Cool weather through Wednesday. Moisture moves into the region on Thursday with mountain snowfall likely. Another wave of moisture for the weekend. A stronger storm possible next week.
We are still in a cold airmass after the passing of yesterday’s front. Cold air continues to stream down into the region, however we should stay dry through Wednesday.
On Thursday, moisture will move off the Pacific and into the Great Basin. As mentioned the last few days, this system doesn’t have much in the way of dynamics or cold air with it. As precipitation increases, the snow levels should lift up to 6 or 7k feet. Showers should decrease Thursday night but with a continued northwest flow, we should see at least scattered showers through Friday. Total accumulations with this first wave should be in the 3-6″ range above 8,000 feet.
The next distinct wave looks like it will move through later in the day on Saturday. This time we have more of a distinguishable cold front. Snow levels could drop down near valley floors Saturday night. There is some disagreement still between the models, but at this point, another 3-6″ certainly seems reasonable. These systems through the weekend aren’t strong by any means, but they could be precursors of things to come…
By Sunday we should clear out as weak high pressure builds in. This looks like it will be short-lived, however, as all global models are currently indicating a potentially stronger trough for the middle of next week. Today, the models have abandoned the idea of a split or cut-off low forming from this trough, but there’s still plenty of time for that to change again. This system still is outside the 7-day window and therefore in the “long range” section, but confidence is increasing with each successive model run…
If you’re looking at the GFS lately, you’re probably wondering why I’m not more excited in the long range. The GFS has been consistent in bringing in a very active pattern to the area next week through Thanksgiving. I’m reserving my excitement right now because the Euro just hasn’t quite jumped on board. Being the better performing model, it’s got me reluctant to trust the GFS right now. There are some indications in the ECMWF ensembles popping up that support the idea of an active pattern continuing beyond what’s mentioned above, but I’m not going to get everyone excited right now just to get let down if it doesn’t work out. If you remember back around Halloween, all models were advertising an active pattern to develop after the first week of November. Clearly that didn’t happen…
For now, let’s keep the excitement in check. When it’s time to get rowdy, I’ll be sure to let you know. However, it’s safe to say that things are definitely looking up for us!
P.S. I always forget to mention things like this as they aren’t part of the actual forecast per se, but El Nino is now strengthening a bit more rapidly now. Could it be that it’s just arriving late to the party? Right now the 3.4 region SST anomalies are +0.8C, which is still only weak El Nino, but if it continues strengthening, we could at least have a moderate Nino on our hands… What does that mean for us? It means an increased likelihood of a strong southern jet and active weather to our south. Good for southern Utah…. but likely won’t have too much effect on our overall winter in the Wasatch…. still worth noting however….