Wasatch weather quiet again, at least for now

Friday, December 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm

The Holiday weekend will feature rising heights across the intermountain west with upper atmospheric temps rising and little to no wind.  What does that mean for us? Inversions re-developing in the valleys with cool temps and haze.  Ski areas should be mostly sunny with temps moderating through early next week.

GFS and Euro are fairly consistent in developing a zonal flow taking aim at the Pacific NW next week.  Basically in this pattern, we have little in the way of troughs or ridges, with the jet stream remaining mostly flat. Embedded waves of energy with move into BC, Washington, and Oregon then cross Idaho/Montana with the southern edge of these waves clipping northern Utah.  This is a fairly mild pattern and may mean snow levels rising to well off the valley floors (7K feet or so).  However, the Wasatch will be subject to periods of light accumulations from Wednesday-Saturday of next week (December 28-31).   This isn’t exactly a great pattern for us snow lovers, however at least it’s a change from what we’ve been stuck in since the beginning of November.

The major question now is what will happen after the zonal pattern.  Usually the jet can only stay flat for a limited time, eventually it buckles and either drops a trough into the area or builds a ridge over head.  Based on recent model guidance, right now I’m leaning toward the latter at least initially.  Not good for us.  My best guess would be that we see 4 or 5 days of clouds and off and on light rain/snow, then we’ll clear up for a week or so before we hopefully see stronger systems move into the area during the second week of January.  Of course this is all subject to change as it is just an educated guess.  Wish I could say I was more optimistic about getting snow before the New Year.

Stay tuned…

…The Powder Hound…


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