NOAA is calling for 6″ of snow for the upper elevations of the Cottonwood Canyons today. The snow started last night and it’s part of the Utah magic: lake effect snow. In Utah, it likes to snow even when there isn’t a storm.
Lake Effect Snow = Cold wind blows across the warm Great Salt Lake, picks up moisture, then drops it in the form of snow on the Wasatch mountains. Pure magic.
If you’re curious:
Lake-Effect Snow Definition:
Lake-effect snow is produced during cooler atmospheric conditions when cold winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, providing energy and picking up water vapor, which freezes and is deposited on the leeward shores. The same effect also occurs over bodies of salt water, when it is termed ocean-effect or bay-effect snow. The effect is enhanced when the moving air mass is uplifted by the orographic influence of higher elevations on the downwind shores. This uplifting can produce narrow but very intense bands of precipitation, which deposit at a rate of many inches of snow each hour, often resulting in copious snowfall totals. – wikipedia
NOAA Winter Weather Advisory:
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SALT LAKE CITY UT 302 PM MST SUN NOV 2 2014 WASATCH MOUNTAINS I-80 NORTH-WASATCH MOUNTAINS SOUTH OF I-80- WESTERN UINTA MOUNTAINS- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WOODRUFF...RANDOLPH...ALTA...BRIGHTON... MIRROR LAKE HIGHWAY 302 PM MST SUN NOV 2 2014 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM MST MONDAY... * AFFECTED AREA...THE WASATCH AND WESTERN UINTA MOUNTAINS. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CONTINUE OVERNIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING. ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED.
* IMPACTS...ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL WILL IMPACT THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF UTAHS NORTHERN MOUNTAINS THROUGH MONDAY MORNING. SLUSHY ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED ON HIGH ELEVATION ROADS... ESPECIALLY ON SEASONAL HIGH ELEVATION PASSES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN CLOSED YET FOR THE WINTER...AS WELL AS PARLEYS CANYON INTERSTATE 80 FOR THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE.