Sunny today (Sunday) with great ski conditions throughout the state. Weak systems will bring moisture to the area late tomorrow through Thursday with chances for occasional snow showers. Accumulations should remain light. High pressure takes control after New Year. There is still a high likelihood of an El Nino pattern developing in the long range.
Lots of comments coming in regarding the ski conditions and they are all positive. This last storm cycle has provided plenty of snow to get all terrain open and the cold air has kept the conditions perfect. As we covered yesterday, snow pack numbers are generally near or above normal throughout the state.
Our forecast going forward has three stages as I see it. Actually, four if you count sunny weather today (Sunday). Starting tomorrow (Monday), we will be impacted by a couple weak systems dropping in out of the northwest. Not a ton of moisture or dynamics with these systems, but they should increase breezes, clouds, and bring a good chance for occasional snow showers to mainly Northern Utah. We could get a couple inches here and there, but accumulations should be generally light. Still, it will keep temperatures cool throughout the week with a bit of a refresh to the soft snow. Great for ski conditions.
The next stage will begin on Friday, New Year’s Day as high pressure takes control. We will warm up significantly in the mountains. We will also likely see our first period of strong inversions in the valley. That means cold air and eventually bad air quality trapped in lower valleys. It may be nice next weekend/week to get into the mountains simply to escape the gunk. This high pressure looks likely to last at least 5-7 days.
Sometime between Jan 5-10, it looks like we may see the beginnings of our first “classic” El Nino pattern develop. This means a strong southern jet that will push systems directly into Southern/Central California. At this point, it’s tough to speculate on how these system will impact Utah, but it will be something to watch at the very least. Of course, this is all 10+ days out at subject to change, but models have been fairly consistent in showing this pattern developing.
Anyway, enjoy the current great ski conditions! I know I will…