A weak system is clipping Northern Utah today with snow showers in the mountains. Light accumulations are possible. Quiet weather to start the upcoming week, however a pattern change will usher in chances for snow for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
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Short Term Forecast
Quite a bit to talk about today, so let's dive right in....
Today we have a generally weak system clipping far northern Utah. We've talked about this system for the past few days so it should be too big of a surprise. Snow has already been falling in Cache Valley this morning with an inch or so of accumulation. Fresh snow also showing as of 8am on the Beaver Mountain and Powder Mountain webcams. We should see snow showers increase in the central Wasatch and Uinta mountains this morning. We could see a couple inches in the high elevations in spots by this evening. Not much, but better than nothing.
We clear out for Sunday with cool temps. Generally dry conditions continue thru Wednesday of this week.
More active weather looks to arrive around Thanksgiving day or that evening. The first system to impact the area late on Thursday will be generally weak and unorganized, but could bring a period of light to moderate mountain snowfall. There is still quite a bit of uncertainty with regard to how strong this system will be. You can see the GEFS ensembles below showing a wide range of possibilities:
This graph goes thru Friday evening and you can see that the possibilities range from basically nothing to an inch of liquid. My guess is we'll probably see somewhere in between around 0.25-.5" in the mountains from this first storm. Depending on snow levels and snow ratioes, that will likely equate to something like 3-6" of snow from the first system. We'll have to keep an eye on this.
Then, a second storm system arrives for late Friday into Saturday (November 23-24). This system looks like it will be much better organized with better moisture and dynamics along with colder air. The hope is this system will be the one to bring more significant snowfall to the area. It should also drop snow levels down to valley floors.
Models have also hinted at a tertiary system late next weekend, but they seem to have dropped this idea as of the latest runs. The total snowfall thru Nov 26 as portrayed by the 06z GFS:
Good accumulation statewide with highest totals in Northern Utah mountains. And the latest 00z Euro:
Also good accumulation. (Note: Euro uses automatic 10:1 ratios, totals would likely be higher due to higher ratios).
So it seems that confidence is increasing that we will see our best snowfall so far this month during the holiday weekend. Hopefully that will get more terrain open and get us rocking on this season.
Yesterday I mentioned that it looked like ridging would re-establish itself over the area late in the month. I mentioned that it was unclear if this would be a short-lived ridge or another more permanent and stubborn ridge. The good news is that runs today are indicating that this ridge could be short-lived and that a return to active weather could be possible as we enter December. Obviously, this is way out in fantasy land so we'll just keep an eye on this. For now, I'm going to focus on the upcoming storms.
Evan | OpenSnow
P.S. Back by popular demand... The Stoke Meter!
Another day of run-to-run consistency in the models and another day closer to potential pattern change. I was able to bump up the predicted snowfall amounts by 50% as well as increase the confidence to 3/6. That has indeed moved us up into the Medium stoke area. I don't think this storm cycle will be big enough to bring "extreme" stoke, but stoke will likely be high soon if model trends hold.