February Looking to End in Style

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 6:26 am


Snow will move into the mountains of Northern Utah tonight.  Colder air will drop snow levels with heavy snow likely during the overnight hours.  Off and on snow will continue thru Thursday. A break Friday and Saturday before another storm for late Sunday into Monday.


Winds are strong today ahead of our incoming storm.  The past 36 hours have seen us to the the south of the main fetch of moisture which has extended from Central California up into Northern Nevada, Southern Idaho, and Western Wyoming.  This has meant that we’ve been in the warm sector with high winds.  That will continue for the rest of the day today.

Tonight, the trough itself will finally sag south and push a cold front thru the region.  Expect snow to develop this evening and become heavy at times overnight in the Wasatch.  Snow levels will start high but quickly drop, reaching most valley floors by Wednesday morning.  4-8″ likely overnight tonight, with 6-10″ possible for areas like the Cottonwoods.  Wednesday should be a good powder day.

Unstable and fairly moist flow continues Wednesday, Wednesday night, and Thursday.  These patterns rely a lot on orographics and can be a wildcard, but I think another 4-8″ is possible during this period with perhaps another 6-10″ for the Cottonwoods.  That means 48-hour totals should be in the range of 8-16″ for most mountains with 12-20″ for the the Cottonwoods.  Here is the NAM forecast for the Upper Cottonwoods:

Univ of Utah

Usually in this type of storm this model is slightly underdone, so perhaps a fraction more than this and likely lasting longer into Thursday.  Here is the map form of its high resolution (4km) brother:

A healthy storm for Northern Utah, but you can see that Southern Utah doesn’t get much other than an inch or two of scraps.

A break on Friday and Saturday.  Another storm starts to approach on Sunday.  Late Sunday thru Monday we should see another healthy storm.  Right now this system looks cool, but not as cold as its predecessor.  You can see the ensembles have fairly good agreement already for this storm:

Looks like we’ll be having a good end to February with a couple decent systems and several more powder days before the month is over.

Long Range:

Early indications are that we could see another storm sliding in out of the northwest for the first week of March.  Too early for any details however.  March 1 is the start of meteorological spring, and with it, we start to see the pattern transition a bit.  Makes it difficult to predict the long range with any accuracy.  I’m sure there will be plenty more chances for snow as there almost always is in March and April in Utah.


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