We continue to see periodic cool, fall troughs bringing snow showers to the high elevations of Utah. Another cool storm is possible to end September / begin October.
Short Term Forecast
Last week, I wrote about the cool trough coming in for this week. Sure enough, it came through, and sure enough, it snowed again in the high elevations. Here is a look at Alta this morning (Sept 22):
Beautiful dusting on Devil's Castle. Here is a closer look at Sugarloaf Pass at Alta:
Bust out the rock skis!
It wasn't just the Cottonwoods seeing snow. I also saw photos and videos of snow at Deer Valley, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain. Here is the top of Mary's lift this morning at PowMow:
Of course, this snow doesn't mean much in the long run, and it's only going to melt today as the sun gets to it. But we could continue to see a few snow showers with daytime heating this afternoon.
This weekend, and most of next week, looks quite pleasant with temperatures rising again. A trough will position itself off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, sending lots of moisture into that region. However, the intermountain west should stay dry with ridging:
At first, this trough isn't going to have much luck breaking down the ridge. But by the end of next week, we could things start to change. Euro ensembles show the trough progressing east into the Great Basin by next weekend (Sept 30 - Oct 1):
What does this mean for Utah? It means that to end September and begin October, we could see much colder temperatures again and even a chance for high elevation snowfall again. The latest GFS actually shows some appreciable accumulation in places:
Of course, we are still more than a week away from this and a lot can change. I'll write another post sometime middle of next week as we have a bit more clarity. The main message here is that we continue to see seasons changing and signs of winter.
El Nino continues to look strong as we head into winter. I recently saw a post on X/Twitter showing previous occurrences of strong El Ninos (> +1.5C ONI) and in the seven previous strong El Nino winters, there was essentially no correlation to precip or temp in Northern Utah. Some winters were snowier than average, some drier than average. Some warmer, some cooler. Southern Utah certainly leaned a bit more toward the wet side but even in that case, there were still a couple of exceptions with dry winters during El Nino. This isn't really news as I've been saying this all along, but further evidence that anything is possible this winter. I would try not to get swept up in the El Nino hype.
Evan | OpenSnow