One more round . . .

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 5:57 am

As expected, warm advection precip is filling in to Northern Utah once again. Most of the Wasatch front is seeing at least light snowfall with heavier pockets embedded. Live streaming Solitude webcams indicated snow has picked up again in the Cottonwoods at 6 AM. I’d expect 3-6″ in the Cottonwoods today with possibly more at the bases if it’s anything like yesterday. Snowbasin is getting hit again with even more snow so it will be deep again up there today. Park city will likely only see a few inches today as it will be a similar scenario to yesterday, although radar trends indicate it could be spilling over there a bit more today. Precip will weaken tonight and be gone by tomorrow for hopefully a bluebird day!


The trend in the long-term over the last few days in both the Euro and the GFS was to dry us out for at least the next five days.. Both models have been showing a system moving in between Wednesday and Friday of next week. The GFS tries to draw up a lot of warmer air and moisture from the tropics ahead of the trough. This would mean a potential for a lot of precipitation but snow levels would be an issue with all the warm air. Euro is weaker and colder right now with the same feature. Still lots of questions regarding this system but at least it looks like it won’t be nearly as prolonged of a break from the action as we have been seeing in January. Looking at the weekend of the 9th and 10th and beyond, there is almost zero confidence as of now — GFS’s latest idea would bring systems into the west coast on a fairly regular basis but I’m not buying that quite yet.

MJO stalled out a bit in Phase 7 but looks like it might be on the move again. Once it gets into Phase 8 and especially Phases 1,2, and 3… good things generally happen for Utah weather. Especially in an ENSO neutral year like this one. You’ve heard me talk a lot about the MJO, so here is a great article explaining it and its correlation to good things in Utah!

If you don’t want to read the article and would rather just look at a picture, here is are effects of each phase on precip anomalies in the western U.S. (notice the good things for phases 1,2, and 3?) :

mjo phases

Let’s hope we can get it to phases 1,2, and 3 . . . as I believe it would make for a stellar late Feb and March.

Also, CFSv2 is showing the first above average precip anomalies for week 2 for the first time since before Christmas.  This is a good sign for later next week.


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  • What do you see happening for PowMow today? Thanks for the early morning update!

    • Because it sits back a bit, it doesn’t have quite the benefits of orographics and lake enhancement that Snowbasin will receive, but I’d still expect at least light snow for PowMow most of the day. Maybe 3-6″…

  • david

    Snowbasin got 11″ and powder mtn got 6″ in the last 24 hrs.. was at snowbasin yesterday and it was incredible (spoiled today).. based on the numbers looks like we should head back to snow basin today… or was the bulk of that 11″ yesterday morning and should i expect it a little more skied out? thanks for all your updates..

    • With close to 3 feet in the last 3 days and at least 6″ more on top of that today. The areas that were “skied out” will still be pretty incredible today. If I could go anywhere in the Wasatch today, I’d definitely choose Snowbasin.

      • Unfortunately it sounds like they’re having power problems up there today. Saying that lifts will be running on backup power. Let’s hope that doesn’t mean they’re closing some some of the gondolas. Just be aware if anyone does decide to head up north today.

  • Tom Popdan

    Thanks for the great updates. Have you had a chance to take a look at the potential for snow powder late next week? I will be out there for the 6th through the 10th. Thanks.

    • Just finished writing a long range outlook… will be posting momentarily…

  • Ethan

    Does this long-term forecast reach into mid-February? Will be coming out Feb 13-18….but assume the picture will become clearer as the days go by. Any insight would be great! Thanks!

    • Still very early to make any guesses… stay tuned and we’ll have a better idea in a week or so.

  • John W

    In regards to the MJO, how quickly can it move into phases 1&2 (presuming it gets to 8)? Coming out Feb 21st-28th, any chance it could be in phase 1 or 2 by then or is it impossible to move that quickly?

    I’m getting amped for the trip and looking at any long range stuff that I can, even though I know it’s a toss up until we get closer. Great site by the way!

    • It can take as little as a few days to move through Phase 8 or it can take more than a month. There is even a chance it reverts back to Phase 7 or dies. MJO is really difficult to forecast beyond a few days. Hopefully it will move toward Phases 1 and 2 by the time you get here and we can get a major pattern change going.