Undercutting of the Westerlies likely

Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 7:32 am

Sunday Update:

A cool northwest flow continued yesterday with the best moisture to our north.  Beaver Mountain, close to the Idaho border, saw 11″ of new snow!!! Everywhere else saw 0-1″…

Nothing changed in the forecast from yesterday… Models in remarkably good agreement with very good consistency.  Dry weather and mild temps for the next few days with occasional clouds. Storm moves in on Thursday with valley rain and snow above 6,500 feet.  I’ll take a first look at amounts tomorrow, but right now they look to be moderate with the first system.  Another system still on track for Friday night/Saturday and possibly a third for next Monday.  Active weather lies ahead for all of Utah!  WSF




Cool northwest flow will continue for one more day with a clouds and a chance for light snow in the mountains of Northern Utah.  Break for Sunday through Wednesday with mild temps.  Pattern change likely to bring valley rain and mountain snow to the area starting on Thursday, lasting into next weekend.


Nothing has really changed in the forecast.  A chance for a few snow showers today in areas that are favored by the northwest flow.

3-4 days of break starts on Sunday with warm, almost Spring-like, temperatures.  Clouds increase on Wednesday ahead of a trough that will under cut the ridge on Thursday.  Rain will be likely by late Thursday in Utah valleys with mountain snowfall.  At this time, the snow levels look high, but not nearly as high as the warm storms we had a couple weeks ago.  I’d say 6,000 feet or so is more likely.

Possibly a break on Friday before the next, potentially stronger storm moves into the area on Friday night into Saturday.  Another weaker storm may follow on Monday, March 3.

These systems have a lot of moisture but are moving into the area from the WSW which is not the most favorable direction for significant snowfall.  The good news is that they are large systems that will affect the entire state of Utah.  So southern Utah, which has been neglected lately, will have a good shot at fresh snow.

Long range:

The MJO is on the move again…. still in unfavorable phases as it just not looks to be entering phase 7 (blue line):


The farther out of that inner circle, the stronger the MJO is.  What we want is for the MJO to propagate eastward into the South Pacific, that would move the MJO into phases 8,1,2,3,4  (counter-clockwise on the graph).  These phases are much more favorable for us and would be much more likely to force extended periods of wet weather during March/April.  Several times this season, we’ve seen the MJO strengthen into phases 6 or 7 only to die again.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again…



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  • Darren Pasquino

    Any bluebird days during the first week of March when we will be at PC??

  • I am so happy to hear that! I wanted to have fresh snow for the Wasatch Showdown http://www.wasatchshowdown.com
    on Saturday March 1! I know it’s a week away but I am looking forward to hearing some numbers for Saturday morning. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that everything stays on track. Thanks for everything you do Wasatch snow forecast !

  • Jason

    The showdown is awesome!

  • For the first time since July 2013 the monthly outlook has above normal precipitation for parts of Utah in March. Go to http://utahweather.blogspot.com to see the March outlook since I don’t know how to post pictures here.

  • Is it typical to get this much rain in the valley in February?

    This is my first year in the area and I was expecting us to be blanketed in snow right about now, not completely bare of it below 8000 feet.

  • jughead

    Seems like the temperatures for next weeks storms keep fluctuating.Any reason that you see in the models for this?

  • Eric Lewis

    So, now I know what it means to say “Got my MJO working'”!

  • Steve

    Any thoughts on forecast after March 3? GFS operational models bouncing around a bit. Curious what other models showing. Of course, I do understand that far out is very uncertain.