Giving it Straight

Friday, October 28, 2016 at 8:16 am

Saturday Update:

Not much change, still looking at windy conditions developing with rain showers moving in on Sunday.  Snow levels drops down to 7,000 feet (perhaps lower) on Sunday night.  High elevations could get a few inches on the peaks by Monday morning.  A weak trailing wave could bring a few additional snow showers Tuesday and Wednesday, then we dry out and warm up for an extended period.  Still nothing on the horizon of note thru middle of November.

I’m going to head down to So. Utah for a camping/mtb adventure and hope that thing looks better in the long range by the time I get back.  WSF

Previous:

Summary…  A warm system will bring rain showers to the region today with snow levels at or above 10,000 feet.  Another system Sunday into Sunday night will bring more chances for rain and snow showers, with snow levels falling to near 7,000 feet.

Today’s Storm…  Not much to write home about.  Some showers today, but only the very highest peaks will see any snowfall.  Should help to put some moisture in the mountain bike trails for tomorrow.

Colder storm for Sunday and Sunday night…  Moisture increases during the day on Sunday with showers and initially high snow levels.  This storm looks like it will generally affect areas from the Cottonwoods north.  A cold front Sunday night will drop snow levels from 9-10k feet down to 7k feet.  By then, most of the precipitation may be ended.  I think only 1-3″ at the base of the resorts with perhaps 4-8″ in the higher elevations.  The latest trends have been taking the system farther north. If this continues, that means less precip and less cold air, and we might have to drop forecasted snow amounts.

The bad… Not going to lie to you.  Right now things are looking bleak if you’re yearning to get some turns.  Our biggest storm of the season so far was more than a month ago.  For the third straight year, the Wasatch Crest Trail is rideable right up to the end of October.  Very unusual. If we don’t get some decent storms and colder air into the region during the first two weeks of November, then we might be looking at the possibility of pushing back opening day for some resorts.

The good… It’s only October. Historically, only a tiny fraction of our overall seasonal snowfall comes in October.  One or two good storms, and we will be back on track or even above normal.  Forecasts can change quickly and a switch in the pattern could show up at any time.  Until that time, the mountain biking and hiking has been incredible lately.  There are other activities to keep us busy until it is time to shred.

The outlook…  After our storm early next week, storms continue to push into the Pacific Northwest. The continental high pressure will shear these systems apart before they reach Utah.  We may get a few scraps, but significant storms look unlikely for the first 10 days of November.  Over the past few days, there has been a trend to bring in stronger storms that progress farther inland during the second week of the month.  That’s a long way out and it’s hard to have any trust in that, but right now it’s the only tangible thing for us to hope for.  I think at some point in the next few days we’ll see more hopeful signs develop.

I’m not trying to get you down, just trying to give it to you straight.  Things don’t look great for us right now.  But as I stated earlier, it’s only October and things can change quickly.  I would much rather have a dry spell right now than mid-winter.  Don’t disparage too much quite yet.

WSF





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  • Db

    Every year it starts out kinda bleak, and every year I still hit the slopes and have a blast. Nothing different this year.. can’t be worse than Christmas 2011, and I still had fun then…

    Since I can make a single snowflake myself, its outta my hands

    • Justin Wehner

      It doesn’t start out bleak every year. But I like the optimism.

  • sustainablejohn

    Evan, have you done a seasonal forecast yet?