We’ll get our big storms, just not quite yet…

Friday, October 31, 2014 at 7:14 am

Summary:

Splitting storm system will impact the region this weekend.  Gusty winds tonight and tomorrow.  Showers late on Saturday with mountain snow likely Saturday night and Sunday.  Not a big storm.  High pressure returns next week.

Details:

So our system is starting to move into the west coast.  It is elongated with precip expected to affect virtually the entire coast line from Seattle to LA.  This elongation of the trough is what will eventually turn into a split trough as it tracks east through the Great Basin on Saturday.  If you remember from last week, this trough was originally forecasted to be a cut-off low pressure center.  Well cut-off lows are formed usually when a trough splits, so the models were on to something back then.

The big story tonight into tomorrow will be the wind.  Gusty south winds will warm temps, but make being outside less than enjoyable. The first piece of energy will eject north on Saturday.  This looks to bring most of its dynamics north of the area into Idaho, but Northern Utah should see some showers and even thunderstorms with the front on Saturday afternoon.

The second piece of energy will drop south into far Southern Utah on Saturday night into Sunday.  Mountains of far southern and eastern Utah could see some decent snowfall totals with this section of the storm.  In the meantime, a cool northwest flow will develop in Northern Utah, but we are so far from the main energy, I’m skeptical we’ll get too much out of the northwest flow.  In all honesty, it’s just not a good situation for most of our mountains to get decent snowfall.  Right now I’d expect just a few inches in the Wasatch, perhaps up to 6″ in the Uinta and maybe 5-10″ in the higher mountains of Southern Utah.  Most of the snow falling on Sunday…. Lake effect is still a possibility, but right now I’d classify it as unlikely to be strong enough to do anybody any good.

Here is an image of forecasted precip, you can see how much of it either goes north into Idaho, or south into Southern Utah or Arizona.  Northern Utah is left fairly dry…

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Long range:

Next week high pressure takes over.  Warm weather looks to be in the cards for awhile.  Makes me think that perhaps getting less snow this weekend might actually be a blessing.  Some long range models are trying to bring an active pattern back to the area during the second week of November, but with model performance lately, I’m not buying it.  For now let’s just focus on the short-term and hope for the best.

WSF