Excuse me while I freshen up

Posted Friday, January 24th, 2020 by Andy Park

TL;DR
Today the mountains will see a dose of snow in the afternoon with a few inches of new snow by tomorrow morning. A quick hitting system will impact the region Monday morning freshening up the backcountry and filling in the skin tracks.

Today through the weekend:
High Resolution Ensemble Forecasts point towards the axis of the trough currently over the region crossing the center of Utah late afternoon/evening. so we should see cloud cover remain through most of the day with partial clearing over the valleys by tonight. Temperatures will remain well above the -7/8 C threshold for valley snow so any precipitation over the valley will fall as rain.  Currently we have isolated showers over the western region and this will begin to affect the valley and Wasatch around 10 to 11:

Mountains should see a couple of inches of snow (as mentioned by Trent in the previous forecast) so plan your drive down the mountains accordingly. Saturday we start to see a small ridge build over the region with northwesterly flow aloft and persist until Sunday. Upstream of this feature there is a trough digging over the western seaboard, which will weaken as it ejects over the region Sunday evening/Monday morning. GFS ensemble members point towards a frontal passage sometime around Monday commute.

Not seeing a strong signal of IVT in the GFS/GEFS guidance but temperatures will be cold enough aloft to allow snow to reach the valley floor. These are the plumes for KSLC as of latest model run.

In the mountains we will see a different story unfold with orographic processes helping to drive some stronger snow. The mean snow fall for ensemble plumes for both Alta and Brighton are sitting around 5 – 6 inches with some outliers around 12-15 (also many runs around 2-4 inches). We will have to watch this closely over the weekend but for right now, I am going with enough snow to freshen up the backcountry and fill in skin tracks.

Tuesday into the end of week:
Monday will be a quick hitting storm that will clear out of the region by the evening with another system sliding in Wednesday morning. NAEFS plumes are starting to notice this with some outliers going a little heavy but I will refrain from mentioning anything else for the next 24 hours.  Ensemble models in fairy tale land for Friday indicate a ridge building over the region.

-Andy

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