Warm and sunny weather this week will change to cool with showers and possible high-elevation snow this weekend.
Short Term Forecast
Mostly sunny and warm for the remainder of this work week in Utah. Perfect outdoor weather for getting in some late-season "summer activities".
Things are going to change this weekend. A trough that is currently bringing rain to the PNW will slowly sag southweast and eventually settle into the Great Basin. As is often the case in these shoulder seasons, there's not much steering flow to move these storms along. That can often mean that we see prolonged periods of showers. It can also mean that these storms are difficult to forecast because they have a tendency to meander.
What we know for sure is that the temperatures are going to drop significantly this weekend, especially later in the weekend. Right now, the storm may center itself a bit to our west with the coldest air over Nevada:
With 700mb temps at around 0C, I think snow is mostly going to stay above 8000ft. If that cold air drifts farther east, we could see lower snow levels. The ECMWF ensemble mean shows a decent amount of precip funneling around this low and into Utah and the northern Rockies.
It should be noted that the latest runs of the GFS show far less precip. Still, the National Blend of Models paints a fairly optimistic picture for decent precip through early next week:
Snow amounts should be relatively light and confined to the higher elevations. It might be a good time to get into the upper mountains on Sunday or Monday to see fall foliage with fresh snow -- one of my favorite sights!
We should warm back up next week. Only a matter of time before another trough moves through. As October rolls on, these storms will have better chances at dropping more significant snowfall. And if and when snow does fall, it will be more likely to stick around with a lower sun angle and consistently cooler temps. In other words, winter is coming.
Evan | OpenSnow