Big Change

Monday, September 19, 2016 at 9:02 am


Warm weather to start the week will be replaced by a deep, fall trough that will bring widespread precipitation and high elevation accumulating snowfall to the state of Utah.


Very warm today (Monday) with maximum temps expected to be 90F or higher in SLC.  This warmth will continue tomorrow and perhaps Wednesday, but big changes are on the way.  A deep trough will drop into the region out of western Canada.  By Thursday, rain showers will be widespread with snow levels lowering late Thursday into Friday.  We could see snow down to 7,000 feet (maybe lower) by Friday.  However, by then, most of the precip should be done.

This is a fairly strong system, especially for this time of year. It also has plenty of cold air. However, with the exceptionally warm weather ahead of the system and a late front arrival, snow levels will be slow to lower and we could see limited accumulations between 7-9k feet.  Above 9k feet, we could see accumulations of 6″ or more.

Right now, these are the GFS’s chances for more than 1″ of snowfall:


That means most of the high elevations of the Wasatch should get at least dusted by Friday morning.  Now, for more significant amounts of greater than 6″:


Mostly confined to the Uintas with about 50/50 chance for the Upper Cottonwoods.

You won’t often find me rooting against snowfall, but I’m hoping for a lighter amount of snow. I’m not quite ready for high elevation bike trails to be snow-covered.  Also, if we saw enough snow now, and a cool October.  This snow could feasibly remain on north-facing aspects into the winter, most likely rotting and creating a very weak base layer.  Don’t need to deal with stability issues all season.

The screaming message is that abundant moisture is on the way with plentiful valley rain and some mountain snow.  Temperatures will drop dramatically for the upcoming weekend.  Our biggest step yet toward winter.


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3 thoughts on “Big Change

  1. Jeff Parker

    I totally agree with you. I love seeing these early storms but we don’t want to start out the year with a weak rotten layer. It would be nice to get quite a few heavy rain storms in the high elevations to soak the ground so when it finally does turn cold enough for the snow to stick around our soil will be saturated enough to hold it and it will definitely help with the run off come spring. We can always hope.

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