Once again, winter's icy grip has returned to northern Utah. Those with the time and energy to get out ski touring today might find some pretty good conditions in the upper elevations, and I'm sure anyone at Snowbird or Brighton have the resorts to themselves. Lucky bums!
The large-scale characteristics of the trough that is moving through today and tomorrow is remarkably similar to the one that moved across Utah last week and brought downslope winds to the northern Wasatch Front (previous posts here and here). In particular, as the trough moves across the state, the forecast models call for a surge of cold, easterly flow to push into northern Utah from southwest Wyoming on Tuesday.
The devil is in the details, however, and as things look right now, it appears that this event will not be as strong as last weeks as the cold, easterly flow is simply not as deep and strong. This is a scenario in which we might see stronger winds at the canyon mouths, but not necessarily along the entire northern Wasatch Front. Keep an eye on the forecasts, however, just in case there is a shift in the model guidance.
Once again, there are a wide range of snowfall forecasts being generated by the numerical models for the central Wasatch. As we discussed last week, location is everything and where the precipitation associated with the trough sets up will strongly influence the amount of snowfall. If I had tomorrow off, I'd probably be thinking about skiing. It is cold enough now that today's snow should survive, at least on the upper-elevation north facing aspects, and we'll at least get some more through tomorrow afternoon. Given the easterly flow, this could be an event where it is best to be in the far upper Cottonwoods and along the Park City ridge line. How ironic that Park City is finally getting some snow now that April is here.
The NAM is once again more bullish than the GFS. If snowfall rate tomorrow turn out to be high, be careful out there if you are touring.
Craig Patterson Memorial:
As reported on the Utah Avalanche Center web site, a memorial service to celebrate the life of Craig Patterson will take place Thursday, April 18th at 10am at the Albion Grill, Alta. In lieu of gifts or flowers, please contribute to the Craig Patterson Memorial Fund at any Key Bank. Or checks can be sent to the Craig Patterson Memorial Fund, 520 Crestview Dr., Park City, UT 84098.