While it may have been looking a little bleak in the long range, even as recent as a few days ago, things are about to take a turn for the better. Over the past couple days models have keyed in on a much more progressive & active pattern as we head into the mid-late week timeframe. While no one storm looks particularly impressive, it’s the active pattern (& lack of large scale upper level ridging) that’s important to focus on.
A brief period of upper level ridging will traverse Northern Utah tomorrow and Wednesday ahead of the first of (at least) 3 systems. If you’re headed up into the mountains expect sunny and much warmer conditions than we’ve seen of late. Unfortunately, this also means strengthening valley inversions; though, because of the progressive pattern things should clear out by Thursday. Speaking of, that first shortwave trough will be moving in from the west and weakening as it approaches Utah. However, it should still have somewhat decent dynamics and moisture to work with if one believes the more aggressive GFS. The GFS has about .3-.5” of QPF for the mountains of Northern Utah, whereas the European is only showing about .1-.2”. I’ll let tomorrow’s forecaster throw out some numbers since we still have some differences between the models. If I had to put something down, though, worst case scenario = a couple inches, more likely scenario = around a half foot. Far north and the Cottonwoods look the most favorable.
After this first storm expect a quick break late Thursday, followed by another round of snow beginning early Friday. This shortwave will traverse our area more so from the NW. Models have been trending more aggressive and the GFS/European are in good agreement with > .4” QPF – Without getting into too many details this should be a more substantial storm than the prior. Finally, another storm late Saturday – early Sunday should impact the Wasatch with additional accumulations. Overall, I like what I’m seeing from the pattern – hopefully this will be the start of breaking the January curse.