As expected, light snow showers developed yesterday into last night. Generally, mountains just picked up a trace to 2″. Perhaps just enough to ensure soft turns. Mostly cloudy conditions with occasional light snow looks to continue thru Wednesday night. High pressure taking control for the New Year and beyond.
It still looks like a couple low pressure systems will split in the Pacific with the southern branch tracking to our south next week. At this point, it looks like most of the action will be confined to the desert southwest. To me, it looks like the first 10 days of January look mostly dry and fairly warm. All indications continue to point to a more active west coast developing again around mid-month. Hopefully that includes Utah as well. WSF
A cold airmass will remain in place which will keep snow quality high for the next several days. In addition to the cold air, snow showers are also likely at times today (Monday) thru Thursday morning. Accumulations will remain light. A break to quiet and warmer weather looks likely for the new year and beyond.
Temps are cold once again today. Much more in the way of cloud cover around than yesterday as the first of a couple weak systems moves into the area out of the northwest. I don’t expect much other than perhaps a few light snow showers at times in the mountains. Certainly can’t rule out an inch or two from time to time between now and Thursday morning. Overall, ski conditions should remain good. The backcountry is starting to settle a bit and the snow there is staying good, particularly on northern aspects, thanks to the cold air. Please consult UAC before venturing out-of-bounds and ensure you are properly equipped and trained as avalanche danger is still likely to be elevated.
By New Year’s Day, we will be under the influence of high pressure. Temperatures aloft will warm and inversions in the valley are likely to form. Next weekend might be a good one for skiing just to get out of the valley gunk.
Overall, it looks like the pattern is going to start a transition during the first week of January to one in which the southern jet is stronger. This is a more classic El Nino pattern. Good news for Southern California! Unfortunately, it might be awhile before Utah gets in on much of the action as this is not a pattern that favors us, at least not initially. My hope is that as time passes, the southern jet will push farther north and be able to penetrate farther inland.
The current CFS forecast reflects this in a way, here is the next 10 days QPF:
Very dry for the interior west, including Utah. By day 10-20, things get much more active for California, and some of that moisture is able to nose inland as well:
January’s recently have not been kind to us. Based on Alta-Guard UDOT data, it’s been 7 years (2009) since we’ve had a January with above average snowfall. Even our great 2010-11 season recorded only 42″ of January snowfall (Average = 94″). Will we be able to break that curse? That will depend on how far north and how far inland these Nino-driven storms make it.
P.S. If you haven’t already tried it, uberSKI is an awesome way to get to and from the ski resort. After a great day of skiing and apres this weekend, we used it to get down from the mountain and it was very quick, comfortable and convenient. Uber is giving away TEN $1000-prize packs if you ride by January 1, which include $500 Backcountry.com gift card and $500 in Backcountry gear.
You can sign up by clicking HERE. Remember to use promo code “WSFUBER” and your first ride is free (up to $20).