Weekend Snow Showers

Friday, February 12, 2016 at 7:08 am

Saturday AM update:

Not much new info.  Still expect Northern Utah snow showers on Sunday and Monday with light accumulations.  Storm on Thursday into Friday still possible but models disagree on how much strength it will maintain as it battles high pressure.  Inversion should mix out for most of us by Monday…. Fresh air!  Full update Sunday AM…



Strong high pressure ridge will flatten this weekend, allowing for a weak system to clip far northern Utah.  Snow showers are possible although accumulations will likely be light.  High pressure returns next week before another trough brings more chances for mountain snow late in the week.


Another mostly sunny and warm day today (Friday) in the mountains while the valleys continue to suffer through cold inversions and thick pollution.  A couple weak systems will start to impact the region starting Saturday as the ridge flattens just enough for storms to clip Northern Utah.  The strongest wave will be on Sunday.   Mountain snowfall is likely, although it should remain on the light side with accumulations of a few inches or less.  Still, some storm energy is better than no storm energy, and there’s always the outside chance we’ll get surprised….

The other benefit of the weak storms this weekend is that they might just be enough to at least partially clear out the inversions.  By Monday morning things could be significantly clearer along the Wasatch Front, which will be a relief for many of us.  Snow showers could linger in the high elevations on Monday but high pressure should be back in control by Tuesday with warming temps.

A trough will drop into the area out of the northwest later next week.  This trough is doing battle with high pressure, and therefore will likely weaken significantly as it moves east.  It is also possible it could split over the Great Basin.  Still… Utah mountains should see at least some snowfall on Thursday and/or Friday of next week.  We will fine tune the details as we get closer.

After this trough, all models point to high pressure quickly re-establishing itself.  Right now the overall pattern is much more favorable for ridging than it is for troughing.  We need a major pattern change and at this point I don’t see that happening until the last few days of the month at the very earliest.  Until then, storms will be less frequent and be susceptible to substantial weakening as they approach the region.   Be patient… My gut tells me March will be significantly more active and the long range models agree for the most part.


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29 thoughts on “Weekend Snow Showers

          1. Florida Sam

            I’m with ya Donna. Living in SLC, a week or two off is great for your legs.

            Spending a few grand a year to fly into Utah and pick a bad week blows.

            I know my group spends about about $10,000 a year for the group of us to come out.

            last two years weren’t great, looks like another one coming up.

            $30,000 for no snow….. good job trolling Steve….

            Been reading Evan for years now, best site around. I suspect he gets as many hits outside of Utah as in.

          2. Donna Larson

            I’ve been going to SLC on average three times a year for some time. No including this year, the last four years I can count the powder days on one hand. Works out to about $8k a powder day. Not this year.

          3. Jersey

            It would be cheaper to just wait until the last minute to book your trip to see if it is going to snow.

          4. Florida Sam

            Trying to chase from Florida…. is not cheaper lol.
            … shoot I tried to chase to West Virginia for that big blizzard (Snowshoe ended up with 36 inches in two days) but that worked out to $1,000 for two days of 150 acres and I couldn’t get anyone on board…
            We get our plane tickets a few months out and on average they are 350 – 400 a person. Right now, it’s 800 to fly within a week, then you are hoping you can find a rental car that’s awd, and a place to stay that’s big enough for your group…..
            Chasing with flights that are 6+ hrs is a rich man’s game.

          5. Liz

            I’m in the same boat: we have to buy our tickets months ahead so they’re about $350. Within a week it’s usually $700-$800. We just postponed our trip from Feb. 21-26 to March 7-12 (banking original flights for future credit and buying new ones at $365 each). Yeah, it’s a gamble but what can you do? Worst comes to worst I’ll bring my carvers and enjoy the sun!

            All that aside, I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say “Thank you Evan for your hard work and great site!” Let’s keep it positive!

          6. barl0w

            I love that you want to come to Utah and ski. But Steve’s right, you’re playing the lottery. Book with Park City Powder Cats for a 1, 2, or 3 day run and then if you don’t hit powder on those other days then at least you had those cat skiing runs to brag about. See you on the slopes

          7. Liz

            Oh yeah, it’s always a gamble for those of us who have to fly in. It’s okay: I love skiing Utah and even when it’s subpar (ie last season), it’s still better than most other places.

          8. Jim

            Doesn’t matter where you go booking a ski trip weeks or months in advance and expecting powder is risky. Last year was the worst but this year is much better.

          9. goatroper

            Dear Donna,
            I am sorry to hear of your plight. Do you have a crowdfunding site established to help you deal with this tragic loss of disposable income? Have you contacted an attorney? Certainly this website, the state of utah, mother nature and father Ullr are financially responsible. The purchase of airfare and accommodation entitles you to gettin’ pitted on windless bluebird powder days with no lift lines, impeccable grooming (by 9 am) and free foot massages. Showing up 3 times a year is unparalleled devotion deserving of remuneration and much sympathy. I can count on one finger my reaction to your complaint.

          10. Steve French

            I was not “trolling”. I was being serious. What difference does it make to me if she cancels or not. $30K for no snow? Even in the crappy snow years there is still better snow in LCC and BCC than most anywhere else in the US. I’d recommend you and your group of high rollers book a lodge around revelstoke and heli. If you and Donna are so serious about skiing deep blower pow you would not be rolling the proverbial dice and booking a trip months away and then complaining about a high pressure ridge destroying your chances at skiing fresh snow.

    1. Jim

      I’m coming in the 21st to the 26th so I’m in the same boat as you. Only a week ago things were looking so good. But you know what… the models have been very unreliable beyond 5 days…we are now seeing the possibility of a few inches Sunday thru Tuesday when it wasn’t looking like there would be anything just yesterday. Both the GFS and Euro have been struggling with the potential storm next week let alone what happens the week after. There’s still lots of time for things to turn around. Keep the faith. The base is holding up really well over 80 inches at Snowbird/Alta so it’s not like there won’t be good conditions, just maybe not the 2 feet of fresh powder we all dream of…but who knows!!

  1. Craig Letton

    Jim I like your positive attitude – I’m coming over Feb 19th-27th. I came out last year with my mountain bike gear in my ski bag because the forecast was so bad but we ended up skiing powder all week!

  2. Liz

    We’re booked for Feb. 21-26 and are seriously thinking about postponing. We’re waffling between March 6-11 and March 13-18. It’s always a crapshoot for those of us who have to plan ahead and book flights, right?

    1. Jim

      Depends what you are expecting. If you are hoping to time it just right for fresh powder it’s definitively a crapshoot to postpone. Conditions will still be very good the week of the 21st even if they get only 6-12 inches between now and then. Most if not all the terrain should be open. That’s the way i’m looking at it. There’s always the potential for that surprise snowstorm which the LCC is known for. Last year was so bad you had nothing to lose by postponing. Good luck whatever you choose to do!

      1. Liz

        Yeah, we went to Alta on March 10-15 2015 and were basically skiing in t-shirts. Which was a lot of fun but I wouldn’t mind trying to improve our odds this year! Right now decent airfares on the March dates are pushing us toward postponing. Oh, to live in SLC and not have those dilemmas!

  3. Matt Kasner

    Whichever way you slice it, still a below average year for the Bird and ‘Miracle March’ never happened last year… Fingers crossed for next month.

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast

      Considering we are at 99% of median snowpack and only just fell behind average yesterday, and the nature of the storms this year have been frequent small to moderate sized storms which have allowed for many powder days, I’d say there are many ways to slice it that are not “below average”. But I’m with you on hoping for a big March!

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