Wrong side of the tracks

Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 8:15 am

Friday update:

Today will be windy and mild for most of us.  Rain possible up near the Idaho border.  Tonight, the rain will sag south down to near SLC and we could have a few showers in the metro area.  Snow levels will be way up at or above 9k feet.   Perhaps just a dusting possible for tops of a few mountains.

Next round timing for late Sunday into Monday.  Right now, far northern Utah could get hit quite hard as you can see by the following map:


There is a sharp cutoff roughly around Ogden where precipitation south of that line is limited.  I think the Northern Wasatch could get several inches Sunday night and Monday.  Places like the Cottonwoods will have to wait until Monday to get a brief window of snowfall.  Probably not much in the way of accumulation.

Still looks like active weather will take a break then until at least October 24 or so.  After which, we could start to see the tempo pick up again before the end of the month.  Let’s hope so, I like to start building a base before November rolls around.  WSF



As the Pacific Northwest gets pummeled over the next week, Utah is left just a bit too far east and south.  We’ll still get some precipitation, but far less than our friends to the north and west.


As we’ve been discussing for the past few posts, the Pacific northwest is the target of a series of storms.  These storms are carrying moisture from not one, but two decayed typhoons.  This is the first atmospheric river event of the season for the west coast.  How much rain will fall? Quite a bit if you trust the models:


You can see a large area of 5-10″ of rain, with some of the coastal mountains projected to top 20 inches of rain!  With one maximum on the California/Oregon border showing nearly 25″!!!  Needless to say, it’s going to be a soaker.  The post earlier this week was titled “Action from the Fringe”, and you can see why… The Wasatch is on the very southern fringes of where this precip is expected to reach.  We’ll get into that more in a sec…

If you’re wondering about snowfall… there will be some.  I’ve seen some social media posts hyping this to be FEET of snow for Sierra and Cascade resorts.  Unfortunately, I don’t think too many resorts, except for the very far north or the very high elevation are going to benefit too much from this system as the snow levels will be very high.  Atmospheric Rivers generally have higher snow levels, and this early in the season and with its tropical origins, this one’s probably going to be worse.  However, that doesn’t mean snow won’t fly for the upper elevations.  Check out the NOAA point forecast for near the top of the 14,000+ foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California:


Of course, you’ve got to take these forecasts with a grain of salt, but…  That’s a lot of snow if you add it up.  And gusts over 100 mph to boot.

What does this all mean for Utah? We just get the scraps unfortunately.  The first wave looks to be late Friday into Saturday morning.  Snow levels will be high (>9,000 feet) and I’d only expect a dusting at the tops of a few resorts.  Probably more wind than anything else.  A break then late Saturday thru Sunday before another storm on Monday.  This one is slightly more promising with a bit more energy and cold air.  There is a chance the mountains could get a few inches from this wave.  Then, we could perhaps see another weak wave Tuesday or Wednesday of next week before ridging builds back in.

Right now, it looks like strong ridging late next week into the weekend of Oct 22nd-23rd.  After that, long range ensembles have been consistently pointing to troughing re-developing over the western U.S.   Too early to know what kind of action that would bring, but logic would suggest that the storm door would open again for the last week of the month.  For me, that’s great timing to start building a healthy and stable base, so let’s hope it comes to fruition.


P.S.   Ogden Valley Winterfest is coming up on October 21-22 at Nordic Valley.  This is your one stop shop to ignite your winter stoke.  For only $15, you get two day access to food, music, rail jam, ski swap, and most importantly… SIX movie premieres.  List of movies playing at Winterfest:

  • Teton Gravity Research Tight Loose
  • Match Stick Productions: Ruin and Rose
  • Good Company: Vice Versa
  • Tanner Hall: Ring The Alarm
  • Inspired Media Concepts: BE Inspired
  • Level 1: Pleasure
  • DPS Cinematic

Proceeds this year will go to help local ski and snowboard coach Dustin Linker who was recently diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.  Tickets can be purchased in advance by clicking HERE.   I’ll see you there!

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