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NWS predicts 'skier's delight' storm, but little impact on our snowpack, Utah's drought
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NWS predicts ‘skier’s delight’ storm, but little impact on our snowpack

(The National Weather Service building in Salt Lake City. File, Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE COUNTY – Meteorologists are calling this weekend’s expected storm a “skier’s delight,” with a lot of fluffy powder on the mountains.  Will it have any significant impact on our low snowpack?  Not likely.

The National Weather Service is predicting between eight and 16 inches of snow on the northern mountains if Utah.  It’s expected to be the kind of snow that powder hounds love on the slopes, but it isn’t expected to leave a lot of water behind.

“It will have about a half an inch to an inch of liquid equivalent precipitation with that,” according to NWS Lead Meteorologist David Church.

Technicians at the NWS usually predict how much water will drop based on their models, then they can determine what kind of powder will fall to the ground.  For this weekend, Church says the storm system will be a cold one.

“There’s a cold storm system coming in, and usually when you have a pretty cold storm system it’s going to relate to very fluffy snow,” he says.

Church says we shouldn’t expect a lot of moisture in the next seven days.

“There is a chance for a storm system mid-week sometime next week, but it doesn’t look like it will be all that promising for moisture, here,” he says.

The wettest snow is expected to hit the mountains east of Salt Lake City.  Church believes Utah’s snowpack will stay close to what it was at the end of the last series of snowstorms.

“After that last storm system, we were about 80 percent of normal.  We’ve slipped back a little bit since then.  We haven’t been that active,” Church says.  “This storm system will only keep us on track at about that 80 percent.”


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