Time for a Refresh

Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 7:56 am

Summary:

A very weak system will bring moisture to the region today and allow for a chance of light snow.  Another modest storm will bring accumulations to the mountains on Friday night and Saturday.  Potential for a third, stronger storm, early next week.

Details:

Moisture is streaming into Northern Utah today but there’s not much going on.  We will likely see occasional light snow in the mountains today but accumulations will remain minimal.  Best case scenario is probably some dust on crust.

Tomorrow, a slightly stronger system approaches.  Doesn’t look like it will be much to write home about, but it will bring periods of snow to the mountains Friday night and Saturday.  Current NAM shows the following for the Upper Cottonwoods:

Univ of Utah

Based on this, I’d say 0.4 – 0.9″ of QPF, which would translate to 4-8″ of new snow for the mountains of northern Utah by Saturday night.  Probably not a deep powder day, but enough for some softened turns.  Storms have been doing well to over-deliver all season… so who knows, right?

A break on Sunday before another storm could begin to impact the region on Monday.  This looks like it will send a couple waves through the area from Sunday night thru Wednesday of next week.  Hard to time these waves at this point.  Needless to say, the GFS ensembles are really struggling with this storm, check out the plumes:

QPF amounts range from almost nothing to 5″ of liquid.  That is quite a spectacular range for one storm.  And it certainly does not give me as a forecaster much confidence.  All we can say at this point, is it has potential to be a good storm.  It looks like a snow for the mountains, rain for the valleys type of system.  We’ll keep an eye on it over the next few days and we should see the ensembles start to narrow down the range of possibilities.

Long Range:

Later next week, in general it looks like ridge of high pressure will re-establish itself.  It’s worth noting that the EC still tries to bring in systems through next weekend but I’m not buying it right now.  Ensemble mean heights favor ridging and it seems to make sense.  I think in general, aside from the storms of the next 6 days, the first half of February will be relatively quiet.  My hope is that a deep, cold trough that will develop in the Pacific will push eastward into our region for the second half of the month and open the storm door wide again.

WSF





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  • Tim

    looks like the accumulated snow is already running ahead of the chart…

    • Josef Zee

      Tim, I agree. My wife and I skied PC this morning until about noon. There was already 3″+ up top. This was our first day of a month of skiing.