Active weather to continue . . .

Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 8:50 am

Yesterday went exactly as predicted.  A post-frontal band of precip pushed through in the morning and brought a few hours of moderate to heavy valley rain with snow above 7,000 feet.  Accumulations of between 2-5″ were reported.  Wasn’t able to make it up to the mountain myself–hope the snow was decent.

Today will be similar except with precip developing in the afternoon and a bit more showery and lighter in nature.  Due to this factor and the high afternoon sun angle, don’t think we will see much more than an inch or two with today’s disturbance.  The next disturbance will move through tomorrow morning and will be equally weak, however another inch or two will be possible in northern Utah.

The strong Low pressure system that we’ve been talking about all week will finally drop into the Great Basin on Sunday night.  The models are in general agreement that it will track southeast through Central Nevada into Southern or Central Utah on Monday.  The Euro, which was farther south with the track all week, is now actually slight farther north than the latest GFS.  The Euro is also much slower with the Low’s movement and would therefore lead to more significant totals.  This pattern isn’t optimal for the Wasatch. The mountains of Southern and Central Utah as well as the Uintas are more likely to see significant snowfall.

The counter clockwise rotation of the low as it passes to our south will give us a fair possibility for heavier snowfall along the Wasatch Back, similar to what we saw last week.  This is hard to forecast and relies on banding which is almost impossible to predict, so take this as a possibility rather than a forecast.

The overall takeaway is this: The Wasatch will see the best precipitation start late Sunday night into Monday.  As the low tracks eastward on Monday, there will be an increasing chance for wrap-around snowfall into Monday night, and it could give us one last good day for the Wasatch Back on Tuesday.  Southern Utah mountains and the Uintas should do well on Monday into Monday night.  Overall forecast is 6-12+ inches for mountains of S. Utah and Uintas above 8,000 feet.  4-8″ for the Wasatch above 7,000.  The storm should start to move out during the day on Tuesday.

Wednesday will be a break before another weak impulse could bring some showers on Thursday.  GFS and Euro both still suggest another broad trough toward mid-month.  Euro moves it into the area by Sunday the 14th, GFS holds off until the 16th or so.  April is trying its best to make up for it’s 2013 predecessors.

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  • Steve

    Regarding the models, both the 0Z GFS and NAM seem to have a precip shadow for the Wasatch. Big precip to west, east and south. But the 06Z NAM seems to whack the Wasatch. Thoughts?

    • The 00z of the NAM was still wasn’t cutting off the Low. The last two runs (6z,12z) both drop it farther south and park it over central Utah late on Monday. The “whacking” you are referring too is mostly wrap-around just pounding the Wasatch Back. This is similar to what the Euro is showing right now too. The GFS is the outlier with the Low pressure system a bit farther south and bit more progressive. There is potential for a really impressive storm IF everything comes together, as you’ve probably gathered from NWS discussions. I’m not ready to put all my eggs in that basket yet however.

  • Steve

    Thanks for your thoughts. We shall see.

  • Brig

    on the fence for a run to LCC from down south, I have seen this pattern a couple times when I was in UT this year with the counterclockwise SSE flow where the backside was the beneficiary and the normal magnets on the westside got far less.

    the GFS/EURO models have kept me on pins and needles for a few days.

    any chance with the projected cutoff flow that lake effect can be factored in or would that hit the Oquirrhs or Sunndance moreso than BCC and LCC? Probably need to see specific moisture bands to make that assumption…

    Trying to figure out whether or not to load up the boards and run up the 15.

    Thanks for the awesome reports throughout the year.

    • Yeah, we’ve seen a few of these storms this year. At this point, it’s certainly possible for LCC to see good snowfall. And with the wrap-around, the Wasatch Back could do well on Monday night. I’m just not sold on the exact track and therefore hesitant to forecast significant amounts. The safest bet is Central and Southern Utah. Monday and Tuesday could be huge days for Brian Head and Eagle Point. Might be worth it to save yourself some driving time…? Lake effect does not appear to be much of a factor, but who knows, stranger things have happened.

      • Brig

        Thanks. Keeping the fingers crossed.

  • Anonymous

    I switched my flight from Wednesday to Monday. Now the NWS has changed the forecast to much more conservative totals for Monday. Let’s hope it switches back. Thanks for the great insight all winter. Much appreciated!

  • Steve

    Any thoughts on GFS vs NAM? 4-7 0Z NAM looks still solid on precip for wasatch. 18Z GFS even worse than previous runs. Didn’t look at Euro.Voting for NAM.

    • GFS seems too dry for this type of system. There’s a lot of moisture to work with. I think the NAM has the right idea with regards to amount of precipitation, but I’m still worried the Low will drop farther south than expected. Seems like that is so often the case with cut-off Lows. I hope the NAM is right. I need at least one more DEEP powder day before I wrap up the season.