Yesterday morning, the front moved through Northern Utah from north to south exactly as expected. The only unexpected part of it was that the front moved a bit slower and had a bit broader area of precip than anticipated, this led to over 4 hours of snow for most mountain locations. The longer duration led to higher snowfall totals. The forecast was for 1-3″. Most of the high Wasatch saw 3-6″ with up to 10″ in Cache Valley area. Not bad! So chalk it down as another “over-performing” system.
Today, another impulse is going to move through Utah. This one, however, will focus its energy on Southern, Central and Eastern Utah, where 2-5″ is expected in the high elevations. For the Wasatch, there will be a few snow showers later this afternoon and this evening, but nothing significant. The one wild card is lake effect. There is still the possibility we could see a band develop tonight into early tomorrow morning. This lake effect band shows up on the WRF model’s forecasted snowfall map:
You can see the area of pink just south of the GSL. So far this season, all the lake effect we’ve seen has been focused on the Tooele Valley and the Oquirrhs. We’ll have to wait and see, but it looks like that may be the case again.
The models over the last few days have taken us for a ride. Kinda like this…
Finally, the models generally seem to be in sync, not only with each other but with their own previous model runs. This makes forecasting much easier when I don’t have to try to make a decision which model has the more likely solution.
Right now, models show a generally dry trend from Tuesday through the weekend. There will be occasional chances for showers in far northern Utah as weak systems pass to our north. The GFS shows a decent chance that a front will move through on Friday and bring snow to northern Utah. This is a big change from yesterday when it showed this same system moving well north of us. The Euro is still farther north. For right now, we’ll call it a chance for snow on Friday, depending on which model is correct.
After a relatively warm weekend, both major models agree on stronger Low pressure systems dropping south out of the Gulf of Alaska next week. Details on timing, location, and strength this far out is very sketchy, so we’ll have to be patient for now. If this pattern comes together just right for us, it could be a big snow producer for the entire Western US. Climate Prediction Center supports the idea of a wet period. Here is their 8-14 day forecast:
Notice all the above average precipitation forecasted for the West, including Utah. Hopefully this comes to fruition. Time will tell . . .