Multiple Storms in the Forecast

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 6:49 am

Summary:

Active weather finally returns to the region starting Wednesday with the main storm system pushing through into Thursday.  Additional storms are likely for this weekend and early next week.

Details:

Things are starting to change now as a trough pushes into the region.  A cold front will push through tonight and bring a chance for showers.  Initially, however, there won’t be much cold air.  Snow levels will be high, near 9,000 feet, thru Wednesday so any precipitation that does fall will be of the rain or very wet snow variety at local resorts — probably not the best day to be on the slopes on Wednesday.  The main portion of the storm arrives late Wednesday night into Thursday.   Snow levels will drop with this portion of the storm down to 7,000 feet or lower.  Thursday is looking like a storm day — with good leftovers on Friday morning.

Model QPF has increased in almost all models since this time yesterday.  However, precip with this system looks to be heavily banded.  That means that slight changes in the location of these bands could be the difference between significant and modest amounts of mountain snowfall.  Currently, the 12km NAM is portraying the following for the Upper Cottonwoods:

Univ of Utah

1.3″ is a healthy amount.  However, with the uncertainty of where the heavy precip will fall, I’m still inclined to be conservative with my snowfall amounts.   Going to stick with 6-12″ above 8,500 feet, with 4-8″ for mountain locations between 7,000 and 8,500 feet.  Most of this snow will fall on Thursday.

A break Friday into early Saturday before the next storm pushes through.  This storm is a fast mover but should put down some additional snowfall.  Right now it looks like Sunday could be a day with at least some powder.

Yet another storm is then possible for early next week, in the Monday-Tuesday time frame.  Even less confidence with this storm.  GFS takes most of the energy to southern Utah.  Euro moves it through in a similar fashion to the weekend storm, quick and modest.  Overall, the pattern is progressive with several systems likely to impact the area.  None of them are particularly strong or cold, but each is strong and cool enough to bring refreshers of snow to the mountains and offer the chance for some powder skiing.  Over time, these storms should start to add up.

Long Range:

We could have a few days break mid to late next week.  Then, both the EC and GFS have another trough/storm pushing into the region around the end of March.  With the pattern generally continuing to favor active weather into the first week of April.  Our record warmth in March depleted some of our snowpack.  Hopefully we can gain back what we lost and make a late season push back into “epic” territory.

WSF

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