Mr. Gorbachev: Tear Down This Ridge

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7:15 am


A very weak system passed to our east last night, bringing a few clouds and breezes to the area, however it wasn’t enough to mix out valley inversions.  Therefore, valley haze with dry and mild conditions in the mountains will persist through the weekend.  Pattern change starts to take shape next week.


Strengthening high pressure this weekend will keep inversions strong.  Mountains will stay dry and mild through at least Tuesday.

Long range:

Pattern change still looking good.  Models had a tough time trying to decipher exactly how this pattern change was going to take place over the last few days but they are currently in decent agreement.  Ridge is going to start to break down early next week.  The system that is doing most of the breaking down of the ridge will weaken considerably and be pushed mostly to our north — leaving us with only a chance for a few showers next Wednesday in far northern Utah.  Even this preliminary system is still 6+ days away so details will likely change.

A ridge will then start to build in the Eastern Pacific.  This may sound bad as it can often block storms, but at this time it looks like it will set up far enough west to allow for a deep trough to carve across the west.  Both the GFS and EC show a second system dropping into the area around Feb 1-2.  This system is 8-9 days away so the forecast is subject to change, but right now it looks like it could be a better snow producer.  Beyond that, it’s hard to say with any confidence at all what the pattern has in store for us.  Hopefully we’ll continue to see systems through the first week of February.

Since we all like pictures, here is the ridge position on January 28:


And here it is on February 2, the end of the ECMWF deterministic run:


Generally speaking, the ‘cooler’ the colors, the better.

As we get closer, we’ll get more confident with individual storms, but at this point the pattern change looks good.


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  • Thanks for the good news, WSF. Gives us hope!!!

  • Sam

    You’ve really stepped it up lately with the titles of your post. Tight work.

  • jnrubens

    Weather Channel – 10 day forecast is calling for a mix of snow/rain starting next Thursday. Do you see a possibility of rain?

  • John H

    Consensus for change is growing! More weather geeks saying essentially “This sucks, but there is hope just over the horizon” See link:

    BTW, Was at Alta on Tuesday, still good snow on north faces, but the inversion in SLC is REALLY bad. Traffic slowed to a crawl at dawn in the valley due to thick freezing fog/smog….

  • Should we start washing our cars again? It helped last time. 🙂