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Dusted Tuesday, Quiet End to January, Storm Next Week

Summary

A light dusting on this Tuesday morning in Northern Utah mountains. A blocking ridge along the Pacific Coast will keep us dry through the weekend and to close out January. Storm likely to start February.

Short Term Forecast

Our weak storm which we discussed yesterday brushed us as expected. There are still a few light snow showers around this morning, but for the most part, we are done. 1-2" was the general report from most mountains around the state and honestly, that's about as good as we could have expected. It will certainly just be a bit of dust on top, but still could find some soft pockets out there today. 

We will remain mostly cool as we sit on the backside of blocking high pressure. While I don't expect much in the way of powder over the next week, we still could have some very good riding conditions. You can see the dry period clearly on these plumes after this morning's weak system: 

The final 2 or 3 days of this 10-day window, we see the ensemble mean increase. Models are in good agreement that we will see something, but exactly how strong and exact timing of this storm remains in question. If you look closely, you can see the individual ensembles (light grey lines) are all over the place and have yet to find much of a consensus. There is a high likelihood, however, that we get something next week and that, at least, is welcome news. 

Extended Forecast

The big question for me is whether or not this pattern change is just a quick shift, or something more permanent. I think the critical component to answer that question is just where the Pacific high pressure ridge sets up. The Euro has it briefly shifting west to start February, allowing for a storm to enter the Great Basin, but then has it shifting back closer to the coast by February 5th: 

This scenario would be more likely to bring blocking high pressure back to the western U.S. and make it much more difficult to get storms into the region. The GFS ensembles, however, keep the ridge farther west and amplify it more toward the Aleutian Islands:

This would make it more likely for storms to drop into our neck of the woods. While I'm hopeful that the GEFS has a better handle on this, my experience is that the Euro tends to do better. I'm afraid that if the Euro's solution were to play out, our shift back to stormy weather at the beginning of February might be short-lived. As always, we will just have to watch and see. 

Evan | OpenSnow

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