Patience is a virtue

Friday, December 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

Not too much new info to talk about today.  Inversions continue to build in the lower valleys with warm and clear conditions up high.  A weak cold front will graze northern Utah tomorrow and bring some clouds and breezes into the area.  Snowfall looks unlikely,  but hopefully we’ll be able to at least briefly weaken the inversion.

The next chance for snow looks to be around New Year’s Day, although even that is debatable depending on which model you favor.  It looks like another northwest flow grazer that at best will only put down a few inches in the high elevations.

As we head into 2014, the major global models begin to diverge.  The EC is currently the worst for us right now.  In its solution, the ridge remains parked along the Pacific Coast and systems get shunted north and east of us through at least Jan-7.  The GEM keeps the ridge, but retrogrades it again, allowing for another cold trough to dig into the Western CONUS, including Utah.  The GFS is the most promising right now.  It is also the model that is most easily and frequently checked by our readers, so many of you have probably already seen its operational runs.  It shows the ridge retrograding at the beginning of January, allowing for a few weak to moderate storms to enter the area.  Followed by larger, more moist systems as the ridge gets undercut by the southerly jet as we head into the second week of January.

Right now we’ll just have to be patient and see which model has the better lock on things as we head into the new year.  My personal opinion is that the first sign of a pattern change is disagreement in the models.  CFS continues to support a change to wetter, more typical weather over the middle of January.  Let’s hope things start heading in our direction over the next few days.

Until then… patience!


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  • Alexander

    What causes the large high pressures from the last few years to settle over us? The first few years I was out here I feel we never had these ridges…

  • Go to to see the normal/average winter jet stream and high pressure ridge position. What you will see is that a high pressure ridge centered over the west coast is normal.

  • Steve

    The GFS is being pretty persistent with that pattern change. And it looks like a good one. I’m voting for that model. It’s majority rule, correct?