Another Warm Mess Upcoming

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 7:20 am


A break today into early tomorrow before the next storm pushes in on Thursday night into Friday.  This storm is another warm system with high snow levels.  Colder air will arrive Friday night into Saturday.  Sunday and early next week looks dry.


Our early week atmospheric river is over.  Liquid totals for some areas were impressive.  Ben Lomond Peak saw >3.5″ of liquid.  Sundance saw >4″ of liquid.  Unfortunately, snow levels went up to 7,500-8,000 feet yesterday, so a lot of what fell was rain on the lower mountains.  The resorts favored in a SW flow all did fairly well with more than a foot of snow, including Brighton, Deer Valley, Sundance, Snowbasin, Powder Mountain.  The big winner was up north, Beaver Mountain scoring 23″ storm total.  The Cottonwoods, and LCC in particular, got skunked due to a flow that just was not conducive for precipitation.  Only 5″ of snow for Alta with slightly higher amounts for Snowbird.  Totals for the past 3 days:

6-Feb 7-Feb 8-Feb Storm Totals
Alta 1 2 2 5
Beaver Mtn 2 11 10 23
Brian Head 0 0 0 0
Brighton 3 8 6 17
Cherry Peak 0 2 3 5
Deer Valley 2 7 7 16
Eagle Point 0 8 1 9
Nordic Valley 0 0 2 2
Park City 3 4 4 11
Powder Mtn 0 11 3 14
Snowbasin 0 7 7 14
Snowbird 0 5 4 9
Solitude 1 3 2 6
Sundance 0 8 3 11

Despite the warmth and the wind, the skiing yesterday was actually pretty good.  I would say Solitude had 6+” on the upper mountain and it was very smooth, dense cream.  I had quite a good time.  Several others made similar comments at other resorts.

Today and tomorrow we will see plenty more warm air blowing up into the region.  SLC could hit 60F on Thursday!  The next storm moves in Thursday night and will continue thru much of the day Friday.   Snow levels will be VERY HIGH.  Likely above 8,000 feet thru the day on Friday with rain falling on the lower mountain of most resorts.  Eventually snow levels will fall Friday night as a cold front pushes through, so we could see a few inches of fluff on top of dense snow for Saturday.

As for totals…. Despite healthy liquid totals, the snow levels are going to limit accumulations greatly.  The 12km NAM shows the following for the Cottonwoods:

I think the areas above 9,000 feet could see 10-20″ of new snow by midday Saturday.  However, elevations below that will see a rapid decline in amounts due to snow levels.  Perhaps only a few inches down at 8,000 feet.  Winds will also be strong.

I’m not trying to be a buzzkill, but these just aren’t typical storms and more than anything else they are messy.  You can still have fun with some dense, creamy turns.  But it won’t be your typical Utah powder.  Be warned!

Long Range:

Definitely looks like a break in the action from Sunday (Feb 12) until at least the 16th of the month.  After that, a trough begins to nose into the west coast and should open the storm door back up.   California will, once again, take the brunt but we should see moisture spill across the Great Basin.  The big question is temperatures.  Will we see colder air with these storms?  At this point it’s hard to say.  I think they will be colder than our current storms, but probably not cold by traditional standards.

Here is a loop that shows the trough (blue colors) developing off the west coast after mid-month:

Cross your fingers and hope for a stormy, colder second half of the month!


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13 thoughts on “Another Warm Mess Upcoming

  1. Zenstone

    Tough Q- I’m snowboarder from east coast, spent last 2 days at snowbird good times. But where would you go today w the snowfall not adding up the way we all hoped overnight? Thanks in advance

          1. Ethan

            Brighton is super overrated don’t waste your money Zenstone. They get a lot of snow, but it’s not even good snow. Go anywhere but Brighton & you will be happy.

    1. crabbers

      Brighton. They got plenty yesterday, and have the most snow overall in Utah this year. Also my personal favorite resort, though I know not everyone agrees.

    2. Poster Nutbag

      as a skier, i wouldn’t think boarders would like brighton but they seem to flock there. too many long, flat runouts and not enough vert to make it worth it. if powmow opens tomorrow, that should be where the goods are. all the LCC & BCC resorts will be good. i’m also partial to canyons side of PC but i understand not wanting to throw down the $$ for a day ticket.

    3. Ben Boynton

      Zen- Brighton is the way to go. Not alot of tourists, mellow vibe, good steeps if you care to look for it, and nearly 1300′ elevation gain on canyons/PC base area where it will be raining.

    1. Ran

      Without a cold front before the ridge, my guess is no inversion. I’m no meteorologist but that seems like the logical assumption. Also, most of our snow in the valley has melted so the ground will be able to warm up with sun light.

    2. Wasatch Snow Forecast

      Not starting with a terribly cold airmass, no snow on the ground, and heading toward the latter part of inversion season… shouldn’t be too bad. But I’d bet there will be some hazy skies to some degree.

  2. Andre

    Flyin in to ski Fri-Mon… hopefully LCC will be better than expected… fresh snow is a good thing right

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