Update Saturday 10/4:
Ridging still expected to keep the region relatively warm and dry for the foreseeable future. Looking at long range models trying to figure out when/if the ridge breaks down enough to allow systems into the area. Here is the forecasted height anomalies for Sunday (10/5):
The warm colors indicate high pressure whereas the cool colors are troughs of low pressure. Notice the broad trough over the midwest/Great Lakes with a ridge placed along the west coast. This pattern is what will keep us warm and dry for the next week or more. All storms will pass well to our north and east. By October 13th, the pattern is forecasted to evolve ever so slightly to this:
Notice there is still ridging to the west of Utah, however the low pressure trough has retrograded west as well and now Utah is forecasted to be more under the influence of this trough rather than the ridge. All models show this to some degree, but disagree on the details. The ECMWF has the trough moving far enough west to give the Rocky Mountain region, including Utah, some chances for snow starting about October 11. The GFS and Canadian GEM have the trough farther east and keep most cold air and energy east of us over the Great Plains. This is a tough situation to forecast because the difference of just a few hundred miles in the placement of the jet stream would be the difference between cold and snow, just some cool air, or a continuation of warm and dry. We’ll just have to wait to get into closer range before we know for sure what will happen… WSF
High pressure ridge is building and we’ll see a warming trend over the next several days. We remain warm and dry through at least the next 10 days.
Our trough is moving out of the area and leaving cool air in its wake. Temps dropped below freezing for many mountain valleys this morning. Snow fell throughout the high elevations of the Wasatch over the past several days with most locations above 9,000 feet receiving 1-4″.
A ridge will move overhead and strengthen over the next several days, allowing us to warm up and dry out. Temps should be above normal by the end of the weekend. Should be a great weekend to go have a look at the Fall foliage which is near peak in many mountain locations now. The warm, dry conditions look set to last through at least the next 9 days — affording a perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy a few last high mountain bike rides (snow that fell should melt), a camping trip, or whatever else tickles your recreational fancy. Ridges like this in October are not so bad (certainly much better than in December/January). If we were to get an early season significant snowfall, we’d be running the risk of developing a rotted base layer. Such was the case in Fall 2011 when up to 2 feet fell in early October then sat there for nearly six weeks before the next storm cycle came in. If you remember, it led to dangerous avy conditions all season.
GFS operational model has been fairly consistent in retrograding the ridge into the Eastern Pacific by October 10, which would perhaps open the door for some cold systems to drop down from Western Canada. EC has also shown this in some of it’s ensembles but it has yet to develop in its 10-day operational model (which runs through Oct 11). Overall, it seems like there might be a chance for active weather to return around the middle of the month, but it’s still too early to know anything for sure. Stay tuned…