Monday, December 2, 2013

Quick Hitter or Long Lingerer?

As you have probably heard, big changes are coming for the Wasatch Front and Utah.

The models call for a strong cold front to barrel through northern Utah tonight and then stall over central Utah.  Most of the lowland precipitation will fall as rain ahead of the front later today and early this evening (with some mountain snow, especially in the northern Wasatch), but then change over to snow following frontal passage.  Steel yourself for a challenging commute tomorrow morning.

What happens thereafter depends largely on where the front stalls.  After bringing the cold frontal precipitation band through the Salt Lake Valley tonight and early tomorrow morning, the GFS puts the band of heaviest precipitation just to the south of Salt Lake City tomorrow.

Thus, if Mother Nature follows the GFS, this will be a major storm for Utah County and environs to the south and the west, with lesser accumulations as one moves northward into the northern Salt Lake Valley and the Wasatch Front north of Salt Lake City.  Much will depend, however, on when and where the front stalls, so stay tuned to the weather forecasts at  The forecast below was issued this morning at 10:19 am.

Source: NWS
For the mountains, this looks like a pretty good event.  The northern Wasatch will get it later today and tonight, with the central and southern Wasatch seeing snow from later today through tomorrow.  For the Cottonwoods, much will depend on where that frontal band sets up.  If it goes south, expect less, but if the GFS holds, something in the 12-18 inch range by late tomorrow looks likely.  We could use it!


  1. Looks like the GFS was just a little south of actual- Record snow @ the airport and 9-10" on Davis Benches. I'm assuming that's due to lake effect though, How well do the models account for that?

  2. I've been on the road and admittedly haven't kept a close eye on things, but I believe the heavier accumulations on the Davis Benches are not due to lake effect but are simply where the frontal bands and mountain forcing came together best.

    Winter is now in full force...