Thursday AM… Weak storm #1 is bringing light snow to areas of northern Utah right now with a couple inches falling in some places… just about as expected. Not much, but a little bit to soften up the slopes. Updating . . . .
Wednesday AM update:
Just a quick update… Tomorrow’s system still looks ok for some light snow. Maybe 3-6″ north of I-80 and 1-3″ elsewhere in the Central Wasatch. Nothing major but just enough to freshen up the skiing. Bad news is that the next system for Sunday night is looking much weaker in the models than 24 hours ago, not that it was ever looking like more than a few inches. We will barely clip far northern Utah with just a few light snow showers. Disappointing for those of you in Utah only for the weekend hoping for some fresh snow.
Everything still looking good after President’s Day though! Models in good agreement for a much stronger system late Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and perhaps more systems after that as we head toward the end of the month. Stay tuned . . .
I feel like I’ve been putting myself and my forecast out on the line over the last couple weeks by forecasting a pattern change after President’s Day. Those of you who follow along with the GFS or the Euro were probably wondering what I was seeing as it certainly wasn’t showing up in the operational models. But I was optimistic as other things were changing in the global weather patterns (like the MJO) and I was banking on the fact that the models were just playing catch-up. Finally a little bit of vindication today as the GFS looks good, and the Euro looks awesome for a series of storms to start moving in late this weekend into next week.
It has been a couple of months since I’ve been able to use the words “series” and “storms” together. Since December we’ve seen essentially only three storm systems. They have all been what I call “one and done” systems — essentially meaning they beat the odds of a dominant ridge to bring us some snow, then they are gone and we return to dry (inverted) weather for a week or two. Finally, it’s starting to look like we’ll see storms building on top of each other.
So let’s get into the details of what we are seeing… This storm cycle will be made possible by the Eastern Pacific ridge retrograding westward and allowing cold storms to drop in from the northwest. Sound familiar? The first system will be late Wednesday night and Thursday and will just barely clip Northern Utah. At this point it looks like the best we’ll see is a dusting for the valleys with a few inches possible in the mountains, primarily north of I-80. Not going to be a deep powder day on Thursday or Friday, but a little bit of fresh snow will make the skiing/riding fun.
The next system will move in late Sunday into Monday. This system will have a slightly better trajectory but is still not optimal for snowfall in the Wasatch. Too early to guess amounts but light to moderate accumulations is the best guess right now. It will provide at least some fresh snow for the President’s Day skiers who made the trip out here for the weekend.
Then it looks like the jet trajectory will continue to improve and bring us more moisture-laden storms. At this point it looks like we’ll have another system around Wednesday of next week. And perhaps another system behind that for Friday/Saturday of next week. Of course we are now 10+ days out and the details are incredibly vague. But the overall pattern is looking promising for us to at least start our climb back to average snowpack in the Wasatch. Lots of powder days ahead!
More details later….WSF