Down But Not Out (Sunday AM update)

Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 8:07 am

Quick update:

Current storm is bringing snow to most Utah mountains right now.  As of 10:30 AM… the Cottonwoods have seen between 5-8″ of snow with a few more inches possible before the storm winds down this evening.  Monday will be a break before the next splitting system moves in Monday Night.  Models have been consistently backing off on precip for this system so I don’t expect more than 4-6″ Monday Night – Tuesday Night in the Cottonwoods with Park City seeing 2-4″.  Hopefully the models will trend back up on QPF but I’m not optimistic.  A few showers should linger on Wednesday before we get a break for the end of the week.  Lots of uncertainty for next weekend as models still disagree but it looks likely that we’ll see at least a bit more snow.  Stay tuned . . .

Snow’s great . . . Enjoy the skiing/riding!

Previous discussion:

Our below-average snowpack came back to bite me as an exposed rock was responsible for a minor fracture in my hip earlier this week. So I’m out of the ski game for a few weeks but that means I’ll have even more time to devote to checking models, discussions, and climo forecasts and coming up with our own Utah-specific snow forecast for all of you who are still healthy enough to enjoy it.

A promising trend has developed in the last few days in most major models…. The ridge that has kept us mostly high and dry for the last couple weeks is now progged to retrograde into the eastern pacific and allow a series of cool, but weak systems to drop down the back side of the ridge.  The first of these systems will split for the most part as it enters the area late on Saturday giving us some light accumulations in the mountains (best guess is 2-4″ above 6,500 ft).  Another system is scheduled for Monday/Monday night and perhaps another for late Wednesday.

While confidence is not high beyond Tuesday, it does look like this pattern will continue for quite some time with small systems every couple days, dropping several inches each.  This obviously isn’t an ideal pattern but it’s better than no snow at all.  Also, this is a step in the right direction, if the ridge continues to retrograde we may be in for some more substantial systems toward the end of the month.

There are some great signs out there that the storm door could swing open toward the end of February.  MJO is in Phase 7 and forecasted to continue moving through some favorable areas in the next few weeks.  PNA and AO forecasts look halfway decent as well.  I’m not going to bore you with the details of what these are or what they mean, but it’s worth just mentioning why I think we may be in store for a good end to the month and possibly a snowy March.  CPC long-range forecasts are also in consensus with the idea of troughing in the west in week 3 and 4 (last week of Feb and first week of March).   This is all so far out that there is no confidence in any details but its still fun to take a look at what the overall pattern may look like.

At least we’ll (you’ll) be able to enjoy some fresh snow over the next 7 days even if it is just a few inches here and there.  Stay tuned and we’ll let you know when the big dumps are looking more imminent.


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  • ryanb

    Bummer about your hip.. get well!

  • Gail

    So sorry to hear about your hip.
    My son introduced me to your site and I really enjoy reading your posts. I am praying to the snow Gods that PC gets some substaintial snow for President’s Week because we have a large gathering of friends and family for the week and most of us are from the snowless Northeast. Keep up the great wrilting and I hope you’re not off the slopes for the entire season.

  • scott

    Yikes! Sorry to hear that.

    Well get better and keep the posts coming!

  • Over 10″ so far here at 7,200′ in Old Town Park City.