GFS is a tease…

Friday, October 10, 2014 at 6:58 am

Friday AM update:

The GFS is at it again! After backing off yesterday, it once again wants to bring in a series of systems late next week.  The EC has been much more consistent and weakens these disturbances as they move inland from the Pacific Northwest, keeping most of the energy well north of the area.

Let’s break down the forecast by time periods for simplicity:

Today(Friday-Saturday:  Warm and dry.  Breezes could pick up late in the day on Saturday as a cold front approaches.

Sunday:  Far nothern and eastern Utah get clipped by a system dropping down the continental divide.  Temps will drop 15 degrees or so from Saturday with a chance for a few light snow showers in the high Uintas and northern Wasatch.

Monday-Wednesday:  Warming back up with dry conditions as a trough digs off the Pacific Northwest coast.

Thursday (10/16) and beyond:  Model differences abound! EC shows us as being slightly unsettled getting clipped by very weak energy, GFS shows more progressive pattern with a series of systems entering the Great Basin.  Right now, my trust is with the EC… WSF



Cooler weather with a chance for a few high elevation snow showers will enter the region on Sunday.  Next week looks a bit cooler and windy with a chance for a few light snow showers, but nothing major in sight.


Earlier this week the GFS teased us by developing a large trough in the Eastern Pacific, then progressing it inland over the western states.  This pattern would have given us a good shot at snowfall for the mountains.  Unfortunately, the other major model, the ECMWF (Euro) did not agree.  The Euro also developed a trough (albeit not as deep) in the Eastern Pacific, but rather than progress inland, the trough stayed put before eventually retrograding further into the Pacific, allowing Utah to ridge up again.

As has so often been the case in recent years, the Euro proved to have the better handle on things.  I like the GFS, after all it’s American, and it does occasionally have a forecasting victory over its rival.  But overall, the Euro is kicking the GFS’s butt and this is yet another example.

The series of systems will now likely stay mostly north and west of our area next week — the Cascades might get their first decent snowfall — but we’ll be stuck with just a little bit of cooler air on Sunday as a system slides down the Rockies.  Both models show a few showers in the Northern Wasatch and Uintas, but not enough for serious accumulation.

There is still plenty of time for the models to decide that one or more of next week’s systems will penetrate far enough south and east to give us some mountain snowfall.  But for now it looks unlikely.

Long range:

GFS and EC more or less agree that eventually that trough in the Pacific northwest will retrograde into the Pacific and allow an amplified ridge of high pressure to dominate our weather for a bit.  It might be awhile before we start building that base.


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