Friday PM update:
Have been a bit too busy in the last 24 hours to keep as close an eye on weather resources as usual….however, was alerted by a reader’s comment that the CPC is now showing us in the “above average” expected precipitation in the 6-10 day outlook. This is a look at today’s 6-10 day (yesterday’s is below in previous discussion):
The reason for this shift is both the EC and GFS are in agreement that systems will start moving onto the west coast during the next week. They will start out this weekend in the Pacific NW before sagging south toward Northern California by early next week. Throughout the week each system will dig a little deeper and the longwave trough will progress farther onshore, giving Utah a better and better shot for valley rain and mountain snow. Tahoe will get hit by a decent shot of snow on Monday — this system will weaken and get pushed to the north, giving the Wasatch only slight chance for snow Monday night. Utah will warm up midweek before a stronger, deeper system pushes onto the coast on Thursday and moves into the great basin on Friday. This system has potential to generate significant precipitation although snow levels may be an issue at least initially with a strong sub-tropical moisture tap. Looks like storms could continue to move into the intermountain west into the following week. A bit too early to run around screaming “Miracle March”, but it certainly looks like we’ll continue to catch up on our snowpack. Tahoe definitely will.
We are now in that extended dry period that we spoke about in our last post. Heights will continue to rise along with the on-mountain temperatures through the weekend. The only storm we can expect in the short-term is the Solar Storm that is currently hitting the entire planet. Although it has nothing to do with snow forecasting, it’s still fascinating to weather nerds like us. The only effect it should have on your ski day is if you’re using GPS navigation which usually sees glitches during strong solar events.
A few more clouds should enter the region during the late weekend/early next week period as systems pass to our north as the ridge gradually pushes east. This will initially open the storm door to our west (i.e. Tahoe) but may eventually let us in on the action by the middle of next week. There are still a lot of questions out there regarding how this pattern will develop, but it does have potential to create a significant snow pattern by mid-month. Climate Prediction Center has noted this possibility for storms later next week with this image of the 6-10 day outlook.
As you can see, the Pacific Northwest and Northern California are anticipated to receive above normal precipitation whereas Northern Utah is right on the border of the above normal zone. I would expect this area to shift a little farther south over the few days as the 6-10 day outlook adjusts itself for the progression of the ridge.
Let’s hope we can get a few more significant storm cycles in here over the next couple months, as we are still below normal in the Wasatch.