Revving the Pinto

Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 10:35 am


A relatively weak, but cold system will move into the region late in the day on Monday into Tuesday.  Most mountains should see at least a few inches.  A break for the second half of the week as the storm track stays north of us.


A breezy Sunday today in advance of the next system that is currently dropping down the west coast.  This system is a weaker, colder version of the system we saw last week.  It will hit the Sierra Nevada late today with good snows there.  A foot or more possible for the mountains above Lake Tahoe.  The cold front will slowly work its way into Utah on Monday, reaching the Wasatch during the afternoon and evening hours.  Not a ton of moisture or strength to this front, but we should still see a period of mountain snowfall Monday night.

It then looks like we’ll have a break on Tuesday before the cold core brings instability showers to the region late on Tuesday into Tuesday night.  It’s possible there could be some lake-effect snowfall during this period.   You can see the two distinct periods of snowfall in this 12km NAM graph of forecasted snowfall for Alta:


Here is a map of WRF-GFS accumulation forecast.  It is fairly closely in line with the graph above:


The light blue colors represent generally 3-6″ and the purple colors are 6-10″.   You can see the orange of higher totals in the Sierra Nevada to our west.  They definitely need it, so it’s good news, but I wish we were getting that kind of action as well.  There is some orange just south of the GSL, which is likely a reflection of lake-effect over the Oquirrh and Stansbury Mountains.

Total accumulations by Wednesday should be 3-6″ for most Northern Utah mountain locations.  The favored locations like the Cottonwoods will likely see a bit more with up to 10″ possible. Mountains of Southern Utah could see 6-12″.  Cold storms this time of year seem to frequently surprise us — so I’m hoping we see a bit more, but with a weak system like this, it’s important to set your expectations low.

A break for the second half of the week as most action stays in the PNW.  Earlier runs of the GFS and Euro were optimistic for a return of storms after mid-month and a potentially deep trough over the entire west developing thereafter. However, the latest 12z GFS Operational abandons this idea, so needless-to-say, confidence in the long range is low.


P.S.   Totally unrelated to Utah Wx…..  Unusually warm water in the Arabian Sea has fueled  back-to-back tropical cyclones (hurricanes),  Chapala and Megh, that have both taken virtually identical tracks and reached “major” hurricane status.  Hurricanes like this are almost unprecedented in this part of the world and to have two in one week hit the same areas is astounding.  Some locations in Yemen that only average about 2″ of rain per year will see 20+” of rain in a week.  That’s more than 10 years worth of rain!  Fortunately, most of these areas are sparsely populated.  It’s also in a civil war with many areas controlled by branches of Al-Queda, so reports from the region are difficult to obtain.  Fascinating from a weather point of view to have something so anomalous.  If any of WSF’s readers are from Yemen, I’d appreciate a first hand report!



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