A beautiful day in the high country with a dusting of snow coupled with aspens nearing their peak color. This is the coldest airmass we have seen thus far this autumn with 700mb temps down to -3C across much of Utah. Tonight we will drop down below freezing in mountain valleys, so PC/Heber/Ogden valleys should prepare for a hard freeze. Snow levels have been as low as 6,500 feet this morning as a few scattered showers have traversed the region. Expect only a few more scattered showers this afternoon before we clear out on Thursday and warm up through the weekend. By early next week, temps should be appreciably above normal with low 80s possible in SLC and 60s in the mountains.
High pressure still looks set to dominate the weather for the next 10 days or so, however models are hinting at a pattern shift between October 10-15. EC has been showing this in ensembles for the past two days and the GFS ensembles are slowly climbing on board. Still too early to know what specifically that will mean for us, but it should certainly give us a better chance of storms moving into the area. We’ll continue to watch and update accordingly… WSF
Tuesday update: Not much new to take about today. Still expecting showers to pick up this afternoon into this evening with some snow above 8k feet and light accumulation above 9k feet. We’ll clear out starting Wednesday with temps warming back up above normal by the weekend. Dry and quiet weather still looks to continue for at least the next week. Not much showing up in the long-range models just yet…
A few weak waves of energy will keep the threat of showers around thru Wednesday (10/1). Beyond that, we ridge up and dry out with warmer than normal temps expected for the foreseeable future.
It’s that time of year again when winter storms quickly become the norm. Our last system this weekend was more of a hybrid between a winter Pacific trough and a summer monsoonal moisture surge. The combination of the two led to some impressive rainfall amounts between 1 and 3 inches of liquid. It also meant that snow levels for most of the event were at, or above, 11k feet. Only dropping down to about 8k feet after most precipitation had ended. The mountain peaks received a few slushy inches that should melt completely by the end of the week, so no need to worry about weak base facets in the backcountry just yet.
A broad trough overhead currently means that there are two weak impulses that will move into the region over the next 48 hours. The first will move through late today (Monday) and bring the threat of showers and thunderstorms (and high elevation snow) this afternoon and tonight. The second impulse comes in late on Tuesday into early Wednesday and will reignite showers and storms. Neither impulse is overly moist or dynamic, so don’t expect anything other than widely scattered showers/storms.
By Thursday, high pressure starts to build just to our west and will strengthen through the weekend. Temps will warm and we will remain totally dry for at least a week. Highs in SLC should climb at least back into the low 80s. Maybe not what most people want, but it should make for some great Autumn recreation weather — good time to get in some last high elevation camping/biking/etc.
At this point, you have to get real speculative to see anything in the way of winter storms in our future. GEFS ensembles generally keep some sort of ridge overhead through the middle of October. ECMWF (Euro) ensembles have a bit more hope, with many depicting a trough to develop over the Rocky Mountain region during the second week of the month. The good news, if you’re hoping for storms, is that Autumn is a transition season and the models are notoriously poor at picking up on pattern changes in the long range. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if something unexpected popped up in the next few days.