The next ten days have tremendous potential to transform the early season skiing potential in the central Wasatch Mountains.
We've already been blessed with a good October. The Snowbird SNOTEL sits at 3.9" of snowpack water equivalent, which is 390% of median. The warmth of the past few days has caused some snow losses on south and west facing slopes, but has also probably limited depth-hoar formation, which may help us stave off a persistent weak layer (note that I was not in the field yesterday or today so this is not an observation and it does not mean that surface facets, near surface facets, or other weak layers could prove problematic when the snow begins tomorrow).
A best-case scenario now is for the snowpack to deepen, opening more terrain for touring and giving us some additional insurance against depth-hoar formation.
Tomorrow is looking good. A cold front is expected to stall over northern Utah, giving the central Wasatch a prolonged period of snow. The situation at 1500 UTC 2 November (9 AM Wednesday) shows the 700-mb temperature contrast associated with the cold front parked right over the Central Wasatch. Additionally, the flow in this area is confluent, with 700-mb (about 10,000 ft) inflow between south-southwesterly flow over southeast Utah and west-southwesterly flow over northwest Utah aligned right along the front and temperature contours (see lower left).Such a pattern is what meteorologists call frontogenetical, as it acts to strengthen the front. Additionally, the vertical circulations associated with such a frontogenetical pattern are often favorable for precipitation, and the GFS both stalls the front and strengthens the associated precipitation during the day tomorrow.