Warm and dry through Thursday. Change arrives this weekend with much colder air and snow likely. The overall pattern is starting to gradually change toward one that will be more favorable for storms.
Yesterday we felt cool air once again in the region with even a couple snow showers here and there. Despite the massive cool down, believe it or not, yesterday was still warmer than average. In fact, I think we’ve been above average every day in SLC since January 4th. A remarkable statistic. The next few days should be no different as warm and dry air dominate the region. Here is a look at our current pattern:
The green arrows indicate the approximate storm track. You can see the ridge axis is right along the west coast and Utah is on the far right edge of the ridge. This keeps us blocked with the storms and cold air diving down just to our east.
By this weekend, the ridge will amplify a bit, which will allow some cold air and storm energy to dive a bit farther west and into the area:
This will allow us to see some snowfall in Utah this weekend. Details are still a bit vague, but late Friday through the weekend we should see periods of snowfall. This system has an overland trajectory so there isn’t much moisture to work with, therefore accumulations should remain on the lighter side. It will be nice to see colder air and snow in the sky again.
By the middle of next week, the ridge off the west coast starts to move west, this will allow storms to move in with a bit more over-water track in a more zonal flow. This is the approximate heights and storm track on 2/26:
By the time we reach the end of the month, GFS and Euro ensembles agree that a trough is likely over the western U.S. Here is what is currently depicted:
This is a stark contrast to the pattern we’ve seen for the past two months. It is a pattern that is much more likely to bring the region consistent snowfall. At this point, it does appear that the large scale pattern will be changing as we approach March, we are already starting to see the first symptoms of the change. Any change is good change right now, so I think it’s safe for us to be cautiously optimistic. However, with our track record of late, I think it would be foolish to get excited at this point. Until actual strong storms start appearing in the medium range models, I think we should just maintain that cautious optimism.
Whatever happens, I’ll make sure you’re informed…