Significant Storm on the Way

Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 9:23 am

Summary:

A significant storm will bring heavy precipitation to northern Utah starting Monday morning.  Periods of high elevation snow will be possible thru Wednesday with another storm for Friday into Saturday.

Details:

A very active week is about to commence with plenty of moisture streaming into the region.  Unfortunately, we’re in the warm sector of this storm with the cold air remaining largely to our north.  That means snow levels will generally be high — bouncing between 7,000 and 8,500 feet during the week.  That means that the new snow will be of a very dense variety.  We could even see rain at the base of some resorts at times.

Moisture increases starting late tonight with snow developing by tomorrow morning for many areas, this will increase with periodic high mountain snowfall thru the day with the heaviest snow likely for Monday night.  Perhaps a bit of a break Tuesday before a reinforcing surge of moisture moves into the region for Tuesday night into Wednesday.  Winds could also be strong on ridge tops and susceptible lifts could see holds.  Not your typical Utah powder skiing, but sometimes this dense cream can be a lot of fun.

The moisture totals through Wednesday look impressive.  The 12km NAM portraying the following for the Upper Cottonwoods:

Univ of Utah

A possible 3 inches of liquid.  That could mean totals of up to 30″ of dense snow for the high elevations.  I think lesser amounts between 15-25″ is most likely for most resort elevations however.

Then, after a bit of a break on Thursday.  Yet another storm moves in for Friday.  This storm will pull up more warm air ahead of the front with snow levels climbing above 8k feet.  This storm, however, has a more prominent cold front that will then drop snow levels late on Friday so we could finish things off with some lower density snowfall for some weekend powder.

The ensemble plumes for the week:

The GFS ensembles (dark green) showing 4-7″ of liquid between now and next weekend.  In map form, looks something like this:

So, in short, there is a lot of moisture coming.  It will not be your typical light, blower powder.  Elevation is your friend.   It’s hard to time each wave of energy so pay close attention to radar, webcams and resort snow reports when planning your days.

Long Range:

It does look like a break from Feb 12-15 or so, maybe a bit longer.  But there are still signs of active weather returning beyond that window.

WSF

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