Tuesday PM update:
Today’s model runs have been treating us pretty well. Latest NAM, GFS, and EC have all shown the boundary strengthening and stalling farther north than this morning’s runs. I think from Wednesday night – Friday morning we could see 6-12″ in the high Wasatch. More snow still looking likely for the weekend. Tomorrow morning we’ll take a full look at the details.
Inversions will continue through at least Thursday before a trough moves overhead allowing a series of small to moderate systems to drop south into the area. Chances for snow will continue from Thursday through Christmas.
The ridge is retrograding ever so slightly while amplifying in the Eastern Pacific. This is going to allow a trough to dig south along the east edge of the ridge. This trough will drop into the Great Basin on Wednesday and split as it does so. Most of the energy will be associated with a Low pressure center that will settle over Southern California. There will also be energy associated with the main trough that will be to our northeast. Utah will be right in between these two features. We expect a boundary cold front to set up and perhaps stall over central Utah. Moisture and dynamics are not great in this deformation zone, but it will still allow some snow to fall on the area on Thursday. Total accumulations by Friday morning with this first ‘system’ should be 1-3″ in the Wasatch north of I-80 with 3-6″ south of I-80. This is a complicated pattern, and exactly where this boundary sets up is critical to how much snow we get. Therefore, amounts may have to be adjusted accordingly as we get closer.
The next, more potent, system is expected to arrive Friday night into Saturday. This system doesn’t show nearly as much splitting and actually has potential to be a decent snow producer for the weekend. It’s a little early to say amounts with any certainty, but 6-12″ is possible for the mountains of northern Utah.
Additional weak waves may impact the area through Christmas. Models are having a tough time deciding ridge placement next week — which is critical to knowing whether we’ll be dry or have a chance for more storms. So until there is more agreement, it’s tough to make a forecast.
These systems aren’t going to put down crazy amounts of snow, but every little bit helps and hopefully they will give way to stronger storms as we head into January.