We’ll get our big storms, just not quite yet…

Friday, October 31, 2014 at 7:14 am

Saturday PM update:

Southerly flow portion of the storm is ongoing.  Snow is falling above about 8,500 feet right now.  Here is look at Alta at 3pm:



Only expect a few inches from this part of the storm.  Flow will turn northwesterly tonight and tomorrow.  We’ll see how much we get from orographics.  Lake effect will also be a possibility in the Cottonwoods.  Right now I don’t expect much, but we’ve been surprised in these patterns before… Right now the forecast is still 3-6″ above 8K feet with 0-3″ between 6k and 8k feet….



Splitting storm system will impact the region this weekend.  Gusty winds tonight and tomorrow.  Showers late on Saturday with mountain snow likely Saturday night and Sunday.  Not a big storm.  High pressure returns next week.


So our system is starting to move into the west coast.  It is elongated with precip expected to affect virtually the entire coast line from Seattle to LA.  This elongation of the trough is what will eventually turn into a split trough as it tracks east through the Great Basin on Saturday.  If you remember from last week, this trough was originally forecasted to be a cut-off low pressure center.  Well cut-off lows are formed usually when a trough splits, so the models were on to something back then.

The big story tonight into tomorrow will be the wind.  Gusty south winds will warm temps, but make being outside less than enjoyable. The first piece of energy will eject north on Saturday.  This looks to bring most of its dynamics north of the area into Idaho, but Northern Utah should see some showers and even thunderstorms with the front on Saturday afternoon.

The second piece of energy will drop south into far Southern Utah on Saturday night into Sunday.  Mountains of far southern and eastern Utah could see some decent snowfall totals with this section of the storm.  In the meantime, a cool northwest flow will develop in Northern Utah, but we are so far from the main energy, I’m skeptical we’ll get too much out of the northwest flow.  In all honesty, it’s just not a good situation for most of our mountains to get decent snowfall.  Right now I’d expect just a few inches in the Wasatch, perhaps up to 6″ in the Uinta and maybe 5-10″ in the higher mountains of Southern Utah.  Most of the snow falling on Sunday…. Lake effect is still a possibility, but right now I’d classify it as unlikely to be strong enough to do anybody any good.

Here is an image of forecasted precip, you can see how much of it either goes north into Idaho, or south into Southern Utah or Arizona.  Northern Utah is left fairly dry…


Long range:

Next week high pressure takes over.  Warm weather looks to be in the cards for awhile.  Makes me think that perhaps getting less snow this weekend might actually be a blessing.  Some long range models are trying to bring an active pattern back to the area during the second week of November, but with model performance lately, I’m not buying it.  For now let’s just focus on the short-term and hope for the best.


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  • AT

    So we take our lumps and sit in wait for our first true winter storm (sooner rather than later if you please Mother Nature!!)

  • JoMaMa

    I understand when a storm splits, energy/moisture go north and south but, would you explain for me why they split and why it seems to happen so often for northern Utah?

    • Usually it’s just because when low pressure encounters high pressure they are two opposing forces. High pressure can cause a low pressure system to split as they fight for supremacy. I wouldn’t say it’s any more common here than anywhere else. It’s just something that happens occasionally. Just unfortunate that for a short period, this storm looked like it would hold up and stay consolidated.

  • Peter

    How confident are you that winter is gonna actually happen this year?

  • Ben

    It’s still October, there have been 600+ inch winters in the Wasatch when it doesn’t start snowing until late November or early December.

    This particular storm is splitting because I left work early yesterday to put the tire chains and drift cutters on my snowblower. Sorry everyone.

  • Tracy

    Thanks for taking responsibility, Ben 🙂

  • Matt

    I was so excited for this…oh well

  • Steve

    According to NOAA climate prediction forecast dryer and warmer than usual through the 16th. Not ideal.