This gorgeous, calm Autumn weather will finally be interrupted by a system dropping into the region on Monday. GFS and EC have essentially switched solutions from this time yesterday. Now, the Euro is farther east and take the vast majority of precip east of the area into Wyoming and Colorado. The GFS, however, brings a decent cold front through the area and has plenty of energy to work with over Northern Utah. The over-land trajectory does make for a moisture starved system, so amounts won’t be too high no matter what model verifies. There is the possibility for lake effect snowfall again south of the GSL.
Taking both models into account, the best we can say right now is that it will likely be a compromise solution. A small to medium storm at best — certainly not anything that will get us skiing anytime soon. Right now it looks like the ridge will re-establish itself later next week for more quiet weather.
Looking at the big picture… ENSO, which was forecasted to be in a weak El Nino state this winter, looks like it will be closer to neutral than anything else. These are the types of years in which anything can happen and nobody can predict it. So if you’ve seen any of those winter forecasts that said we are going to have a great or horrible snow year, you can forget it. There is almost nothing out there that suggests anything aside from equal chances for each.
Due to ENSO neutrality, the MJO will likely play a significant factor in our weather again this year. If you read last year, the MJO moving into favorable phases likely triggered our late season attempt at a comeback in the snowpack in late March and April. MJO is currently weak but is forecasted to strengthen and move into Phase 1, which is favorable for us. However, as it propagates, it will move out of favorable phases rather quickly. There is usually several days delay before the effects move downstream, but based on current timing, we may see an MJO-induced pattern change around the middle of November. Of course, this is all speculation and should be treated as such.
Let’s hope the storm on Monday over-produces… let’s also hope that we break down this blocking ridge sooner rather than later. It’s time for us to start building a solid base!