Warm and dry weather will be the story this weekend with deteriorating air quality in the valleys. Good weekend for BBQs in the ski resort parking lot. A cutoff low will move in from the south middle of next week for a chance for high elevation snow showers.
High pressure is strengthening and we will be warming over the next few days. Stagnant air in the valleys will result in worsening air quality. We’ve been lucky to have clean air the last few days as we’ve had sufficient mixing of the low levels, but that won’t continue unfortunately. The mountains will really see the big warmup with temps reaching 50F or higher at elevation by Monday. if you want to get up into the clean air and work on your goggle tan, this weekend will be the time. I’m bringing up the lawn chairs myself and having a little bbq out of the back of my car. It’s not ideal to not have fresh snow, but gotta make the most of it.
We do have a chance for snow in the forecast for once. Two days ago, I mentioned the monsoon-like cutoff low that would be transporting sub-tropical moisture into the area. Well that system is still there. It looks like it will move into Utah on Tuesday into Wednesday of next week. You can see it move north into our area in this image of the Canadian GEM model:
It is certainly not a big system, and because of it’s tropical origins, the snow levels will be high. I think above 8,000 feet is where the snow will fall, but I doubt it will be more than a few inches. Who knows? We could get lucky. Some storm energy is better than no storm energy. That’s for sure!
It’s no secret that what we need is a major pattern change. As some of you may be seeing if you look at the GFS, that operational model has been desperately trying to bring storms into the west coast beginning in early February. Unfortunately, the GFS has a tendency to jump the gun on pattern changes. The Euro is less optimistic about a pattern change. It’s ensembles favor ridging through the first week of February.
A look at the CFSv2, which is designed for super long range forecasting shows us the following precip for the next 10 days:
Not much, the only precip for Utah is the meager amount generated by next week’s cutoff low. Then the following ten days (Feb 2 -12):
Things are starting to pick up but still nothing major making it to Utah. Then finally, the following 10 days (Feb 12 – 22):
Things get hot and heavy for the West, including Utah. Now this is 20-30 days out from now. I’ve made no secret over the last few years that I am not a fan of the CFS model, but I’m really having to dig to find good news. I do think this pattern will break and we will start piling up snow again. I’m just not sure when it will happen. Obviously the sooner the better, but patience may be needed. Keep the faith!