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Friday October 24th 2014 7:30am

Summary:

Warm and windy on Friday and Saturday.  Much cooler Sunday with a chance for high elevation snow in Northern Utah.

Details:

Trough is currently pushing into the Pacific Northwest.  That has been kicking up our winds already in a southwest flow.  Expect warm and windy conditions to continue through Saturday evening.

Cold front is going to move into the area on Saturday night. Sunday we should see periods of a few showers but both the GFS and EC have been trending much drier with the system with most of the cold air and energy staying to our north.  Right now I'd say 1-4" of snow will be possible above 7,000 feet, mostly north of I-80.

We clear out on Monday with seasonably cool temps in the wake of Sunday's system.  High pressure will build over the area.  Another trough will move into the Pacific Northwest.  It looks like this trough will clip us about Wednesday of next week with clouds and breezes and perhaps a few showers for far northern Utah.  Ridging will then build in after this system.  Right now it looks like a dry and mild Halloween.

Long range:

It looks like a strong cut-off low will form off the California coast next week.  Cut-off Lows are extremely hard to predict as the are "cut-off" from the main flow and therefore have limited steering.  I think eventually this Low will track east into the western states, but at this point it is very hard to know where it will end up.  If things go our way, we could end up seeing a decent system during the first week of November.  But right now that's a big "IF".   Ensembles generally keep the area free from prolonged ridging... That's the good news... now we just need something concrete and promising to show up in the long range models.

Evan | OpenSnow

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Thursday October 23rd 2014 7:53am

Thursday AM update:

Storm still timing for Sunday.  This system, as mentioned below in previous discussion from yesterday, doesn't look overly strong.  It is, however, much colder than previous storms we've seen this Fall, so snow levels will drop down below 6,000 feet (perhaps lower).  A few inches of snow will be likely in the high elevations.  Snow showers will linger into Monday.

Next week still looks a bit crazy in model guidance.  EC and GFS agree on a system that clips far northern Utah middle of next week.  But then go completely bonkers toward the tail end of the week.  The EC has been adamant in forming a strong closed low off the California coast late next week and slowly drifting it toward Utah.  However, if you've been reading these forecasts for awhile, you'll know that cutoff lows are the scourge of a forecaster's existence -- not going to try to forecast anything this far out...

Overall, the good news is that as we head into November, I don't see any signs of prolonged ridging in the models.  That doesn't mean we are destined for big storms, but at least we'll have times when the storm door is open.  Climate models continue to be more optimistic for a good November.  Let's hope they are on to something... 

Evan | OpenSnow

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Wednesday October 22nd 2014 7:27am

Summary

Warm and dry thru Saturday... Next system moves in Sunday morning.  Valley rain and mountain snow likely.

Details

After yesterday's weak system clipped the area, we have now cleared out once again.  Yesterday we had a few early morning showers and then a couple afternoon convective storms that dropped a few minutes of heavy graupel in the high elevations along with a rumble or two of thunder.  

High pressure keeps us dry and warm thru Saturday.  Next system approaches Saturday night with winds increasing ahead of the cold front during the day on Saturday. 

The storm itself moves in on Sunday morning and will continue into Sunday night.  Neither model is overly cold, so snow levels should remain above most valleys.  However, right now temps look cold enough to bring snow to most, if not all, ski resort elevations.  This isn't a major storm but it should be bigger than most of the other one's we've seen thus far this fall.  My preliminary guess would be 1-4" below 8,000 feet with 4-8" possible above.  Depending on how the system exits the region, we could have a possibility for a bit of lake effect snow as the lake surface temp is still very warm.  

Total QPF thru the day on Monday looks like this: 

qpf

 

There are pockets of close to an inch of liquid in the Wasatch, so it's a reasonably decent storm.  We'll just have to wait and see how well it holds together.  

Long range:

Beyond about Tuesday (10/28) of next week, the models are in absolute chaos.  GFS has been consistent with a large trough entering the region while the EC forecasts ridging through Halloween then cuts off a system to our west and eventually moves it through the area during the first few days of November.  Needless to say, I am not buying any of it right now.  We'll just have to wait and hope a consensus forms over the next couple days.  

Evan | OpenSnow

P.S. Mountain bikers... Saturday might be your last chance of the season to do high elevation rides like The Crest.  At this time, it looks like Sunday's system will shut down biking for the season up there.  Even a few inches of snow will be tough to melt off this late into the Fall.  

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Tuesday October 21st 2014 7:43am

Summary:

Scattered showers today with a dusting of snow above 9,000 feet.  Warm and dry Wednesday thru Saturday before a trough brings cooler temps and a chance for more high elevation snow showers on Sunday.

Details:

A system is moving through the area today.  Scattered showers are likely across most of the region.  As for snow, a dusting is possible above 9,000 feet in the Wasatch by tonight.  The Uintas may do a bit better with a few inches possible there in the highest elevations.  Behind the front, temps will be cooler today than they have been.

On Wednesday we see high pressure return with temps warming through the end of the week.  Saturday may be a bit breezy, but should be the nicer of the two weekend days.  On Sunday, our next system moves into the region.  Major differences between the EC and the GFS regarding this system.  GFS keeps the systems consolidated and ejects it through the northern Rockies, giving Utah a similar dose as to what we are seeing today.  The EC splits the system and closes off the southern Low over Southern Utah.  This scenario would bring decent precipitation totals to Southern and Central Utah, but northern Utah would get caught in between the two pieces of energy and only see modest amounts.  Depending on which solution is right, snow levels on Sunday could range from 7-9k feet.  At this time, it does not look like a major weather system for most areas.

Long range:

Next week we will ridge up again at least for a few days. Models are all over the place as we close out October and head into November.  Right now I'm going to hold off on trying to make any sense of it until we get some model-to-model and run-to-run consistency.

The good news is that none of the models like the idea of persistent dry patterns right now.  All ensembles keep the general pattern progressive, so chances are we'll get some storm systems into the area sooner rather than later.  CFSv2 long range model continues to paint above average precip for the Western United states for the month of November... We'll see...

Evan | OpenSnow

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Monday October 20th 2014 7:51am

Summary:

A weak system will bring wind, a few rain showers, and a dusting of snow above 9,000 feet on Tuesday.  High pressure will warm us up for later in the week before another storm system impacts the area late in the weekend.

Details:

Things continue to look not nearly as bleak as they were looking just a few days ago.  With that said, there's nothing major in the forecast either.  The storm on Tuesday is weakening and being pushed north of the area as it moves inland.  We'll be left with the tail end of the remnants in a strong southwest flow.  Because of this, snow levels will be high.  A few inches will be possible above 9,000 feet with the highest amounts above 10K feet in the Uintas.

High pressure will dominate Wednesday thru Saturday with warm afternoon highs -- well above normal.   The next system moves into Northern Utah on Sunday.  Models have latched on to fairly similar solutions.  This system will have a bit more energy to work with and will have colder air.  At this time, accumulations look modest, but it's rare to get major snowfall in October so that's not a surprise.   More details as we get closer to the weekend.

Long range:

Not much agreement at all in the long range, some ensembles try to ridge us back up as we head toward Halloween while others keep a progressive pattern going with more chances for storms.  Not much point trying to forecast yet...

CFSv2 long range model has spent most of the last month forecasting drier-than-normal conditions for California and the Great Basin during the month of November.  In the last few days, however, it has become significantly wetter:

Nov forecast

Hopefully this is an indication of an active pattern for the central west coast next month, as that would be ideal for Utah to get good early season base-building snowfall.  We'll watch and see...

Evan | OpenSnow

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