(Not nearly as bleak as previous discussions)

Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 8:55 am


A weak system will bring a brief interruption to our “Indian Summer” on Tuesday and Wednesday before high pressure returns for the end of the week into next weekend.  Models continuing to trend toward a chance for unsettled weather to return by the end of the month.


Benign Fall weather will continue for the next few days.  A system will move into the west coast and Great Basin on Tuesday.  Most of the energy with this system will either lift north of the area, or weaken as it encounters high pressure, but enough energy should remain to give northern Utah a chance for a few showers.  Snow levels will start out above 10,000 feet but will drop down to near 7,000 feet on Tuesday night behind the cold front.  Accumulations should be light, an inch or two on the peaks.  Sometimes these early season systems surprise us with a bit more snow than expected, so we’ll have to watch, but at this point it looks like just a dusting.

High pressure will return in full strength late in the work week and into next weekend with temperatures once again climbing well above normal.

Attention then starts to turn toward potential pattern change for the end of the month.  The GFS’s latest run is much quicker than the EC in bringing in a system as early as late next weekend (10/26).  Here is the forecast ensemble mean heights from the GFS model for the 26th.



The cool colors over the Western states indicate that most GFS ensembles think there will be a trough of low pressure over the area.  The operational GFS shows a moderate system moving in around Monday, 10/27.

I don’t trust the GFS with this initial system because 1) It’s the GFS which is inherently fickle, and 2) the much more reliable ECMWF (Euro) model doesn’t show the trough developing until Wednesday the 29th.  The operational EC goes out 10-days from today and it shows a system just beginning to enter the Great Basin on the last frame of it’s run.  This idea is supported by the EC’s ensemble mean heights for 10/29:



Like the GFS, the EC above shows a broad trough over the western states.  Right now it’s just too far out to forecast individual storm systems, but it does appear that we’ll at least open the door a bit for storms. We can only hope that we get one or more decent dumps to get our 2014-15 base building underway.

Remember that this potential pattern change is still nearly 10 days away and there is plenty of time for the models to change their minds and break our hearts again.  But for the first time in two weeks or so, I have something with real potential to talk about.  Fingers crossed!


P.S. If you have ski burning, beard growing, or any other snow-summoning rituals.  Now is the time to put them into practice.

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  • The 06Z GFS shows a nice little trough over Utah by Sunday the 26th, waiting to take a look at the 12Z GFS. Possible hope but nothing to get excited about unless the 12Z ECMWF comes around as well.

    • Isn’t that what I said?

      • Yes, I thought I read the 27th this morning rather than the 26th. Sorry…

    • 12z GFS held on to that idea for the most part… all eyes on the 12z EC… 😉

      • The 12Z ECMWF has the same trough but one day later on Monday the 27th. Winter may finally come!

  • Steve

    Nice to see a glimmer.