Storms coming, but the details are still a bit hazy . . .

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 8:10 am

Another day, another battle with smog and cold temperatures. If you live or are staying above the lower inversion layers, consider yourself lucky. I’ve been back in Utah for only about 15 hours and I’m already developing a nagging cough again.

We will be having a storm system move through the area on Thursday which should bring a decent chance for light precip to all of Utah. The storm is looking much better than it was in the models a couple days ago but even so, it should still be relatively weak and may not have enough energy to clear out the valleys. High elevations could see a few inches of snow out of this system which might make for a nice ski day on Friday.

We will then see a brief break before another system approaches on Saturday. GFS is moving toward the Euro in trying to cut-off this system and drop it down the west coast. That will send a plethora of moisture into California and the Sierra but might keep the best moisture to our west, at least initially. By Sunday, precip should spread into Utah and continue into Monday. There is a lot of uncertainty with this type of system as they have a tendency to meander along when they are cut-off from the overall jet, making forecasting timing and track almost impossible. We will definitely have a shot at some moderate snowfall out of the system in the Wasatch, which is desperately needed right now as we are quickly losing ground in the snowpack race. It will also have a good shot to rid us of the current inversion.

Looking at the uber-long range, we might dry out again for the first week of February before troughing starts to nudge its way into the west around the second week of the Feb. MJO is progressing through Phases 7 and 8 now which we should see the downstream effects soon, e.g. western CONUS troughing.

Models are starting to align with regard to the upcoming system(s), but aren’t quite there yet. Stay tuned this week as we get it figured out.

WSF





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  • Anonymous

    So are you not expecting much after next Sunday/Monday? I arrive Thursday of next week and stay for a week Jan 30- Feb 7…bummer if that’s the case

    • At this time, it doesn’t look that promising after Tuesday (29th) but things can change so stay tuned…

  • Stephen

    “Looking at the uber-long range, we might dry out again for the first week of February before troughing starts to nudge its way into the west around the second week of the Feb. MJO is progressing through Phases 7 and 8 now which we should see the downstream effects soon, e.g. western CONUS troughing.”

    Hey WSF, I was hoping you could elaborate a little more on this statement. What exactly does western CONUS troughing mean?

    Thanks! Really enjoy the work and effort you put forth on this website!

    • MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) is an oscillation in the Indian/Pacific Oceans that can influence our weather. You can do a quick google search if you’d like to know more. CONUS is just weather talk for ‘continental United States’.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed! Found the WSF site through a simple search and it is the best one I’ve seen out there by far! If only you could just make it snow.

  • Steve

    Boy, looking at the latest GFS runs, it seems like the trend for the snow to be everywhere but east of the salt lake. Seems like it gets stuck west of lake and of course down south. What causes that to happen? But of course, i’m hoping it doesn’t happen.But trends aren’t making me that optimisitc.

    • The storm track could take the best dynamics to our west… but I wouldn’t worry too much just yet, as the GFS is a low resolution model that doesn’t always do well with factors like orographics. Once the WRF and NAM are within range, we will have a much better idea of the small-scale details.