New Paint Job

Monday, October 26, 2015 at 8:02 am

Tuesday update: 

Not too much change from yesterday’s forecast (below)… A splitting system will move through on Thursday and bring some showers and high elevation snow above about 6,500 feet.  This is the coldest storm we’ve seen thus far this season so be prepared for a seasonable chill in the air on Friday.  Total accumulations in the high Wasatch will likely just be a few inches or less.

The weekend will be pleasant before the next system moves in on Monday and Tuesday.  This system is showing signs of cutting off like the last few have done.  If you don’t know already, cut-off or closed lows are systems that detach from the main flow (jet stream).  It’s common this time of year when the jet stream is still relatively weak.  It’s like rolling a bowling ball down one of those plastic hot wheels tracks, it works fine until you put a curve in the track, then it is far too weak to keep the bowling ball on the track.   Once a low cuts off, it becomes notoriously difficult to forecast.  In my experience, these type of lows have a tendency to drop farther west, and eventually south, than the models initially indicate.  Models are already starting to trend farther west with the low early next week.  They still show us getting a good shot of snow, but I’m anxious that if this trend continues, the Sierra will see the brunt of the storm before the low then passes to our south through the desert southwest.  WSF





Cooler, more active weather is on the way!  A couple weak storms this week with hopefully a colder, stronger storm next week.


Today we are left in the wake of a weak storm that passed through the area overnight.  Its main effects were to cool us off and cloud us up for most of the day yesterday.  Not sure if it snowed anywhere in the Wasatch last night but they did get a dusting in the High Uintas overnight:


A second wave will clip the far north tonight into Tuesday with a few light snow showers possible and further cooling for tomorrow.

The next system will move into the area on Thursday.  This system is splitting and eventually going to close off to our south, so it’s not very organized.  Still, I’d expect at least enough energy to bring some snow accumulations to the Wasatch, with higher totals for the mountains of Southern Utah.  There will also be cooler air associated with the storm so snow levels could drop below 7,000 feet for the first time this Fall.  Storm should clear out of the area by Friday afternoon.  Total snowfall thru Halloween:


As you can see, the Wasatch will likely only see a few inches, but the Uintas and the mountains of southern Utah could see 6-12″.

The third and final system in the 10-day window looks like it will have an initial wave late Sunday (Nov 1) with a stronger push sometime early next week.  Of course, this is still well outside the 5-day window of confidence, so many of these details are subject to change — but at this time, this system looks stronger and much colder as it is dropping into the area mostly out of the north.  As of right now, the total snowfall through the next 10 days:


WAY TOO EARLY TO GET EXCITED.  However, in this scenario, the mountains could stand to see a foot or more of snow during the first few days of November.  Perhaps more importantly, it will almost definitely drop temperatures significantly with snow levels falling to valley floors.  This will allow snowmaking to begin in earnest.  Cold troughs this time of year also usually bring a chance for lake effect — something else we’ll have to watch as we get closer.

So far this has been the warmest Fall on record for most of Utah. Finally we are seeing the possibility for substantial change reflected in all the major forecasting models within the 10-day window.  I’d hold off on waxing your skis just yet, but at the very least, this scenario bears watching.  At this point, it looks likely the Wasatch will get its first permanent paint job for the winter…



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5 thoughts on “New Paint Job

  1. Jiří Kadlec

    The high Uintas already had more than a dusting of snow on Saturday. Probably not enough to ski yet, but there’s at least a few inches up there.

  2. Steve Noufer

    So, I know it’s too early to get excited, but that storm 7-8 days out is looking pretty good. At least it’s less than 10 days.

    1. Wasatch Snow Forecast

      In its current state, it does look good. But it is going to close off somewhere to our west, which makes me nervous that it will move south of us. More often than not, closed lows move farther south than anticipated. I’m anxious!

  3. Steve Noufer

    Ahhhhh, the closed low you referred to. I should have read more carefully. Yep, familiar with that problem. Will keep fingers crossed.

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