Cold and Snow return next week

Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 9:26 am

Feeling a bit ill this morning, so sorry for late/short update.

Mostly calm conditions to end this year as high pressure dominates.  Warming mountain temps and valley inversions.  Ridge will amplify off the west coast into the Gulf of AK as we head toward the new year.  This is going to allow systems to drive down from western Canada into the region to start 2017, along with cold air.

These type of systems tend to be a bit moisture-starved.  Next week is no exception as the system has plenty of cold air, but seems to be lacking in “fuel”.  This is reflected in NAEFS plumes from Univ of Utah:

Some rogue Canadian members are pulling up the mean.  The GFS ensembles showing .5-1.0″ of liquid for the Upper Cottonwoods, mostly late Sunday night into Monday.  Those are modest amounts.  The cold air will allow for some high snow ratios, so we could see it pile up…. but looking unlikely to be a major storm.  At this point, I’d guess maybe 5-10″ for most mountains with perhaps 8-16″ for the Cottonwoods between Sunday night and Tuesday.

The big story will be the cold air.  By the middle of next week, we could see the coldest air we’ve seen in a long time.  700mb temps are below -20C next week, which is pretty darn cold.

Eventually, we should transition to a more zonal pattern for the second week of January.  Long range ensembles favor troughing, which should keep the storm door open.


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