Waiting For the Weekend

Monday, December 8, 2014 at 5:08 am


Dry and mild weather with valley haze remains through the work week.  Colder temps and mountains snowfall return this weekend!


Everything still on track…  We stay dry for the next few days with slightly inverted conditions and some valley haze.  Things start to change on Friday as a storm system approaches from the west.  This system is slow moving and tapping plenty of moisture, so Tahoe area is going to get battered with 2-3 feet in the higher elevations.  They desperately need it!

For us in Utah, the storm should start sometime Friday night.  The details right now are vague, but that’s the best timing we have so far.  Snow will continue through the day on Saturday.  This system is colder than others we’ve seen and snow levels should not be an issue with snow falling perhaps as low as the valley floors.  Unfortunately, the storm will have lost some of its punch as it progresses inland and encounters high pressure.  I’m still concerned it will split to some degree as well.  Here is the current QPF for the area through Sunday:



You can see how Tahoe gets hammered but we are left with mostly scraps.  Still, in this scenario the storm would likely be good for up to a foot of weekend powder, and we’ll take what we can get.

Long range: 

Currently models agree that we’ll dry out and get inverted for a few days early next week.  Some model runs have shown other systems moving in by middle of next week while other models keep us high and dry.  All storm systems have to overcome this massive ridging to our east that is shunting all energy away.  For right now we’ll have to just watch and hope that a consistent storm cycle can break through.


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  • Alex

    This is my first winter in Utah. Just wondering how common this ridging pattern is? Is it a constant struggle every winter for storms to break through or is this year somewhat of an exception?

  • Spank Tickleman

    Same question here. I’ve been following you for over a year now but I’m wondering is the ridging a consistent battle every year for Utah? Has it been an issue historically? Thanks for your awesomeness, Evan!

    • Ridging is normal. If you look at the data, statistically we are under a ridge more often than in a trough, but yes, it seems like the last few years we’ve been having more trouble breaking down ridges. I don’t think it’s indicative of something larger. We’ve still seen 400+” of snow in the Cottonwoods. Still one of the snowiest places in the world!

  • Mark

    This is the 4th winter in a row where ridging has been kicking our ass.

  • Steve

    So, Evan, the trend on the GFS seems to be headed in wrong direction on this upcoming storm. And then it looks like the ridge is kicking our butt. I know you were concerned about the splitting and/or weakening. Thoughts?

    • Not much of a trend really, just normal run-to-run variation. I’ll talk about it in my latest discussion.

  • Luke

    looking to visit Utah in late Jan. Should I be worried about the lack of snow and perhaps change my plans?

    • Absolutely not. We will be 100% open by then. We are only slightly below normal right now with more snow in the forecast.