Valley rain, Mountain snow for the entire state

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 7:51 am


Two more days of dry, mild weather before a pattern change sees storms undercut the ridge.  The first storm arrives on Thursday, bringing snow to all mountains of Utah above 6,500 feet with valley rain.  A second, possibly stronger, storm moves in late Friday into Saturday.  This storm will bring another round of mountain snow and valley rain through the weekend.


More of the same for today — dry weather with mild temps and mostly sunny skies.  Tomorrow we continue with dry and mild, but will see an increase in clouds throughout the day.

By Thursday morning, a storm pushing into California will make its way into the Great Basin and bring a threat for precipitation to Utah.  This system should affect nearly the entire state with heavy snow possible in the mountains Thursday afternoon and evening.  The system isn’t overly strong and is moving fairly quickly.  It will also be a “ridge busting” storm which have a tendency to weaken even more than models predict as they break down the ridge.  Right now, I think it’s best to air on the conservative side with forecasted totals for this first storm and say 4-8″ above 7,000 feet throughout Utah by Friday morning.

Friday will be a break before the next system moves in Friday night.  This system looks stronger with even more moisture.  My main concern is that the best energy will track to our south.  However, at this time it looks like snow above 6,500 feet with rain below that will prevail for much of the weekend with significant snow accumulations possible.

Model-to-model and run-to-run consistency has been very good all week so my confidence is high regarding this pattern.  If all goes according to plan, mountains of Utah could easily see 1-3 feet of new snow by Monday of next week.

Here is the GFS’s qpf through Monday:



You can see a large swath of 1-3″ of liquid over Northern Utah.  Here is the Canadian GEM model:



Even more optimistic for precip amounts..

The ECMWF is even more promising than either of these.

Snow should dwindle during the day Sunday and clear out by Monday.

Long range:

Dramatic differences in the models in the long range.  EC keeps disturbances moving through the area all next week with light to moderate amounts with each wave. The GEM more or less agrees but the GFS ridges us up after Monday and keeps storms out of the area through for the entirety of next week.  This was the case yesterday as well and neither model has budged on its solution, so we’ll just have to wait and see which model has the better handle on things.


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5 thoughts on “Valley rain, Mountain snow for the entire state

  1. we need snow

    you mention the first low undercutting the High and than you mention that the first storm will be busting the ridge down. If a low undercuts a High pressure is it necessary breaking the ridge down or is the ridge just getting squeezed out of the way for the time being?

  2. Tom Miner

    Looks awesome for the weekend! On a grammatical note, it is to “err on the side of” not “to air on the side of”, unless you were taking a stab at a pun (being a weather guy and all). Keep up the good work!

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