Light Refreshers

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 6:25 am


A more active pattern will begin to impact the west coast as we head into the weekend.  Generally, the storms will be weak for Utah.  But we should see, at the very least, some light refreshers.


Our stretch of quiet weather is coming to an end starting later in the day tomorrow.  A weak wave will pass through mostly far northern Utah on Thursday evening.  This will bring some light mountain snow showers.  I don’t expect more than an inch or two of accumulation.

The next system is stronger, but unfortunately it is sliding down the California coast on Friday bringing heavy rain to SoCal.  It will send some moisture up into Utah, but we are too far away from the main low pressure system to see anything organized.  Instead, we’ll likely just see some additional mountain snow showers Friday night with a few inches accumulation possible.

There will then be a period of moisture pushing through Sunday into Sunday evening.  This has been trending weaker in the models as well but could still add a few more inches of accumulation to the mountains on Sunday afternoon.

Finally, a low pressure system will drop into the region next Tuesday-Thursday.  This could bring a chance for a bit more appreciable accumulations.  However, latest model trends have been weaker with this system as well.

So while we are going to see active weather over the next week, right now models are generally not showing much other than light refreshers for Utah.  The heaviest snow fall will be to our west, north and south.  Utah falling victim to a split flow.  However, the good news is that we have plenty of energy surrounding us.  All we need is for the models to trend in a positive direction for one of these storms.

You can see the current ensembles are still showing a wide range of possible outcomes:

You can see that the GFS ensembles show anywhere from 0.5″ of liquid to 3.5″ over the next 6 days.  I think we are much more likely to be on the lower end of that range, but ya never know….

Long Range:

Latest trends have been to build a ridge into the West after the middle of next week, so we could see a warm up again for the end of the month.  Of note, the MJO is extremely strong right now and trending into favorable phases.  It remains to be seen exactly what that will mean for us but chances are the pattern will become highly amplified for early March.  That could spell a very stormy period or maybe even some very springlike ridging.  We’ll just have to watch that.


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7 thoughts on “Light Refreshers

  1. Luke Schmick

    Thanks for the reporting. Does any of this indicate a powder day at Brian Head any time from Sat- Tues?

  2. Commentor1987

    Is this typical for Utah- to see the snow melt off in mid-February and slowly transition to spring? or does Utah occasionally see a big snow storm or two in late February early March? (hoping for some more powder days but wondering if I should just give it up) Thank you!

    1. Dirty Mike n da boyz

      Can’t speak for everyone else but it seems to me it starts to melt but always pow days in march

    2. hongziyang

      The last 3 years especially Feb has been a lame duck. I’d say it’s not uncommon to have either Jan or Feb to be a bit of a thaw (January was pretty exceptional this year). March, April and even May are all capable of big snow.

      Plenty of pow days still on the menu

  3. Z-Bones

    Just found this site a little while ago. Been following for a few days. I’m becoming a western US hydrology junkie, and this is by far the most informative source of news I’ve been able to find on what to actually expect in terms of numbers.

    For five while minutes of airtime, those local boys sure do waste a lot of time talking about nothing. Weather websites aren’t much better.

    Fantastic job.

  4. Mark Nielson

    I was up at Solitude today showing a friend around the mountain. We searched high and low for soft snow without much luck – the hill is absolutely hammered right now. We need to hit the refresh button in a big way. March always delivers a few big powder days, but we are losing coverage on the south and west facing slopes. The only positive to this warm weather is that the local mountain biking/hiking/running trails are starting to dry out. After such a fun January it’s hard to get excited about riding firm groomers!

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