Wasatch Magic

Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 7:20 am


Northwest flow proved very fruitful yesterday with heavy accumulations for much of the Wasatch.   Next storm pushes is later today with snow returning.  Areas favored in a southwest flow will see the brunt of this storm.  We switch to a northwest flow tomorrow behind the front.  Snow showers could persist at times into Wednesday.  Ridging will then dry us out for late week into next weekend.


Wow! Yesterday was incredible.  Our “weak” storm proved to be anything but.  Definitely a blown forecast for everybody.  Every once in awhile, the northwest flow delivers in a way that we can only describe as Wasatch Magic.  It snowed for much of the day throughout, but that NW flow, as usual, was most intensely felt in LCC, where it snowed at 1-2″ per hour almost all day long.  Snowfall totals ended up in the 12-30″ range for the storm.  The only problem seemed to be in the canyons.  I left early and it was slow going, but not an issue.  Apparently later on, the canyons became almost impassable.  Seems as if UPD was even unprepared for that much snow.

We’ve seen a break in the action over the past 12 hours but that will be ending soon.  A southwest flow is developing ahead of the next system.  Snow will move into the region again this afternoon and continue into tonight.  Snow levels will rise starting this afternoon as valleys mix out.  Snow levels shouldn’t go above 5500 feet.  Winds will also be very strong later today into tonight.  You can see the very strong upper level winds taking direct aim at Utah:

We could see wind holds later today on some prone lifts.  If you’re going after the leftover powder today, I’d stick to sheltered areas.

Later tonight, we could see a break in the action as the front approaches.  Then, the front will move through on Monday with the flow switching to NW behind the front.  This will usher in another period of heavy snowfall during the day tomorrow.  Snow levels will drop back down to valley floors.  Snow should start to wind down a bit on Monday evening.

Here is the NAM output for the Upper Cottonwoods snowfall:

Univ of Utah

Just over 20″ forecasted, the the heaviest snow on Monday morning as the front moves through.

Here is a look at NAEFS ensemble snowfall for the whole state:

Take the numbers on here with a grain of salt as they tend to overdo things a bit, but you can see that the far northern Wasatch could hit particularly hard during the long SW flow.  Snowbasin, PowMow, Whisper Ridge, Beaver, and even Logan should see plenty of snowfall.

Total accumulations thru Tuesday morning should be 1-2 FEET for most mountains.  Some of the favored mountain areas that I just mentioned could see up to 30″ of snow.   So… as long as the winds don’t spoil things too much, we should be in for some more great powder skiing over the next few days.

We could see some occasional snow showers continue thru Wednesday thanks to a cold northwesterly flow behind the departing trough.  But, eventually ridging will take control and the upper elevations will warm up.  This looks to hold thru about the end of January.

Long Range:

Still looks like the ridge will break down over the first few days of February, but until operation models are within range, I can’t really offer any details.


Snowfall 20-Jan 21-Jan 22-Jan Totals
Snowbird 4 16 16 36
Alta 5 14 17 36
Brian Head 13 14 6 33
Brighton 4 17 10 31
Eagle Point 12 7 6 25
Solitude 3 12 8 23
Deer Valley 2 13 4 19
Snowbasin 3 6 10 19
Park City 2 8 6 16
Sundance 4 7 4 15
Powder Mtn 4 3 8 15
Beaver Mtn 1 0 5 6


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3 thoughts on “Wasatch Magic

  1. chris


    Thanks for another great forecast. Will the pattern still be active next week or is the precip going to basically shut off for awhile after this system? Any info is much appreciated

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