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Three-Inch Per Hour Snowfall Hits Utah On Way To Southern Rockies; PNW Set For Storms

Boarder at SolitudeMore than a few people likely called in sick with the powder flu in and around Salt Lake City this week as a couple of feet of powder fell on the Wasatch – and quickly. 


However, once Utah powder hounds track up the 20-plus inches that came down in a 24 hours at both Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon resorts -- plus Sundance to the south -- they won’t need to skip work or school for about a week. The storm did drop double digits in the Park City area, which had lagged behind its Cottonwood neighbors this season.

That storm system has rolled across northern Arizona and southern Colorado with much-welcomed results at smaller areas Arizona Snowbowl, Powderhorn, Sunlight and Wolf Creek. Vail reported all its 5,289 acres are now open, as does Copper (2,465 acres). 

But things will quiet down a bit, at least south of I-70 for a while, according to forecasters at OpenSnow.com.

“The Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies will see a series of storms between Thursday (Jan. 15) and next Tuesday (Jan. 20),” OpenSnow’s Joel Gratz told SnoCountry.com “While none of the individual storms looks all that strong, the combination of all of them could produce good skiing conditions. The final storm could drop far enough south to bring snow to Utah and Colorado during the middle of next week.”

OpenSnow’s Larry Schick forecasts a couple of systems to hit the mountains of Washington, Oregon and northern Idaho late this week. But the lack of early snow still means a thin base and trail closures for a bit longer.

“By Wednesday evening, a weak weather system will bring a chance of a little snow (above 5000 ft.),” Schick said. “A much stronger storm will move in later Thursday and Friday. Expect a snow level of 4000-5000 feet and 5-10” of new snow.”

Another is anticipated over the weekend, with3-7 inches forecast above 4,500 feet.

Tahoe and southern California missed out this week, and forecasters aren’t optimistic as storms are tracking either north or south of the Sierra Nevada.

Photos: Top -- This rider at Solitude can attest to the snow-pounding in Utah this week (Solitude/Facebook); Bottom -- Alta skiers revel in new pow (Alta/Facebook)

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