFS showed a strong storm aiming directly at Utah on Monday with the Euro much weaker and farther south. They seem to be finding a middle ground with a strong system directed at Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. The GFS is still farther north and would bring at least some additional snowfall to Northern Utah as well. The Euro pretty much keeps us pretty much dry with most snow in Arizona or far southern Utah. This new compromise means that back-to-back big snows in the Wasatch are unlikely now. As I said yesterday, I didn’t think the GFS solution would hold so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Here is the new GFS QPF output which can be compared to yesterday’s:
Today’s version shows more total precip for Southern Utah but less for Northern Utah.
After a cold, snow showery start to next week, we should see high pressure regain control by Wednesday, Feb 3 or so. Right now, this looks to be strong, stable high pressure with a deep trough in the eastern half of the U.S. Would not be surprised if the first half of February was our mid-winter thaw. I’ve spent so much time skiing powder over the past 6 weeks that I’ve gotten behind on domestic duties. Perhaps a break in the action for a bit isn’t such a bad thing… I can’t say that with a straight face… Breaks in the action are always terrible…. Let’s just hope more snow returns sooner rather than later.
TL;DR Good storm coming this weekend, powder likely Saturday and Sunday. Get some!