Back Into the Soup

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7:44 am


Sunny skies and warmer temperatures up high for the rest of this week.  Inversions forming in the valleys with the air becoming increasingly hazy through the week.


Yesterday was beautiful and clear with fresh snow.  Great skiing was had just about everywhere in Northern Utah.  Now it’s time for us to return to Ridge City.  Eastern Pacific ridge is building and will progress inland directly over the Great Basin for the next several days.  Leading to strong inversions and very warm temps once you get above the inversion.

GFS keeps the ridge right overhead for the next 10 days.  The EC retrogrades it back to the west coast early next week, which would allow a very weak disturbance to clip the area for some clouds and breezes.   You have to look to the very end of the EC control run to find any hope.  EC and CFS both have the ridge breaking down at the very end of the month, but at this point I put very little trust in any model outside 10 days.

So what did this last storm cycle do for our snowpack?  Here is the Snowbird graphical view:



The answer is that it helped, but it’s not enough.   Currently we are ahead of 2012 but behind last year.  However, after this upcoming dry spell, we’ll likely be behind both years.

Here is a look at the western US snowpack:



Things stand about the same, although we’ve improved our numbers a bit.  Southern Utah, which used to be well above average, has fallen behind normal as they didn’t see the benefits of this last cycle and have gone almost a month since their last decent snow.  The far northern Wasatch is above 90% — so not doing so badly.  This is a big difference from the last two years where the Northern Wasatch was well behind areas of the Central Wasatch.

Looking west toward the Sierra Nevada should make us all be thankful that we have what we do.  It could be a lot worse.


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12 thoughts on “Back Into the Soup

  1. Travis

    Is there a logical explanation for what is happening in the Sierras? It just doesn’t seem to make any sense that for the third year in a row, they are getting ridged out of every storm.

  2. jeff camp

    Will you share the link for that western US snowpack map? Also I saw a thing last night about the “pacific Decadal Oscillation” in the pacific ocean that was supposedly to blame for the sierras. Is there any truth to it, and is it effecting us as well?

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      Yes, I’ll post the link this evening when I’m not on my iphone. A lot of theories about the PDO being partly responsible. But I’m not sure I buy it as this oscillation was opposite last season with the same result if I’m not mistaken. I’m not sure anybody knows for sure.

  3. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

    Perhaps there is a logical explanation, but I can’t tell you for sure what it is. In the 1920s and early 30s, Tahoe had 8 consecutive below average winters. So this isn’t completely unprecedented. All Tahoe folks can do is hope things turn around. The general consensus I’ve heard from friends in the region is that they’ve stopped worrying about ski season and are now concerned from a hydrological standpoint. Water supply, wildfires, etc… Sad story

  4. James

    Wsf the other James who just commented isn’t me..

    And I simply want to know how was the wasatch faring when Tahoe had 8 years below average?

    Can I have a second chance at commenting?

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast Post author

      It was dry as well. But our record keeping isn’t nearly as extensive as Tahoe’s during this same period. SLC precip records would suggest the mountains were drier than normal in the mountains here too.

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