Friday, March 11, 2016 at 7:18 am


Warm and windy today (Friday). A bit more unsettled this weekend as a good looking storm pushes in on Monday.  Monday and Tuesday may be good powder days for Northern Utah resorts.


The warmth continues this morning with mild temps already this morning and highs today near or above what we saw yesterday.  Winds are strong out of the south, gusting over 50 mph on the ridges.

On Saturday, a weak impulse will move through the area.  We’ll see a slight cool down, some clouds, winds, and maybe a few scattered showers with the snow levels running fairly high, above 7,500 feet.

On Sunday, the main trough approaches with increasing chances for precipitation and a pre-frontal warm-up in a southwesterly flow.  Snow should arrive to the high elevations on Sunday night.  Snow levels initially could be above 7,000 feet, but should drop Monday morning as colder air arrives.  By Monday afternoon, snow levels should be at most valley floors.  Snow should continue in the mountains on Monday into Monday night.

ECMWF (Euro) brings about 0.5-1.0″ of liquid to the Wasatch with this storm.  The GFS brings 1.0-2+” of liquid.  You can see the latest NAEFS ensembles here:



Not too shabby…  Although I think this is overdone just a bit.  I think right now, settling on .75-1.5″ of liquid is a good middle ground.  This would translate to about 6-18″ of snow for the Wasatch, depending on elevation and location.   The high end of those amounts would likely be in the Cottonwoods where I think 1-2 feet is a good first estimate for totals.  Elsewhere, I’d say 6-12″ is the most likely outcome.  All in all, a good storm is possible.

One question that remains is just how much of a cold, moist northwest flow the area gets from Tuesday thru Thursday.  The Euro currently keeps snow showers going periodically throughout this time frame.  The latest GFS, builds a ridge and cuts off moisture by late Tuesday.  If, by chance, we do end up with this NW flow, we could see additional accumulation thru the middle of the week, primarily in areas favored by the NW flow like the Cottonwood Canyons.

Long range:

Models in excellent agreement that a ridge builds in by late in the week into next weekend.  I would expect us to warm up considerably.  Good agreement as well that this ridge will then be undercut by a system next weekend.  This system looks to reach Utah sometime around Monday, March 21.  Of course, this is a long way out and subject to change — but that’s what is being shown currently.

Toward the end of the month, there seems to be decent signals of a long-wave trough over the western U.S.   You can see it here:


Far too early to say anything with any confidence, but hopefully it means that we’ll have continued chances for snow thru the end of March.


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  • Erock

    So Monday may be better than Tuesday now? Are we looking at similar snow densities as this past Monday’s storm? Thanks!

    • Chad Niel

      I’m in the same boat as you with this question. I moved all my tuesday meetings to monday lol. I’d rather the lighter fluffier follow up storm though than the original dense dump, it really seems like the timing of the cold front is the question here.

    • Really good question. Monday looks to be the storm day so you could have free refills all day, but with that comes the risk of wind holds, etc. Tuesday may be deeper, but days after the storm tend to be a race to ski the powder in the morning and are a bit more crowded. I wish I had a better answer for you, but at this point it’s almost impossible for me to choose one day over the other. Go both days!

      • Erock

        I’ll just tell my boss you said it was ok!

  • c j s

    ha.. I’m in the same boat. trying to inform a friend from Cali on what night to come in for a couple days of pow with me.. right now I’m telling him Monday evening.. with all the winds and lingering moisture, I want to say I’m correct considering that could be a good call as far as snowbird goes… please advise when able. hahah