A more active weather pattern will develop heading into this weekend. Areas to our south will see the brunt of this weekend’s weather, but Utah mountains should see periods of snow. A colder, hopefully stronger storm is possible for next week.
The pattern is changing. California is seeing a storm system currently adding rain and snow to their already inundated soils. This system will push east tonight into Utah, however it will weaken as it does so. We will have a chance for some snow showers in the high elevations tonight. Accumulations will remain minor, likely just an inch or two.
Then, a strong low pressure system will drop down the California coast late on Friday into Saturday. You can see this low pressure system well in this forecasted pressure map:
Because this storm system is sliding south, it’s SoCal that will see the brunt of the storm with flooding rains likely. Good news to finish off their drought, but bad news for us. On Friday night into Saturday, we should see some of this moisture pushing north into Utah. Southern Utah could see several inches, with perhaps a few inches Friday night into Saturday for northern Utah mountains as well.
Perhaps the best chance for snow for us will be on Sunday when moisture trailing this trough flows into the area with a more direct hit. We should see enough moisture for widespread snowfall in the mountains of Northern Utah. At this time, perhaps during the day Sunday into Sunday evening, we could see 4-8″ of additional accumulation.
A break looks likely now for Monday and Tuesday. Then a trough settles into the region out of the northwest for the second half of next week. This is when we could see colder air and better, more organized snowfall. Right now, however, there’s not much consensus on how this will play out.
The above graph shows our very weak wave for tonight, the next weak wave for Friday night, then the slightly stronger system for Sunday, and finally, our potentially stronger, colder storm for middle of next week.
Not ideal for deep powder skiing, but the storms this weekend should be enough to soften up turns.
Models are agreeing on the fact that we will see high pressure build over Alaska. Depending on how far east/west this ridge sets up will determine exactly what we see. If it’s far enough west, we can see cold air drop down into the region out of Canada. If it’s closer to us, it could keep us warm and dry and the cold air will stay to our east. Frequently these Alaska ridges eventually lead to an undercutting of the ridge. Which in turn can lead to additional atmospheric rivers. This is not a forecast, but a speculative outlook. There is a difference. California could see more chances at abundant rain and snow in the March. Hopefully Utah gets in on the action as well. We’ll just have to wait and see. I’ve got a feeling February is going to end up being our “break” month this winter.