Mojave Mojado

Sunday, January 3, 2016 at 7:38 am


An active pattern will bring heavy rain and snow to Southern California and the desert southwest this week.   Southern Utah will likely see decent snow accumulations in the mountains.  Northern Utah will see lighter accumulations with the best energy likely on Wednesday.  Active pattern could continue next weekend into the following week.


We are absolutely on the cusp of entering our first true El Nino pattern of the winter.  As you’d expect, Southern California is going to take the brunt of the action with the southern jet getting very active.  A parade of storms is going to push into California and Arizona this week, bringing copious rain and mountain snowfall.  As we know, this is a drought-stricken area and this series of storms is desperately needed.

For Utah, the southern part of the state is going to see the most precipitation.  Brian Head will likely see snowfall starting Monday with an initial weak system.  Then a stronger system Tuesday night and Wednesday will bring more significant accumulations.  Another storm Thursday night into Friday could bring additional accumulations.  Overall, a very snowy week for Southern Utah.

For the north, we are much more on the periphery of the action.  The first weak system will perhaps throw up some scattered mountain snow showers late Monday into Monday night.  The stronger system on Wednesday will bring more widespread snowfall but amounts should be light to moderate.  The subsequent system may stay south again later this week.  Overall, active but not particularly snowy for northern Utah.

Things could become more interesting for all of us starting next weekend.  The GFS has been fairly consistent with bringing in a system farther north.  The Euro is weaker with this system but has a similar idea.  There are some indications that the pattern could continue to stay active through mid-month.



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  • Steve Noufer

    The GFS model runs shure have been bullish with precip over next 16 days. I get there the last 10 days of January. Hopefully, the storminess doesn’t run out.

  • Chad Niel

    We had a true temperature inversion in the Salt Lake Valley today. My car thermo rose 10 degrees (!) as I drove up little cottonwood.

  • Ryan E. Kapes

    I have time for a southern utah trip wed pm to fri pm. Brian head or la sals. Anybody?

  • Bill Hunt

    I would be very interested in any forecasts you may have regarding the rain-snow line. I am in the Ogden area, and normally snowboard at Snowbasin, where the base elevation is 6400 feet. Since I used to live in Alta, I always notice when LCC/BCC gets more snow, but the past couple years, I became more acutely aware of the lower elevation of the resorts around Ogden. Skiutah dot com has a handy Resort Comparison, and you can choose Base Elevation, or Peak Elevation, for a chart of all the Utah resorts.
    One thing I would like to understand, is the actual air temperature at the rain-snow line. It seems that it actually snows when its 32 degrees, and even a few degrees higher, since the snow is falling from higher, colder elevations. Do most forecasts use 32 degrees as the rain-snow line?