Happy New Year!

Posted Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019 by Taylor McCorkle

Happy 2019 to all you loyal skiers and boarders who read our blog! We are so excited to start another year and bring you forecasts to aid in your mountain adventures!


2018 ended with a bang as a fairly active pattern brought several storms (and lots of snow!) to the central Wasatch.  Below is the two week accumulated precipitation (inches) recorded at the Alta Collins station

Alta Collins accumulated precipitation via mesowest.utah.edu
Alta Collins accumulated precipitation via mesowest.utah.edu

The first few days of 2019 will be relatively quiet as a strong high pressure ridge will stick around through the week.  Weak flow and stable conditions will inevitably cause air quality conditions to deteriorate as we progress into the weekend. These stable conditions will result in an inversion in the valley (temperature increases with height), and cause temperatures at higher elevations to be warmer than normal for this time of year.  For example, forecasted highs will near freezing on Friday in the high elevations of the Cottonwood Canyons. Below is a plot showing temp and dew point forecasts for Mt. Baldy through Saturday evening.

12 km NAM forecast temperature (red) and dewpoint (green) for Mt. Baldy via weather.utah.edu
12 km NAM forecast temperature (red) and dew point (green) for Mt. Baldy via weather.utah.edu

Our next chance of unsettled weather arrives Sunday night into Monday, which could bring with it the possibility of a decent amount of new snow. We will have more details for you as the event draws nearer.  For now, enjoy the (likely inaccurate) NAEFS ensemble forecasts of snowfall through the beginning of next week.  Notice the spread in these ensemble members (each line individual line = ensemble forecast)? We want this spread to be reduced in order to be more confident in the forecast. This will likely occur once the models get a better handle on the event.

NAEFS snowfall forecasts via weather.utah.edu
NAEFS snowfall forecasts via weather.utah.edu

Check back with us tomorrow for the latest

-Taylor

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