A weak feature will bring a chance for light valley rain and mountain snow showers to mostly Central and Southern Utah late Saturday into Saturday night. A stronger system will move into the state on Monday, however the exact track of this system remains uncertain.
We’ve got a system splitting off the west coast today, eventually the southern split of this system will meander into southern Utah late on Saturday. Expect snow in the mountains of southern and central Utah. Snowfall amounts should be light, generally in the 2-4″ range above 7,000ft south of Provo. There is a chance this could take a more northerly track and bring mountains near SLC some snowfall, but at best it’ll just be a couple inches Saturday night.
The stronger system is moving into Utah out of the northwest on Monday. GFS has now been consistently showing this system dropping west of the Wasatch and into Eastern Nevada before cutting through Southern Utah. In this scenario, Northern Utah mountains would likely only receive a few inches of snow with Southern Utah seeing the more significant amounts. Yesterday, the 12z Euro also shifted to this more westerly scenario. The 00z EC this morning, however, went back in the direction of a more direct hit for the entire state — making the forecast a tough call.
Personally, I think the consistency of the GFS is telling. From experience, these systems that “close off’ generally close off sooner than models expect and end up tracking farther south than anticipated. Therefore, unless the GFS moves toward the EC, I think we can expect Southern Utah to see the brunt of this system. Right now I would guess we’ll be looking at 6-12″ of snowfall for southern Utah mountains with 3-6” for the Wasatch late Monday into Tuesday morning. I will probably update again today around noon as the latest model suite comes in and we have a better idea.
We go back to ridging by the middle of next week. Inversions should redevelop and perhaps be a bit worse this time around as we’ll be starting with colder air. It looks like our next chance for a storm will be January 19th or so… Still waiting for a lare-scale pattern change…