today is Sep 27, 2022

GFS forecast snow through Monday night. Credit: WeatherBell

A moderate storm will roll through Utah this week and weekend, bringing accumulations between 10 and 15 inches for most of the ski resorts in the region. The model agreement with this storm remains fairly poor at the moment, but I will update this forecast tomorrow as the event gets closer and the models hone in on the right forecast.

Precipitation will begin to creep into the area late on Friday morning and early afternoon. Precipitation rates will be fairly low throughout the day on Friday, meaning it’s fairly unlikely that the new snow will significantly improve skiing conditions. However, winds will be gusting up to 30+ mph, meaning new snow could blow into protected areas and provide enjoyable conditions for those who venture.

Precipitation begins ramping up in the afternoon and evening. Most models put the precipitation rate maximum between 5 and 10 pm, with the Canadian and European models trending a bit earlier and the American and German models a bit later.

By Saturday morning, precipitation rates will have tapered off to a light clip. By Saturday morning, the models range between 3 and 6 inches, but I’d say it’ll err to the higher side of that range. By Saturday morning, I’m forecasting around 5 inches at Alta and Snowbird with a bit less over the mountains at Park City, Deer Valley, Brighton, and Solitude.

This is where the forecast gets a bit sketchier due to poor model agreement. The Canadian model keeps the precipitation rates light throughout the day on Saturday before gradually decreasing on Saturday night. The American and German models, however, increase the precipitation rates. The European model is essentially right in the middle; it still has a second wave, but it is much weaker than the American and German models are forecasting.

If the Canadian forecast verified, most areas would see an additional 3 inches or so. However, I’m optimistic that the Canadian model will align with the other major models forecasting the second wave. The American is forecasting around a foot of new snow with this second wave. The other models are a bit lower, but I actually think the GFS will end up being correct on this second wave. The other models have been trending in the right direction, and this storm has all the ingredients to out-perform the models.

The best ski day looks like Sunday. With several inches overnight and strong precipitation rates throughout the ski day on Sunday, conditions have the potential to be excellent.

By Monday afternoon and evening, precipitation rates will begin to wind down. In total, 12-15″ seems is likely for most of the resorts in the region. However, as I mentioned earlier, this storm system certainly has the potential to exceed these numbers if the correct elements line up, so don’t be surprised if totals end up closer to 20″ ! I’ll update this post as the storm gets closer and the models lock in. Fingers crossed!

GFS snowfall through Monday night. Credit: WeatherBell