A Nice Surprise

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 7:32 am


Warm and sunny this week.  Some clouds and a bit of cooling this weekend.  A storm is possible for the entire state on Monday.


Nothing new in the short term.   Warm temps and sun on the mountain.  Relatively cool temps and haze in the valleys as the inversions strengthen.

This weekend we have some weak waves moving both to our south and far to our north.  We should see an increase in clouds but it is looking less likely we’ll see any precipitation and the inversions should stick around through the weekend.

The big development over the past 24 hours was that models are now taking a wave for next week that was originally looking like a weak brush-by system and making it look stronger and more consolidated as it passes directly through Utah.  This system looks like it will affect the region on Monday with snow falling in the mountains and likely the valleys as well.

There are still big question marks right now as this definitely looks to be a one-and-done system that breaks through a temporarily flattened ridge.  Until we have a few more model runs of consistently showing this system, I’m going to err on the side of caution.  However, be aware the Monday could be a powder day if things go our way.  Here is a look at the current model QPF for this system:



Don’t pay too much attention to any of the numbers in that image, this is a low resolution model and as we get closer these numbers will be fine tuned.  IF things work out for us, it could be at least a moderate storm!  Right now that is a big “IF”…   But yesterday the models showed far less potential for anything to deliver any new snow at all to us, so this is definitely a victory.  As I always say, everything outside the 5-day range is subject to change completely.  That is about the extent of model reliability.  Yes we can get a general feel for the pattern beyond that, but the specifics are always changing.


Long range:

Models still generally agree that the pattern will pick up in intensity and frequency of storms after mid-month.  At this point it is still too early to know any details whatsoever other than “it looks to get stormier”….


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  • Guy

    Love your work. I read your posts every day! Thank you so much. I’m from Pittsburgh. My wife and friends visit the wasatch every year!

    On another note. Do you know of any blog that details the snow forecast like you do for the Whistler area?

    Thanks again!

  • Andy

    Getting in on Sat and even the prospect of a Monday powder day is enough to make me shed tears of joy!

  • Steve

    According to NWS, the EC is much more bullish on the storm than the GFS. Would be nice for a change for the more bullish model to win out.

  • Tim Bowers

    12z GFS really backs off on the event 18th-20th. Like, REALLY backs off. And the event for the 12th-13th does not give much in the way of accumulation. Perhaps up to 3″

    • GFS solution for next week worries me only because it shows more inclination to drop the best energy to our west. However, the GFS does not pick up orographic influences well since it is a low-res model. Amounts would be far greater than 3″ if the 12z solution verifies, especially in Central and Southern Utah mountains.

  • Charlie

    Interesting article on weather models and accuracy on today’s Morning Edition http://www.npr.org/2015/01/07/375544023/noaa-to-upgrade-its-computer-driven-weather-forecasts
    Seems that the EC model is considerably more sophisticated, with more computing power than the US models and is generally considered to be more accurate. Hope that’s the case here!

    • Yep, euro has been much better for quite awhile now. The GFS has seen recent upgrades without much success. Hoping the next one offers a big improvment!

      • Russ

        I like checking model runs on the GFS because it is very user-friendly for someone like me who doesn’t know much, meteorologically. Is there an EC web page that makes it easy to see model runs for the euro? The only page i’ve been able to find was very difficult to use and way above my head. I’d love to be able to check the EC periodically as well in conjunction with your frequent, and I must say, fantastic reports. Thanks!

        • Tim Bowers

          Unfortunately, the Euro model doesn’t give the public much data, such as 6 hourly increments, vorticity, or precipitation/snowfall. The only site I can find that produces such data is wunderground.com (owned by TWC) where their wundermaps provide some more insight on the euro model. For instance, in their 12z run, the ECMWF drops 4-5″ on LCC/UCC/PC for the 6 (or 12?) hours ending 11am Monday the 12th. Best hope showing there in the past few days of model runs going out that far.

  • star

    stupid weather man how the hell could it get less stormy? then this lame season has?

  • Ben

    This season has been great by Utah standards of the last 5 years, which means it will suck 98% of the time, and about once or twice a month you’ll get a truly epic day. Ski Utah: The Greatest Snow Job on Earth.

  • Tim Bowers

    Overnight models are not looking good. Still looks like some snow during the day on Monday. Both GFS and ECMWF call for that so I think the likelihood is 80-90%. However, accumulations will be weak, very weak. Like 1-3″ weak. Then there’s the long range. Maybe some dustings the 18th and 19th followed up with a meh Jan 21-23 event where 3-8″ is the progged range for the ski areas.