Winter Storm Warning for Utah Tonight-Tuesday | 12-24″ of Snow Forecast for Wasatch

WeatherBrains | | WeatherWeather
Julian Carr at Alta, UT in 2013. photo: will wissman/alta
Julian Carr at Alta, UT in 2013. photo: will wissman/alta

NOAA has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Utah that begins tonight at midnight.  They’re forecasing 12-24″ of snow for the Wasatch mountains.  4-8″ may fall in Salt Lake City.  An Avalanche Watch has been issued for Monday.

THE NEXT COLD PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM WILL BEGIN TO IMPACT THE
NORTHERN AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE OUTLOOK AREA TONIGHT.
PRECIPITATION MAY BEGIN AS RAIN BRIEFLY BUT SNOW LEVELS SHOULD
FALL TO THE VALLEY FLOORS ACROSS MANY AREAS BY LATE TONIGHT. 
- NOAA SLC, UT today
Pin = Alta, UT. PINK = Winter Storm Warning. PURPLE = Winter Weather Advisory. image: noaa, today
Pin = Alta, UT. PINK = Winter Storm Warning. PURPLE = Winter Weather Advisory. image: noaa, today

NOAA is forecasting 12-24″ of snow for the Wasatch mountains that include Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...4 TO 8 INCHES IN THE VALLEYS WITH 12 TO 24
  INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE. 
  - NOAA SLC, UT today
Snow forecast map of Utah. image: noaa, today
Snow forecast map of Utah. image: noaa, today

An Avalanche Watch has been issued for Monday and beyond.

* TIMING...STARTING MONDAY MORNING, DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS
  ARE EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.

* AFFECTED AREA...ALL THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL UTAH,
  INCLUDING THE BEAR RIVER RANGE, THE WESTERN UINTAS AND THE
  WASATCH PLATEAU.

* AVALANCHE DANGER...THE DANGER IS EXPECTED TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY WITH
  THE ADDITIONAL SNOW AND WIND.
Alta, UT forecast showing nothing but snow the next 7 days. image: noaa, today
Alta, UT forecast showing nothing but snow the next 7 days. image: noaa, today

Utah has been well below average this year with 59% of average snowpack currently.  Utah has experience below average snowfall for the past 6 years with:

“If you consider “winter months” to be November thru April, we have now had 9 consecutive below average winter snowfall months in LCC. Since the start of the 2011-2012 season, we have had just 2 out of 25 months with above average snowfall (December 2012 and February 2014) and each of those was just barely above average. To say “we are due” is a massive understatement…”

“Even worse, 24 of last 26 winter months have been below normal. That’s the last 6 years, is winter in Utah officially dead as we’ve known it?” – Wasatchsnowforecast.com

west_swepctnormal_update
Map showing the Wasatch mountains of Utah at 59% of average snowpack right now. image: nwc, today

AVALANCHE WATCH for UTAH:

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE WATCH
FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER SALT LAKE CITY UT
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SALT LAKE CITY UT
619 AM MST SUN DEC 13 2015

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE
FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER.

THE FOREST SERVICE UTAH AVALANCHE CENTER IN SALT LAKE CITY HAS
ISSUED A BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE WATCH.

* TIMING...STARTING MONDAY MORNING, DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS
  ARE EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.

* AFFECTED AREA...ALL THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL UTAH,
  INCLUDING THE BEAR RIVER RANGE, THE WESTERN UINTAS AND THE
  WASATCH PLATEAU.

* AVALANCHE DANGER...THE DANGER IS EXPECTED TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY WITH
  THE ADDITIONAL SNOW AND WIND.

* IMPACTS...DANGEROUS HUMAN TRIGGERED AVALANCHES ARE EXPECTED ON A
  VARIETY OF ASPECTS AND ELEVATIONS.

BACKCOUNTRY TRAVELERS SHOULD CONSULT WWW.UTAHAVALANCHECENTER.ORG
OR CALL 1-888-999-4019 FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION.

THIS WATCH DOES NOT APPLY TO SKI AREAS WHERE AVALANCHE HAZARD
REDUCTION MEASURES ARE PERFORMED.

WINTER STORM WARNING for UTAH:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SALT LAKE CITY UT
359 PM MST SUN DEC 13 2015

WASATCH MOUNTAIN VALLEYS-WASATCH MOUNTAINS I-80 NORTH-
WASATCH MOUNTAINS SOUTH OF I-80-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...HUNTSVILLE...PARK CITY...HEBER CITY...
WOODRUFF...RANDOLPH...ALTA...BRIGHTON

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 PM
MST TUESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SALT LAKE CITY HAS ISSUED A
WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM
MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 PM MST TUESDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO
LONGER IN EFFECT.

* AFFECTED AREA...THE WASATCH MOUNTAINS AND THE WASATCH MOUNTAIN
  VALLEYS.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...4 TO 8 INCHES IN THE VALLEYS WITH 12 TO 24
  INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE.

* TIMING...SNOW DEVELOPING AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT...THEN
  CONTINUING HEAVY AT TIMES DURING THE DAY MONDAY. PERIODS OF SNOW
  WILL CONTINUE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY BEFORE TAPERING OFF.

* IMPACTS...HAZARDOUS WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS CAN BE EXPECTED
  ACROSS THIS ENTIRE AREA LATE TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY. THE MONDAY
  MORNING COMMUTE WILL BE PARTICULARLY AFFECTED ACROSS THE WASATCH
  BACK AND OVER PARLEYS SUMMIT. THE MONDAY AFTERNOON AND TUESDAY
  COMMUTES WILL ALSO BE IMPACTED. THOSE PLANNING TRAVEL SHOULD
  PREPARE ACCORDINGLY AND ALLOW FOR EXTRA TIME.

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