Bonus time for Locals and Diehards

Monday, March 21, 2016 at 7:41 am

Monday PM update:

Storm still looking good.  If anything, models increased precip amounts today.  I’m half-tempted to increase forecast totals, but I think staying conservative is a good idea for now.  Snow will start out dense (or even as rain below 8,000 feet) overnight and get fluffier throughout the day tomorrow as temps drop.  Tuesday should get better throughout the day and Wednesday should be killer.  Update in the morning!




Windy and warm today (Monday) ahead of our incoming system.  Snow will develop early tomorrow morning in the northern Wasatch and spread south throughout the day.  Storm day powder on Tuesday with good conditions continuing into Wednesday.  Additional snow possible late this week and again early next week.


Storm is on the way… You can see it here moving into the western U.S…

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Clouds on the increase today with gusty winds at times.  Precipitation will develop late tonight in northern Utah mountains.  Snow levels initially could be high, perhaps 7.5k to 8k feet.  As the cold front moves thru tomorrow, these should crash, eventually reaching valley floors by evening.  For the central Wasatch (PC/Cottonwoods), snow should begin by dawn up high.  Accumulations throughout the day should total 4-8″.  Additional accumulations like Tuesday night and Wednesday, especially in the Cottonwoods.

A look at the 12km NAM for the upper Cottonwoods shows the possibility for a foot or more of snow by midday Wednesday:

The above is the 12km version of the NAM, as some of you know, there is a higher resolution version of the NAM at 4kms.  I generally don’t like to post this output because it overdoes things, however, it should be noted that the 4km can sometimes do a good job picking up on post-frontal orographics.  The same 06z run of the 4km showed almost constant snow from tomorrow morning thru Wednesday with much more impressive totals.  I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it might be worth noting that snowfall amounts could be higher if the orographic machine really turns on.  The ECMWF (Euro) is currently showing less than the GFS or NAM.

All things considered, I think sticking with the previous forecast is good.  6-12″ for elevations above 8,000 feet with 10-16″ for the Cottonwoods.  I think about half of this will fall during the day Tuesday with half of it Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Later this week, another system will drop into the area.  Not a ton of moisture as it has an over-land trajectory from BC down to our region, but it should keep us cool and should give us a chance for some additional accumulation on Friday and Saturday.

Over the past 24 hours, models have also been latching onto the idea of another system for early next week.  Looks like another cold system and the EC has it closing off in Tonopah low fashion over the Great Basin.  Something interesting to watch.

You’ll often hear locals commenting on how March is the best time of year to ski.  I don’t argue with that assertion.  Generally, from here on out, the tourist traffic has somewhat abated, the deep snowpack lets you ski with impunity, and storms almost always continue to roll thru the area well into Spring.  Those who skied Tax Day last year know what I’m talking about.  I like to think of this time of year as bonus time.  You get to enjoy mountain biking, golf, and other warm-weather activities, but you still get powder days thrown in for good measure.  I think we’ll get quite of few of those powder days over the next week and a half.


P.S.  As you all know, we are entering the final stretch of the ski season.  While there is plenty of powder left and I will of course be here to forecast it for you, it is time to accept that the inexorable changing of seasons is underway, and in a few months, there will be nothing left to ski.  If you’ve been happy with the forecasts provided so far this year, please consider donating to Wasatch Snow Forecast.  As much as I love writing WSF, it requires a tremendous amount of time and effort, and with each passing year, I lose a little bit more of my overall sanity.  Even just a donation of a few bucks goes a long way.  Paypal donations are quick and easy.  You can donate by clicking HERE or by clicking “Donate to WSF” on the top menu.   Thank you in advance for your donation, and as always, thank you so much for your readership!  I am forever honored and humbled that you trust in me to forecast your powder days.


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  • Sheleigh Amanda Harding

    Thanks so much for all your hard work! Greatly appreciated, happy to donate.

  • Dafty Punk

    Proud to donate, thanks for everything!!!

  • Andre

    donation complete!

  • Walter Wray

    Done. Thanks for being the best forecaster in the valley!

  • Jer

    Best forecaster west of the Mississippi. I even find myself coming to this page during the off season, just for kicks. Always happy to donate. For this week, would Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning be the better powder day?

    • Erock

      Good question!! Last week the day after the storm was better. Hard freeze was still in play on the storm day…

    • Erock is right on the money. So far this month, it’s the days after the storm that have been best. The snow that softened up this weekend will turn to crust real fast and it might be best to wait for that to get buried a bit deeper.

      • Erock

        Speaking of the money….done!! You made my desk job/powder lover balance a reality this year. Thanks!

  • Andre

    anyone have recc for where to find some powder left on thurs / fri? flying in from midwest weds night. maybe some of the Cat ski outfits?

    • Chad Niel

      I would definitely go cat skiing if you can, it makes the most sense for non-locals unless you get really lucky on timing.

      • Andre

        ok thanks. since the temp warmed way up over the weekend but fresh snow tomorrow, is there one of those Cat oufits that is better bet for still having some powder? afraid maybe the temps over the weekend too high.

        • Tom Bennett

          Park City Powder Cats.

          • Andre

            cool. thanks man. was looking at PCPC or the Whisper Ridge guys. appreciate it!

  • NoSnowDownLow

    As much as I’m looking forward to a great sunny summer.. I am pleased the snow keeps falling up on the mountains. I do however hope there is very limited volume dropping in the valley, as I have put the shovel away now!
    Great forecasting Evan, I check this site pretty much every day while you’re actively forecasting on it. Always get a balanced and accurate view, so Thanks. Donation made. Keep up the good work!

  • Faceplant

    Thanks for the forecasts. Guys at work always wonder how my schedule is clear on powder days. Hmmmmmm.