Thunderstorms early this week

Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Sunday, August 18, 2013:

This week will feature a continued chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening, perhaps lasting into the overnight hours.  Drier air will move in toward the end of the week, putting an end to thunderstorms along the Wasatch front.

Yesterday we saw active thunderstorms mostly south of Salt Lake City.  Some areas around Provo saw as much as two inches of rain.  Farther north, numerous rumbles of thunder were heard but rainfall was generally short-lived and light.  This afternoon (Sunday) we’ll have another chance for thunderstorms, although they likely will not be as widespread as yesterday.  Another re-enforcing surge of moisture will move in from the south tomorrow and Tuesday, bringing the threat of widespread storms to Northern Utah.  An approaching low will turn the flow more westerly later this week, ushering in drier air by the weekend.  It looks like more monsoonal moisture may return next week.

This past Thursday was our 20th day of 100+F temps in SLC.  Smoke and clouds kept us from reaching 21 days on Friday when the airport topped out at a tantalizingly close 99F.  That would have tied us with the record for most days.  As it stands now, we’d have to see another really good heatwave to develop in the next month to have a shot at the all-time record.

Signs of winter continue to be weak, but they are there.  Both the Euro and GFS have shown an increasing number of troughs digging farther south of the West coast, with high pressure to our East.  This should help draw up plenty more monsoonal moisture before the month of August ends.  ENSO indices are also trending more toward El Nino now with some forecasts showing a very weak El Nino event this year.  El Nino, if you remember, generally favors Southern Utah a bit more than Northern.  The CFSv2, which forecasts seasonal trends, is currently showing above normal precip in Utah to start the season with average snowfall for the second half of the year.  I put very little trust in the CFSv2 as it’s a relatively new tool and it has yet to gain my confidence.  However, I’d be much more likely to put faith in the nearer forecasts like the September-November range that is currently above normal.  So that may be good news.  As I mentioned last week, the QBO is also trending favorably.  A lot of good signs that this year may be different, but it’s still far too early to make any solid predictions.  Just cross your fingers and hope!

We’ve also added a new conditions forum to the site.  Last year we had tons of questions about current conditions at various resorts, clearly I can’t be skiing everywhere at once, so I’ve put up a forum that should allow other readers to answer your questions regarding conditions or anything else ski / Utah related.  It’s still in beta mode but hopefully the forum will prove to be a valuable tool in planning your ski day.


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