2-5″ of fresh snow fell in the Wasatch over the past 24 hours which should make for some soft turns. High pressure takes control for the rest of the this week into the weekend. A pattern shift still looking likely sometime next week.
Yesterday’s storm was certainly nothing spectacular but we saw a defined front push through followed but some instability showers during the evening and overnight. Yesterday we had forecasted 1-2″ with localized areas of 3-5″ possible. Today most resorts are reporting at least 2″ with several reporting 4 or 5″, so I’d say we did as well as we could have hoped. I will not be able to get up on the hill today so please comment with how it skis if you’re up there.
From today moving forward high pressure takes control for the rest of week and into the weekend. Temperatures are going to soar once again and Spring skiing returns as Furnace February continues. President’s Day weekend should be great though, just not powdery great.
Long-range models still in agreement that there will be a pattern shift some time late next week, probably toward the end of the week (2/20…ish). The deterministic and operational runs of the models are almost useless right now because every run has a different scenario. Some suggest a strong storm or even series of storms will others suggest only weak impulses dropping out of Canada with the ridge still firm to our west. The point is, until there is more agreement, I’m not going to put my trust in any one solution. However, agreement is good that there will be a change to the overall pattern. This is the Euro ensemble mean heights for this week (2/12):
The ridge is so strong and amplified with its axis right over us that I’m reminded of the Tower of Isengard. By next week, things start to change:
You can see that the high pressure gets pushed up over Alaska, this will potentially allow cold air and maybe some systems in the back door. It might also let the jet stream undercut the ridge and bring us systems via the Pacific.
You’ll notice I use the term “pattern shift” rather than “pattern change”. A shift is a subtler term for the over pattern undergoing a shift. In a pattern shift, you can get quick changes such as the ridge temporarily shifting northwestward. In this case, we could get a storm or two, but overall the pattern remains more-or-less the same. Now I’m not saying that this can’t develop into a full-scale pattern change, but it’s a bit early for us to know whether this will be just a quick shift or something greater. Anyway, over the coming days my attention will be fully focused on the long-range as I try to figure out what the most likely scenario for us is. Stay tuned… Any change is good change and hopefully we can take down Sauron and his mighty ridge of high pressure.