Monotony broken

Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

Tuesday, Sept 10:

Quick update this morning. Lots of moisture streaming north in association with a weak Low in AZ. Clouds today will hopefully turn to showers and a few storms in the north this afternoon. Cloud cover may inhibit the development of strong thunderstorms however. Southern Utah will see much more widespread rainfall with more flood potential. The next few days will be more of the same with chances for showers through Friday as the Low slowly makes its way north. Temperatures over the next few days should stay around normal. Low 80s in valleys with 60s and 70s in the mountains! Feels good after the summer we had.

Looks like we’ll dry out this weekend a warm up into the mid to upper 80s again in the valleys early next week. The ridge will break down again later next week with a zonal flow taking aim at the Pac NW and the northern Rockies. At this time it looks like most moisture will stay to our north. But we will see cooler temps continue. It’s also not out of the question still that one of these systems will dig far enough south to give us a few showers, and possibly a dusting of snow on the high peaks. Timing for these systems looks to be September 17 and beyond.


Sunday, September 8:

It was just two days ago that we posted about how monotonous the weather had been this summer in Northern Utah. It looks like that day-to-day monotony was broken yesterday with strong storms along the Wasatch Front, especially down in Utah County. Rain showers and much cooler weather for today with a chance for more heavy rain this afternoon, especially in Sountern Utah. The long range forecast is starting to look real interesting too, more on that in a bit.

Yesterday’s storms intensified in southern Utah county around 3 pm yesterday then proceeded to move north. Over an inch of rain fell in only about 30 minutes in many locations as flooding and lightning delayed the BYU football game in Provo. A funnel cloud was even spotted in the Pleasant Grove area. Exciting stuff, especially in September. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) the storms weakened a bit by the time they got to the Salt Lake Valley, but there was still enough in them to provide moderate rainfall and rumbles of thunder. Numerous reports of rock slides in the local canyons.

Today is starting out with steady light rainfall across much of the Wasatch and adjacent Wasatch Front. This will likely clear out by mid-morning and we may even see the sun peak through around midday. Afternoon heating and a vorticity lobe moving north from AZ will combine to re-ignite showers this afternoon. Southern and Central Utah should see the most action, but don’t be surprised to see more thunderstorms up north.

This evening, a weak cool front will move into northwest Utah and suppress the moisture down into Southern and Eastern Utah for tomorrow. This front will keep the cool temps around tomorrow with a bit of a northwest flow behind it. A ridge will then build for mid-week. This will allow another surge of moisture to move north into Utah. Tough to say exactly how much of this moisture will make it into Northern Utah, but for now I’d say there’s a good chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms returning later this work week.

The real exciting news, from a skier or winter-lover’s perspective, comes beyond the 7-day window. Both the GFS and Euro have shown and expansion and subsequent retrogression of the Eastern Pacific ridge late next week. It looks like this will allow systems to drop down from the Gulf of AK into the Pacific Northwest. It’s really far out (September 15-20), so it’s hard to say how much actual moisture will make it down into the Great Basin and Utah, but at the very least. We should see clouds and more Fall-like weather. Of course, if things work out, it’s possible we could see our first dusting of snow on the high peaks just beyond mid-month. We’ll keep an eye on this pattern for you and let you know in the coming days if the models continue on the path they are currently advertising.


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  • Frode Jensen

    Hi WSF…Does this “expansion and subsequent retrogression of the Eastern Pacific ridge” have any meaningful implications for snowfall this winter? Inquiring minds…Thanks…

    • No, not really. It is more short-term than seasonal snowfall. If that pattern were to occur, it would get significantly cooler (and maybe wetter) for the second half of September. But that is a short term weather pattern that will likely change several times again before the season really gets going in November.

      • Frode Jensen

        Didn’t think so… 🙁 Still, we can hope!

  • dug

    on the other hand, getting any significant snowfall that doesn’t end up melting off is really detrimental, isn’t it? pretty much a guaranteed weak layer for the year.

    • Yeah, but I doubt any snow that falls in September will last too long. I’m sure we’ll get another warm spell before winter sets in for good.