Even though Snowbird will be open for another month, and the backcountry will be skiable for even longer, the season is over for our forecasts here at USW. Despite the warm and dry February/March we had, it was a pretty good season by my standards. There were some great pow days in December and January, and it is STILL snowing a lot up high. In fact April has seen way more precipitation in the Wasatch than any other month this year. So it goes sometimes with mountain weather...sometimes mother nature waits to start dumping snow until you're ready to bust out the shorts and t-shirt.
Thanks again for another great season and thank you for your support! We love mountain weather and skiing, and we love sharing our knowledge with you all. See you next season!
An upper-level low swept across Utah today, dropping temperatures as well as a few inches of late season snow in the Wasatch. As Ian mentioned, temperatures crept up to near 80 degrees in the valley, and today topped out in the mid to low 50s.. Quite the change, much to spring-lovers' dismay.
Alta and Snowbird are the only two resorts still hanging on this season, but luckily they were able to grab a few inches of dust on the crust to soften conditions for the dedicated late season skiers. Alta received 5" of new snow today while Snowbird ended up 3". Not too bad for late April!
Tomorrow is Alta closing day, and their infamous High Boy ski party. Temperatures should recover to the low 40's with partial sunshine and a moderate west wind.
Monday we will see our next chance of the good stuff with 2-6" possible through Tuesday evening. A chance of showers will linger the rest of the work week.
UPDATE 1:30 am: 12" at Alta Collins. A few more inches expected.
On the roof of our building here on campus we hit a max temperature of 78.1 F at 3 pm and a winds gusting to 30 MPH basically constantly since 11 am. Meanwhile Alta base is melting with a max temp holding constant around 58 F from 2 pm to 4 pm. Ridgetop winds there are gusting to 40 MPH. Dust picked up from our desert lands have reduced visibility at the airport to 8 miles at times; not a sandstorm, but quite noticeable.
Current water vapor observations from satellite show that if all of the water vapor suspended behind the front precipitated out it would be 0.5" to 1.5" of liquid, just the right amount higher than than precip predicted by the GFS and ECMWF models, so we remain on track with our forecast of 5" - 10" of snow from the Saturday storm. The national weather service predicts the cold front will hit the Wasatch front around 6 am tomorrow (Saturday) morning, and the models predict highest precipitation rates around noon.
This means it will be cold, windy, with fresh snow on the ground for Alta's closing day celebrations on Sunday. Still a fun day, just maybe hold off on the Borat costume.
And all this is just the first wave, another very similar storm should impact us on through the day on Tuesday this week as well.
Today, we saw 80s in the valley, and 64 degrees F up at Alta's base. After another warm and windy day tomorrow, winter returns. If you're planning on rocking some cut-off jean shorts for the resort festivities this weekend, best of luck to you.
From late Friday night to Saturday morning, we'll see ridge-level temperatures drop from about 45 F to about 25 F in association with the approaching trough. It might be late in the season, but an active pattern in the forecast looks to bring cold temperatures and snowfall throughout next week.
From Saturday morning to Sunday morning, both the EC and GFS call for up to 1'' of liquid precipitation. At these temperatures, we'll likely see 5-10 inches by Sunday morning in the Cottonwoods, with snow levels around 7k feet.
Moving forward, it looks like this weekend will just be a taste for what's to continue between Monday and Wednesday. Cold temperatures and enough moisture should make for a consistent delivery of mild to moderate snowfall totals, particularly for this time of year. For now, the fat lady remains mute.
Things are going to get toasty this week as a strong high pressure system settles into the Great Basin.Temperatures in the upper 50's are expected throughout the week until our next storm moves in. So, if you're looking to get some good spring skiing in, defintely try and get out before the weekend!
The next storm begins to move into Utah on Saturday, transitioning into much cooler temperatures. As far as moisture goes, the forecast is looking promising. We could be getting some decent snow totals for this late in the season. As we get closer to the event, we'll have a better idea of how much snow could fall. Until then, take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather this week, as colder temperatures and precipitation return this weekend.