A Waiting Game

Posted Monday, January 10th, 2022 by Ben Klein

TL;DR: High pressure will keep Utah dry for a little longer than a week. Bluebird skiing is the best escape from the valley inversion while we wait for the pattern to change.

Devils Castle at 11:16 PM, courtesy of Alta.com

Nowcast: As shown in the image above it is a beautiful sunny day in the Wasatch Mountains. A mid level ridge is centered over Utah bringing very stable conditions to the region. The mountain temperatures will be in the mid to upper 30’s, meanwhile wind gusts shouldn’t exceed 15 mph today. More and more people are traveling in the backcountry as our snowpack is getting stronger. Be prepared by reading Utah Avalanche Center forecasts https://utahavalanchecenter.org/forecast/salt-lake and be aware of the deep slab problem that can occur on north facing slopes with the persistent weak layer from early in the season.

GFS 500 mb height anomaly from 1-10-22, courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

Short Term: High pressure is our dominant feature right now, and I see no signs of it breaking down anytime this week. Thursday night into Friday we have a very weak dry cold front moving in that may bring very light precipitation. At the least it should bring the temperature down a few degrees for a couple of days following the cold front.

GFS total accumulated precipitation for the next week, courtesy of tropicaltidbits.com

Long Term: Almost no new snow is predicted for Utah in the next week. The pattern will eventually flip to a more favorable one, but for now we have an above average snowpack to be happy about! Prayers and snow dances are appropriate at this time.

-Ben

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