Another Monday Storm?

Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 7:22 am


High pressure is generally in control, but we will be clipped by a system on Saturday with a few snow showers possible in far northern Utah.   A stronger system likely for Monday with more widespread snowfall.  Perhaps a pattern change starting to show up in the long-range.


Quiet today (Thursday) and tomorrow.  Breezes pick up Friday night and clouds increase in Northern Utah as the ridge flattens a bit.  This will allow a system to clip the region on Saturday.  We may see a few snow showers but accumulations should stay very light.

A stronger system is now looking likely for Monday.  Models have been wavering over the past couple days but it seems like they are starting to find some common ground.  This system is still doing battle with the ridge, but it should charge in and at least temporarily push the ridge out of the area.  It should look something like this:

Metaphorical Approximation

Metaphorical Approximation

This will allow snow to fall on Monday with the passage of a cold front.  Right now, there’s still not a ton of consensus on just how much snow we will see.  Here is a look at the NAEFS ensembles:


You can see that they are all over the place, but the mean is about half an inch of liquid — so perhaps a small to medium storm.  However, if one of the higher or lower ensemble members verifies, that forecast will change.  Overall, it does look like some powder skiing will be done on Monday/Tuesday of the upcoming week.

High pressure looks to re-establish itself for the first few days of March.  I am noticing that both the GFS and the ECMWF ensembles are in general agreement of a pattern change occurring sometime between March 5-10.  This is quite a ways out, and certainly not concrete, but it’s the most solid pattern change we’ve seen in several weeks and the fact that there’s some consensus between models makes it more viable.  We’ll have to wait and see if this trend holds, but hopefully we’ll be heading back to a stormier pattern — and at least we have some occasional fresh snow between now and then to keep us entertained.

Stay tuned!


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  • Jim

    I am still chuckling about your metaphorical approximation…saw some hints of a pattern change yesterday in the Euro (as I am sure you did too). I’m a bit surprised the GFS has so quickly followed the Euro….it was all over place last few days. As I have been mentioning in my comments the MJO is coming around to Phase 1 soon so that may explain the pattern change showing up in the models. Still in the long range I know….

    • Neve

      My novice eyes don’t see anything in the MJO forecasts that suggest good news is around the corner. If anything, I think the predicted MJO path suggests no consistent or significant storms for the West until at least the 2nd week of March (best case scenario).

    • MJO…. I’m having a tough time with the MJO this year because of how strong El Nino is, so MJO is not having quite the same effect as I am used to seeing. It seems that it is currently destructively interfering with El Nino. The CPC discussion seems to think that if it can get to phase 8 and 1 in a somewhat strong stage, then it will flip to constructive interference. Right now, many models have it tanking in strength, but I think it will hold on better than expected, which will help drive a more Nino-like pattern for the second half of March.

      check out all model forecasts:

      • Jim

        I find the statistical forecast more accurate than dynamic forecast. Since january i have been tracking it. Did you see this morning update …phase 8 already. It’s moving along much faster than gfs or gefs forecast. Will be in phase 1 by middle of next week. Euro is showing stronger storms week of march 6th. Makes sense. Gfs is hesitating a bit but i think will come in board soon.

  • rtkane

    So question for everyone… what are snow conditions typically like at the end of March in Park City (and given the amount of snow this year, will they likely be decent)? Have only been out there in February (including early Feb this year which were great, even though no powder days) but have the opportunity to take my family there over the kids’ spring break.

    I’m only interested in going to Park City because a couple of them are pretty hesitant skiers and I know the mountain fairly well on where to take them (and where not to!). Thanks!

    • Steve Noufer

      I have been there many times that time of year. It can be anything from very warm spring conditions to winter storms. The key that time of year is to be flexible. If very warm, follow elevation and the sun. One of the best ski trips I ever had was last week of March and first week of April. 2 weeks of snow. Total winter. But, you never know.

      • rtkane

        Thanks for the reply!

  • Evan

    March 3-8th… powder realistic or should I go play golf and come to Utah another time? Hard to tell from today’s post.

    • Neve

      Thayer will have a better answer. My two cents (and they are probably not even worth that) is that there will not be any significant or consistent snowfall until mid-March. This is the National Weather Service precipitation map for March 4-10:

      • Evan

        thank you for sharing that link

  • alchse

    I’ll be there March 10-12….come on pattern change…no whammies!

    Love the blog, thanks for putting this out there, Its a daily check for me