Carefree! Wherever you may be…

Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 7:31 am


The southern Utah storm is moving out and we will have dry weather late today through Sunday night.  Moisture starts to stream into far northern Utah on Monday with high elevation snow possible at times thru midweek.


Southern Utah mountains saw periods of snow for much of the past 36 hours, while northern Utah got a few showers overnight.  Totals down south were 6″ at Brian Head with 9″ reported at Eagle Point.  Up in northern Utah, Cottonwoods/PC received 2-3″ since Thursday night.  Up north, Snowbasin not reporting new snow but PowMow is reporting 2″ as well.  Certainly nothing to write home about, but a small refresher.

High pressure will take control again later today and tomorrow.  The ridge will flatten a bit on Monday.  This is going to allow moisture to stream into the area along a boundary.  The exact latitude of that boundary is critical in determining how much snowfall we get in the Wasatch.  Yesterday, most models had the moisture staying north of us for the most part.  Today, they are, on average, a bit farther south.  The ECMWF (Euro) keeps the best moisture north of the area, but does bring a fair amount to far northern Utah:


The GFS, on the other hand, is much farther south with where the best moisture will be:


You can see the stripe of heavier QPF extending across Northern Nevada and right into the heart of the Wasatch.  The Canadian GEM is somewhere in between the Euro and GFS:


Long story short…  If the Euro verifies, we’ll get a few inches above 8,000 feet between Monday evening and Wednesday with a bit more possible right up at the Idaho border.  If the GFS verifies, elevations above 7,000 feet in the Wasatch could see a up to a foot during this same time period.  The most likely scenario is probably something in between.  Right now, there is good deal of uncertainty and a small shift north or south can have a huge impact.

By Thursday of next week, we ridge up again.  GFS and Euro both bring systems into the Pacific Northwest starting late next week.  A ridge over the central US will weaken these systems as they move inland, but there is some hope that they will stay together long enough to bring us some snowfall next weekend into early the following week.

The general trend in the models continues to favor ridging.  This animated GIF shows the ECMWF ensemble mean heights through the middle of the month.  You can see by the warm colors that generally ridging is favored.  Doesn’t mean the occasional system can’t sneak into the region, but consistent snowfall may be hard to come by:


Anyway, it’s Super Bowl weekend, and fittingly I’m off to watch football… of the European variety… before hitting the mountains this afternoon.  Enjoy your weekend!  Slowly things are starting to look better for us to return to winter in the Wasatch…. Keep up the rituals!


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  • Tim Bowers

    there was some hope in the 00z GFS where 1.5″ of liquid was forecasted for the next 2 weeks….the greatest amound depicted since I don’t know when (maybe 3-4 weeks) but the 06z model run backs off to the 0.75-1.00″ range.

  • John Terry

    Wherever you may be,
    coz we are the famous CFC,
    we don’t give a fuck,
    whoever you may be,
    coz we are the famous CFC

    • Diego Costa

      The game would have been better if they’d have let me play today. I swear I didn’t stamp on anyone’s feet, the refs are out to get me.

  • Darren

    When looking at the animated GIF, it looks like the red colors across the west appear to break down around Feb 14/15 and show transitioning to lighter colors. Does this indicate a possible breakdown of the ridge and a potential pattern change around that time?

    • Not really, it usually just means that since it’s a mean of ensembles and since it’s so far out in time, the models are less sure of themselves and therefore lend to lighter colors.

  • tuan

    Thanks for the update Evan. That long range forecast for the entire western region is BLEAK. I think its safe to say, other than Jackson Hole and Mountain, the entire western and central ski slopes are having a pretty rough year. I was in Whistler recently and its BAD there also.