On repeat

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:53 am

Thursday AM update:

Not much change today.  Ridging to continue for the foreseeable future with inversions continuing to worsen.  A couple chances next week of either a cut-off Low or a backdoor system bringing a few light showers to the area, but nothing major for at least the next 10 days.  Some of you may have seen the 06z GFS operational run which tried undercut the ridge after Jan 26.  Don’t give much credence to this solution considering the GFS’s track record lately and the fact that the EC does not support it.   It does look like their will be a gradual lowering of heights and perhaps some retrogression at the end of the month that may hopefully spark a change.  But until operational models catch on to this, I’m not putting much faith in it.   The wait continues . . . WSF



Dominant high pressure will keep the high elevations warm and sunny with valley inversions continuing to strengthen for the foreseeable future.


Dominant high pressure will keep the high elevations warm and sunny with valley inversions continuing to strengthen for the foreseeable future.

Long range:

Dominant high pressure will keep the high elevations warm and sunny with valley inversions continuing to strengthen for the foreseeable future.

Small chances that either a cutoff low or a weak backdoor system could bring us a few showers middle to late next week.   Other than that, there is no end in sight to the ridging.  Likely it will stay with us through the end of the month.  *audible sigh*


Sent to me by a reader (Thanks, John).  An article about what is causing all this blocking ridging.  Short answer: Nobody knows for sure.  There are a lot of theories and any one of them could be responsible.  It’s impossible to say for sure what is causing it, or if it just the sum of many different factors for a perfect storm (or lack of storms) of dryness.  

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  • Chandler

    Wow, this is genuinely depressing

  • your article link in the last paragraph is broken. too many http’s … FYI.

  • Jason t

    Look at the bright side you didn’t just pay 41 million for ski resort last year.

  • Lawrence

    Heading out to Park City Feb 1-9. Will the conditions be decent?

    • Coverage should be fine. Too early to know exact weather conditions then. Stay tuned . . .

    • coco


      I spent a week at Canyons, right after X-mas thru New Year’s. So, there was was about two less feet than now. Groomers were typical; had a lot of fun on some of them, but anything not groomed was pretty hard-packed and stale. Even the few (and I mean few) untracked places I found were pretty rough. Just old, crusty snow. Many of the cat trails were down to almost bare earth in spots, so lots of rocks at times. Assuming no significant snow from now until your trip….you’re probably in for some similar conditions…maybe less confrontation with terra firma, but the same old crusty snow. Took a trip up 9990, and it was an Olympic mogul skiers dream. but for us mortals, mostly a waste of time. Overall, coming from the midwest, it was a good trip. But, if you’re looking to slay tree runs or hit the steep an deep, better luck next time.

  • Tuan

    3rd year living in the SLC area and so far I am highly disappointed. I am not asking for much other than an “average” year…..

    • this is my 2nd winter living here. last year was the first I ever really skied out west. compared to the east coast, I thought last year was great. this year has kind of sucked in comparison so far. there have been a few really nice days, but overall kind of lame. sad that I am turning into a snow snob already .. ?

  • Spank Tickleman

    My guess is (correct me if I’m wrong) that the ridge is just a natural part of the earths atmosphere just like storm systems and jet streams and anything else.. It’s just a lack of movement and can be defeated by a more “violent” moving system.. I believe and hope that it will simply be dissipated by a strong enough system but that system hasn’t come around the globe yet and we just have to keep washing our cars until it arrives to knock down the wall…

  • Road Trip

    Is anywhere in the west going to get snow while we stay dry?

    • Not really, it’s an all-encompassing ridge. There are chances for light snow in places like Montana, but most of the action should be in the midwest and New England until this pattern changes.

  • Faceplant

    I recently saw (in Time mag) that a stronger El Nino is forecast for 2014. Do you see anything to back that up? Seems like that would move the H out of the way.

    • Yep, the latest CPC ENSO discussion is talking about the possibility of an El Nino next year. But it is something like 40% chance of El Nino, 40% chance of neutral, and 20% chance of La Nina. So it is far from certain. Remember, both last winter and this winter were, at some point, forecasted to be El Nino years. We’ll just have to wait and see as we head through the summer into next fall.

  • Jake

    Is El Niño better for winter?

  • Darin
    • Thanks for the link Darin. El Nino is generally a bit better than normal, as is a strong La Nina. Utah isn’t nearly as impacted by ENSO cycles as the immediate Pacific coast. Generally, the farther south, the better during El Nino and vice versa for La Nina.

  • Darin

    You are welcome!