Dry and mild weather will dominate the region this week. Snow will likely affect the state again next weekend as a storm moves in off the Pacific.
No update yesterday as nothing had really changed from the Thursday/Friday discussion. Still not much new today, but at least we have a few more details. A ridge of high pressure is keeping most of the West and Central US drier and warmer than normal, including Utah. Our pre-Thanksgiving storm seems like a distant memory now as we’ve fallen back below normal for most areas of the Wasatch (Logan Pass is an exception). Those numbers will continue to fall this week as we’ve got another 5 days of no snow ahead of us.
Luckily, things look likely to change late in week into the weekend when a large Pacific trough moves into the West coast. This is going to push our ridge farther east. The mountains of Northern California should get a good dose of snowfall. The storm will weaken slightly as it fights the ridge, and in this scenario there is always the threat of splitting as it slowly tries to work eastward, but at this point it does look like we’ll get some snowfall.
Amounts right now are impossible to forecast as it will totally depend on degree of split this storm ends up having and how much it maintains its strength as it crosses the Great Basin. Timing is also a question mark… The GFS has the system moving in Friday night while the latest Euro holds off until Saturday afternoon. One thing that both models agree on is that this looks cooler than some of our recent storms. Snow levels will likely be under 6,000 feet and could be as low as valley floors, especially by the end of the event. Powder for the weekend warriors?
Most model runs over the past 48 hours have shown us returning quickly to ridging. The latest Euro was a bit more optimistic showing at least a weak system moving through by December 17. The MJO actually has moderately strong signal right now but is in an unfavorable phase. Toward the end of the month, that might move back in our favor. El Nino continues to strengthen slowly and is now just entering what would be considered a ‘moderate’ event. I’d expect to see at least some affects from that for Southern Utah as the winter progresses.