Good Signs for a Good Storm

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 7:06 am


Coldest morning of the year thus far! Warming up today with beautiful late fall weather continuing through the end of the work week.  Winds kick up late on Friday with our biggest snowstorm so far likely for the weekend!  Get Ready!


Cold morning out there! At least it seems so, although morning temps like this probably should have occurred several weeks ago in a normal year.  Here is a look at some of the temps around the area as of 6:30am:



Generally low 30s long the Wasatch Front with teens and 20s in the higher elevations.

High pressure will keep us clear for the rest of the work week with temps moderating upwards.  By Friday winds will pick up ahead of the next system.  Southwest winds should warm most areas up into the 70s again.

All attention is on the storm for this weekend.  I am currently in that awkward phase as a forecaster where I’ve been forecasting it for several days, there’s not much new to talk about, and it’s just hoping that models don’t change their mind and have things fall apart on us.  Good news is that this hasn’t happened yet — everything still looking good!  Snow should start during the day on Saturday and continue into Saturday night.  A cool, moist northwest flow behind the system could keep snow showers going through Monday.  Here is the current forecasted QPF thru Tuesday of next week:



The orange and red in the Wasatch equates to between 1-2 inches of liquid.  I think a conservative estimate right now would say that the high elevations would see 6-12″ of snow.  However, if things go our way, there are certain areas that could see over a foot.

There is plenty of cold air associated with this system as well.  Temps and snow levels will drop rapidly on Saturday.  Good chance snow levels drop down to Wasatch Front valley floors by Saturday night, however most of the precip should end by then so we’ll likely just see a few flurries in SLC.

This looks to be the beginning of a permanent base for most of the Wasatch.  It’s a “right side up” storm and it looks like it won’t sit there rotting for several weeks as more storms are forecasted in the long range (more on that in a second).  Not a bad scenario at all!

Long range:

Long-range model ensembles continue the trend of building a brief ridge over the area middle of next week before a large scale trough develops by about November 8 or so.  This trough looks like it might usher in a series of systems.  The EC and GFS both show several waves moving into the west coast from about the 8th until mid-month when their runs end.  CFSv2 supports this idea with above average precip anomalies showing up for week 3:



Way too early to say anything other than “it looks like it will remain unsettled.”  The first step in getting big storms is opening the door for big storms.  Let’s hope that door stays open for most of November!  At this point, despite our slow start to the season, I think resorts will likely have no problem opening on time if current trends hold!  Cheers to winter in the Wasatch!


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  • Steve

    I realize I should not latch onto one run of the GFS, but didn’t like the trend on latest run. Hopefully an outlier. Would be nice to get an upside surprise for a change, or at least not a disappointment.

    • Ben

      Love the website and your weather insights. I am a firm believer in “expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed” as the healthiest outlook to have on wasatch snow storms though.

    • Yep, Steve. That was the general trend in both the EC and the Canadian as well today was to keep us dry for longer after this weekend’s storm. Interesting considering the models had all been so consistent in an active pattern for so long. We’ll see what happens with model runs tonight and update in the AM. At least this weekend’s storm still looks very good!