High elevation snow will develop again late Friday and become heavier Friday night into Saturday morning. Snow levels will drop down to valley floors. The focus of the heavy snow will shift to our south by Sunday. Cold air and a few snow showers will linger into next week before high pressure takes control.
Calm thru today into Friday morning before the next storm pushes in late Friday. Moisture ahead of the front could create some high elevation snow showers as early as Friday afternoon. The heavier snow will arrive with the front Friday night into Saturday morning. Snow levels will fall from 6000-6500 feet down to valley floors by late Saturday morning. Snow should start to taper off to showers late on Saturday.
As for snowfall amounts, that is very dependent on how quickly the front passes through the region. Hopefully it moves more slowly as per the GFS. The Euro solution is a bit faster and therefore the duration of heavy snow is shorter. Currently, QPF looks to be between .75-2″ which is a rather large spread. This is the current NAM 12km graphical forecast for snowfall in the Upper Cottonwoods:
Because this storm has higher initial snow levels, it could limit base elevation amounts a bit. But for the upper portion of resorts, I think 8-14″ is a good bet by Sunday morning. I think the Cottonwoods could see 12-18″. If the front moves a bit more slowly than forecasted, I would not be surprised for the Cottonwoods to approach 2 feet, but that is a big “if” right now….
If you’re trying to choose between Saturday or Sunday as the better powder day, I would say Saturday is the much safer bet, as it will be snowing for most, if not all, of the day and should be free refills. Assuming you don’t mind storm skiing/riding, and risking canyon traffic/closures, then Saturday is the way to go. Sunday should be good as well, but snow should mostly stop by then so it will be a first chair kind of day.
As we mentioned yesterday, the second storm is likely heading well south of the Wasatch. Southern Utah and Arizona should get additional snowfall on Monday with this system, but at this point it looks to do little for Northern Utah. Because of this, the extreme amounts shown by the GFS a few days ago seem unlikely now.
GFS and Euro both have a third system pushing in middle of next week. The GFS is a bit stronger with this storm, whereas the Euro is very weak. At this point I’m not expecting much but it could be something to watch. The operational GFS is currently an outlier to its own ensembles as it wants to push additional storms into the area through the long range. The European and GEFS ensemble means, however, both suggest that a ridge is more likely. Anything is possible beyond the 5-7 day window, so don’t let the phrases “high pressure” or “ridge” get ya down too much just yet. We’ll just have to watch and wait how February unfolds.