Here she comes…

Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 8:27 am


A good storm is on our doorstep.  A few light snow showers today at elevation.  Main energy starts to push in tonight into Monday with heavy snow developing and gusty winds.  We start to clear our a bit on Tuesday, however a moist NW flow could keep snow showers going.  Additional energy later this week could bring more chances for snow showers.


Energy ahead of the trough is already creating some light snow showers in the region today.  I can see some light snow at elevation at Snowbasin and PowMow this morning.  Winds will become gusty today with occasional light snow above 7,000 feet.  Beautiful sunrise at Snowbird:


System pushes in tonight with snow developing and continuing thru most of the day Monday.  Snow levels should crash tomorrow morning, reaching all valley floors by the afternoon.  Winds will also be gusty with this storm, which could be a wrench in your ski plans if they get too strong and force wind holds.  At best, these winds will just be your typical ridge top storm winds and shouldn’t cause any issues.  At worst, they could put your favorite lifts on hold tomorrow.  Very difficult to say for sure how strong they will be — it’s just a typical risk inherent with storm day skiing.  Tuesday should have less risk of wind issues and could be deeper overall, but there’s a good chance most of the heavy snow will be over by then so it will be a first chair powder day rather than free refills.

As for accumulation, highest accumulations thru Tuesday should be in the Northern Wasatch (Beaver Mountain, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin) where the bet energy should be, as well as the Cottonwoods (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton) which will benefit from the NW flow behind the front.

Here is the 12km NAM for the Upper Cottonwoods:


Showing 12″ of snow.  I think this is a good low-end for the range.  The higher resolution 4km NAM shows significantly more:


This is likely waaaayy overdone, so take it with a grain of salt.

Finally, here is a map of the WRF-GFS composite snowfall:


You can see the orange areas on this map are generally over a foot of snow.

With all of that in mind, our official forecast: Northern Wasatch should see 8-16″ of snow, Cottonwoods should see 12-18″.  Park City resorts and Sundance will likely be in the 6-12″ range.

Later this week, it looks like we’ll see some cold systems dropping down the backside of a developing west coast ridge.  That means we could see some snow continuing thru Friday with perhaps a few inches on Thursday.  Good news for us as it should keeps snow quality high as we head into next weekend.  Weekend at this point looks dry.


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  • Erock

    Monday and Tuesday vs Tuesday and Wednesday riding. Ahh the choices are too difficult! Hopefully the wind doesn’t kill the action too much…

  • Tom Bennett

    NOAA just upped their ante on the storm, now calling it 16 to 30 inches. Looks more extended too, with snow beginning late tonight and on and off all the way through Tuesday night and even Wednesday morning. Erock, I don’t think you can go wrong with either of those two choices, although on the margin Tuesday Wednesdays looking a little better now.