Today (Wednesday) will be our last day (for now) of showers and storms as the low pressure system that’s dominated our weather since Sunday evening slowly works its way east into Colorado. Residual moisture and wrap around precip should give the Wasatch and Uintas one last good shot at rain this afternoon.
We’ll warm up and dry out as we head into the weekend. It looks like a series of cold fronts will move through the Northern Rockies late this weekend into next week. These fronts will graze northern Utah, cooling us off and giving us a chance for a few thunderstorms.
It looks like August will go down as cool and wet. Several people have asked if this bodes well for our winter. Unfortunately, there’s not much correlation between the monsoon and our winter precip. However, over the last 5 days, we’ve seen a more Fall-like breakthrough of the westerlies rather than monsoonal moisture from the south. The fact that the jet has been strong enough and deep enough to bring us these type of systems this early may be a good sign for a jet that sags farther south this year than last. No guarantees, but it could be an early indication of a more active winter.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac winter forecast also came out recently and many have wondered how much faith we can put in this forecast…Here is their forecast for last year…
In hindsight we now know that last winter was one of the coldest on record for much of the midwest and northeast, whereas the almanac forecasted “mild” conditions. In the West, they had forecasted cold and wet/snowy conditions for virtually all of Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. In reality, it was one of the driest, warmest winters on record. So, in short, I don’t think it’s a good idea to put any faith in the almanac as it relies more on old wives’ tales and superstition rather than science.
So what can we expect? That is still very much up in the air. We were headed toward El Nino during the Spring but we kind of lost a bit of momentum during the summer months. The latest ONI readings indicate that sea surface temps are once again warming relative to normal and we are getting closer to weak El Nino conditions. I still think we’ll make it to a weak to moderate El Nino event by the time winter sets in, but that doesn’t mean much for Utah. Southern Utah might be slightly more favored in this scenario, but history shows us that Northern Utah has just about equal chances for above/below normal snowfall. I’d recommend staying optimistic and knowing that when the snow inevitably does come, you’ll be ready to slay it!
As Fall arrives, posts will start becoming more and more frequent….