Sunday Storm

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7:26 am

Thursday AM update:

Storm still timing for Sunday.  This system, as mentioned below in previous discussion from yesterday, doesn’t look overly strong.  It is, however, much colder than previous storms we’ve seen this Fall, so snow levels will drop down below 6,000 feet (perhaps lower).  A few inches of snow will be likely in the high elevations.  Snow showers will linger into Monday.

Next week still looks a bit crazy in model guidance.  EC and GFS agree on a system that clips far northern Utah middle of next week.  But then go completely bonkers toward the tail end of the week.  The EC has been adamant in forming a strong closed low off the California coast late next week and slowly drifting it toward Utah.  However, if you’ve been reading these forecasts for awhile, you’ll know that cutoff lows are the scourge of a forecaster’s existence — not going to try to forecast anything this far out…

Overall, the good news is that as we head into November, I don’t see any signs of prolonged ridging in the models.  That doesn’t mean we are destined for big storms, but at least we’ll have times when the storm door is open.  Climate models continue to be more optimistic for a good November.  Let’s hope they are on to something… WSF

Previous:

Summary:

Warm and dry thru Saturday… Next system moves in Sunday morning.  Valley rain and mountain snow likely.

Details:

After yesterday’s weak system clipped the area, we have now cleared out once again.  Yesterday we had a few early morning showers and then a couple afternoon convective storms that dropped a few minutes of heavy graupel in the high elevations along with a rumble or two of thunder.

High pressure keeps us dry and warm thru Saturday.  Next system approaches Saturday night with winds increasing ahead of the cold front during the day on Saturday.

The storm itself moves in on Sunday morning and will continue into Sunday night.  Neither model is overly cold, so snow levels should remain above most valleys.  However, right now temps look cold enough to bring snow to most, if not all, ski resort elevations.  This isn’t a major storm but it should be bigger than most of the other one’s we’ve seen thus far this fall.  My preliminary guess would be 1-4″ below 8,000 feet with 4-8″ possible above.  Depending on how the system exits the region, we could have a possibility for a bit of lake effect snow as the lake surface temp is still very warm.

Total QPF thru the day on Monday looks like this:

qpf

 

There are pockets of close to an inch of liquid in the Wasatch, so it’s a reasonably decent storm.  We’ll just have to wait and see how well it holds together.

Long range:

Beyond about Tuesday (10/28) of next week, the models are in absolute chaos.  GFS has been consistent with a large trough entering the region while the EC forecasts ridging through Halloween then cuts off a system to our west and eventually moves it through the area during the first few days of November.  Needless to say, I am not buying any of it right now.  We’ll just have to wait and hope a consensus forms over the next couple days.

WSF

P.S. Mountain bikers… Saturday might be your last chance of the season to do high elevation rides like The Crest (Note: Mill Creek Canyon is closed to biking).  At this time, it looks like Sunday’s system will shut down biking for the season up there.  Even a few inches of snow will be tough to melt off this late into the Fall.