SnowBrains Forecast: Solid Refresh for Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado

WeatherBrains | | WeatherWeather
Model snowfall for this upcoming storm. Courtesy of WeatherBell Analytics.
Forecast by SnowBrains Meteorologist Nathan Tarino – Updated December 20th at 10 PM MST

Forecast Summary

A quick storm will bring renewed snowfall to the portions of the Rockies on Wednesday and Wednesday evening. Wyoming resorts will ski best on Wednesday, northern Utah should be decent both Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, while the Colorado hills will be best Thursday morning. 

Wind and bitterly cold temps will be a bit of an issue with this storm, with some lift holds probable. Still, snow is to be celebrated.

Continued storminess appears likely to close out 2022. The end of the month could offer another very productive storm cycle for much of the US West.

Short Term Forecast

A storm system will push southeastward from the Northwest, bringing snow to the region starting Wednesday morning. 

In Wyoming:

Expect snow to start by 5 AM for both Targhee and Jackson Hole. Heavy snowfall will continue through most of the morning before starting to taper off around noon. Snow showers will linger until the evening, eventually ending later in the night.

By Wednesday evening, look for 8-14″ for both Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee. Most of that will fall before the last chair on Wednesday afternoon.

In Utah:

Snow will develop southward into the Wasatch through Wednesday morning, arriving in the Cottonwoods/Park City area around 10 AM. Snow will continue for the northern Utah resorts until around midnight before ending.

By late Wednesday night, look for the following totals:

  • 5-10″ for Pow Mow, Snowbasin, and Beaver Mountain
  • 6-12″ for the Cottonwood resorts
  • 5-8″ for the Park City Resorts
  • 3-5″ for Sundance
  • Southern Utah gets skunked

Though Wednesday afternoon will offer some soft turns (especially farther north), I think Thursday is the better day to get out. 

In Colorado:

Most of the snow will come overnight Wednesday into Thursday for Colorado, focusing on the state’s northern and central chunks.

By midmorning Thursday, expect:

  • 6-10″ at Steamboat
  • 5-9″ in general for I-70 resorts
  • 4-8″ around Aspen 
  • The rest of the Colorado hills see 3″ or less from this one

I’d be remiss not to mention the very strong winds and painfully cold temps that will arrive alongside this snow. A couple of wind holds are likely with this storm, and wind will also affect the quality of the fresh snow.

Temps will fall below zero for the Wyoming resorts sometime Wednesday afternoon/evening and bottom out near -20 overnight. Colorado resorts will be below zero for most of Thursday. If you’re getting out to ski this one, it’ll be a layer-up and frequent breaks type of day.

Long Range

A pair of weak systems will keep chances for a few periodic snow showers across the region on Friday and again Saturday into Sunday. Accumulations will be light with these, but another inch here and there will help to keep things skiing fresh.

A chance for a more significant storm stretch comes near the end of the month. Ensembles suggest we move toward a warmer/wetter pattern around the middle of next week. Fortunately, warm in December/January still means snow for the mountains. This should offer some powder skiing prospects around the region’s middle and end of next week. In particular, I’m watching the 28th through the 31st.

The CPC outlooks reflect this, with a tendency toward warm and wet weather to close out the calendar year:


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