Great Kickoff for February

Posted Thursday, January 31st, 2019 by Lucas Bohne

The week will end with sunny conditions on Friday before a series of moist systems are forced into the western United States. The dry conditions we have seen for approximately the last week will come to an end as we move into the weekend and significant snow accumulations are to be expected – especially on Sunday and into the new week.

Typical south/southwesterly winds will increase slightly tomorrow as the day progresses as a decently strong and moisture laden low-pressure system approaches the California coast- with even windier conditions anticipated on Saturday. Moisture will start to infiltrate into the interior western US beginning Friday evening and Saturday . By midday Saturday, I’d expect orographic snowfall to kick off over the higher terrain. Unfortunately, warm temperatures on Saturday could mean rain/snow mix or all rain for lower elevations of of local resorts.

Time-height section from today's 18Z NAM gives us an idea of what to expect over the next few days. Sunny conditions are expected Friday, while wind really starts to pick up on Saturday. Moisture will be in place from Saturday to midweek. (from weather.utah.edu)
Time-height section from today’s 18Z NAM gives us an idea of what to expect over the next few days. Sunny conditions are expected Friday, while wind really starts to pick up on Saturday. Moisture will be in place from Saturday to midweek. (from weather.utah.edu)

Things should really start to amp up in the early hours of Sunday morning as areas of lift and and moisture work their way into northern Utah along with slightly colder air. Snow should really start to pile up through midday Sunday! So far, snowfall totals in the range of 6-18″(locally higher amounts possible) by Sunday evening  for most resorts look reasonable, but tomorrow’s post will have more confident ranges.

Some more bouts of moisture look like they will bring on and off snow from Sunday evening through Tuesday morning for the mountains. Another good period of snowfall looks like it’s in store for us on Tuesday as a cold front migrates into Utah. Below are liquid water and snowfall plumes for Alta Collins for the next several days from this morning’s 12Z ensemble runs . The next week or so should be a great one for the Wasatch!!

This morning's 12Z downscaled NAEFS plumes for Alta Collins showing lots of precipitation over the next week! (from weather.utah.edu)
This morning’s 12Z downscaled NAEFS plumes for Alta Collins showing lots of precipitation over the next week! (from weather.utah.edu)

-Lucas

 

 

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