White Sabbath

Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 8:17 am

Summary:

Cold temperatures remain today.  Gradual warming over the next couple days with a break in the action.  A weak storm likely Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  Another storm possible later in the week.

Details:

It is very cold this morning.  Most mountain temperatures this morning are below zero Fahrenheit.  These should warm up into the single digits and perhaps teens later today under mostly sunny skies.  Plenty of powder still out there waiting to be skied, just might have to work for it now.

We are now in a bit of a break.  This is probably the quietest forecast we’ve had in the last 5 weeks.  We have a weak storm system that will push in Tuesday night into early Wednesday.  This system looks moisture starved and weakening as it moves south and east.  My guess right now is that the best we can hope for is 3-6″ for the high elevations.

Another storm is possible later in the week, Thursday night into Friday.   NAEFS ensembles show the following QPF:

You can see it just a small storm for Tuesday night, with only 0.2-0.5″ of QPF for the Cottonwoods.  That’s likely only 2-5″ with less amounts elsewhere.  Enough to refresh turns on Wednesday.

Then, later this week models show chances for more active weather, however the details still need to be ironed out.  It looks like perhaps an initial wave Thursday night into Friday with subsequent waves in a northwest flow leading up to Christmas.  Certainly nothing major, but it could be enough to provide for a white Christmas.

Long range:

Generally speaking, models seem to show a more zonal flow for after Christmas.  This could be storms with more moisture to work with but snow levels will likely rise off the valleys for these systems.

Snowpack:

With the massive water amounts we received in the last storm, perhaps it’s no surprise that we’ve seen a large jump in snowpack numbers.

Snowbird sitting pretty at 133% of median:

At 13.4″ of SWE, that means we could get no additional snowfall and (assuming no melting), we’d be above the median from now until the middle of January.  That’s a nice cushion to have.

Brighton:

After languishing below median until the past week.  Brighton is now sitting above it’s January 1 median number and at 119% overall.

Ben Lomond Peak (near PowMow/Snowbasin):

An impressive 206% of median for the date! Like Snowbird, this will be enough to keep them above the median until mid-January, if the well were to dry up.

Generally speaking, almost all sites are above the median now.  Due to the higher snow levels with some of these storms, the high elevation snotel sites are doing the best, while the lower ones are closer to normal values.

When I went to check the statewide averages today, for a split second I thought I went to the wrong website.  Then I realized I’m just not used to seeing these colors on this page.  It’s been a long time since we’ve been doing this well.

All of Utah is well above average except for the far southwest corner of the state.

Relative to the rest of the western U.S., I’d say we are sitting more comfortably than any other region.

Nothing but good news friends.  We have a solid base to carry us through the rest of the season.

Cheers!

WSF





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  • Db

    “Nothing but good news friends. We have a solid base to carry us through the rest of the season.”

    Consider this a Christmas present!