If you read yesterday’s discussion (below), you’ll know that the models have been struggling to figure out what will happen for the rest of October. Today is no different. Right now, both models bring a combination of the sub-tropical low pressure off the coast of California and a splitting Pacific trough into the west this weekend. This will bring a chance for showers to the region this weekend with snow levels finally lowering after the trough passage on Monday. A dusting to a couple inches is possible above 8,000 feet.
That is where model similarities end. If you just watch the GFS, you’re probably excited with today’s 06z run. It definitely looked promising with several storms rolling into the region. Unfortunately, the ECMWF and the GEM are both much less keen on this idea. High pressure is generally stubborn in nature (especially the last few years), so as of right now I’m siding with the EC. The EC ensembles do indicate troughing developing by about Oct-24 which is just outside its 10-day deterministic run. Overall, I do think we will see a more active pattern by the end of the month. I think the GFS is probably a bit too eager to get things going… The next run or two of the ECMWF will be telling.
At least I have something to talk about… WSF
Continued warm and dry this week. A system will affect the region late in the weekend into early next week with light snow possible in the high elevations. Still waiting on a more definitive winter pattern.
It was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me over the weekend. Late Friday into Saturday, there were three straight runs of the GFS that really got me (and other weather watchers) excited. The GFS showed the rex-block pattern we are currently seeing breaking down later this week with a progression of stronger, colder storms into the area through the third and fourth weeks of October. Unfortunately, the Euro was slower to pick up on this pattern, and eventually the GFS started to lose this idea in the long range as well. Lame!
It will remain warm and dry this week. Temperatures have truly been astoundingly warm this Fall so far. If you remember back a couple weeks, I mentioned on a number of occasions that El Nino often leads to very warm and often dry Octobers and Novembers — often kicking into gear during December once the jet stream finally strengthens and drops far enough south. Unfortunately, that prognostication seems to be coming to fruition as October will likely be one of the warmest on record for Utah, barring a major cool down later this month.
A good friend of mine bought himself a new camera and lens and wanted to try his hand at astrophotography this weekend during the Draconid Meteor Shower. I jumped at the chance to get into the mountains during the dead of night. The cool temperatures at midnight (around 50) were about average for what we should be seeing for highs, which illustrates just how warm it’s been. I did manage to snap this pic of the new photographer hard at work under the stars:
Luckily for us, there is a cool down (back to normal values) in sight with a chance for showers and high elevation snowflakes. Both the GFS and Euro agree on a system late Sunday thru Tuesday of next week (Oct 18-20). There is significant disagreement on how strong it will be, but it doesn’t look to be anything major. Much of the moisture will be derived from lingering sub-tropical moisture of a decaying pacific low off the SoCal coast — so it’s not going to be particularly cold either. Probably just another dusting on the peaks with this one. We are still 6-7 days out, so details will have to be fine-tuned this week.
Who knows? Like I mentioned earlier, there was a brief period where the GFS was showing a train of colder storms for the last 10 days of October. That disappeared. The Operational GFS jumped back to a stormier idea this morning, but it doesn’t have much support from the Euro Ensemble suite. At this point, I’m going to assume ridging until there is full model consensus within 10 days.
As for El Nino… It’s still there, still doesn’t mean all that much for Utah.
P.S. We aren’t the only ones feeling the heat. Fargo, ND was 97F yesterday!!!! That’s pretty darn hot, dontcha know.