Better than nothing… (Tuesday update)

Monday, November 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

10-day Snow Forecast:

Wednesday Evening/Night, November 30, 2011

  • Above 6K feet, 3-8 inches possible
  • Bench locations, 1-3 inches possible
  • Valley locations, trace-1 inch possible

Tuesday Update:

Not much new to mention… Biggest concern is tomorrow and Thursday is downslope, easterly winds along the Wasatch Front that could gust as high as 70 mph in wind prone locations.  These potentially damaging winds will accompany a fast-moving front as it heads towards the desert SW.  It should then park itself near the four corners for a few days before moving east.  Southern Utah, N. Arizona, Southwestern CO and N. New Mexico should see significant snow while we only see a 3-6 inches in the Northern Mountains.   More later….

Today, Monday, we see a dry, weak cold front pass through the area.  Only impact on the area has been more clouds, a few light breezes, and slightly cooler temps.

Tuesday we see the ridge nudge it’s way back over the area for a warmer temps once again with partly cloudy skies.

The next system approaches on Wednesday, arriving from the northwest during the late afternoon/evening.  Precip in valleys will either be all snow or rain quickly changing to snow.  This front is very similar to the systems we’ve seen all month; a fast-moving, cool, northwest slider.   These systems have taught all weather junkies in the area, whether professional or hobbyists, a lesson this season by looking solid 2-3 days out and then drying out and losing dynamics as they approach the area.  Not looking for significant accumulations from this system. Perhaps the best news is that it will cool us down in the upper elevations for several days and allow continued snow-making.

Longer range:  Model discrepancy exists, however general consensus is that western ridge and east coast trough will remain intact through at least the 10th of December.  Doesn’t mean that we will be completely high and dry as we will have chances for inside sliders and cut-off lows to affect our area (i.e. Wednesday’s system).  We are thinking that sometime between the 10th-20th of December we will see a breakthrough of the westerlies and a start to “true winter” here in Utah.

Looking into the climate archives we see this is very typical of second-year La Niñas, as in a second consecutive year of La Niña conditions.  December almost always has been significantly dryer than normal for the Western U.S.  south of Oregon/Idaho.  Winter in these years has really fired up in January and February.  We think this year will be similar but perhaps we hit the dry spell a little earlier than previous second-year LNs, so perhaps we will jump into winter a little earlier.  This is one of the main reasons I expect westerlies to break through in mid-December (as mentioned earlier) combined with the PNA and the MJO moving more favorable.

Lots to think about and keep an eye on….

…The Powder Hound…

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