Quiet weather continues

Posted Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 by Pete Saunders

We’ve had good fortune the past several days with high-producing troughs that have given us quite a bit of mountain (and valley) snow. Yesterday and today, though, have been quiet with gorgeous skiing/boarding conditions. Some high clouds have started moving into the area this afternoon, but there has been plenty of sun throughout the day. Below is a view from Powderhorn Lift at Solitude from this afternoon.

View from Powderhorn lift at Solitude Mountain Resort at 14:24 MST. Courtesy: https://webcams.solitudemountain.com
View from Powderhorn Lift at Solitude Mountain Resort at 14:24 MST showing some high clouds with ample sunshine still. Courtesy: https://webcams.solitudemountain.com

What’s Next?

A weak trough out of the Pacific will make its way into our region Thursday morning/afternoon. It looks, however, like it will be relatively moisture starved, and with weak dynamics associated with this trough we should only expect 0.5-1″ of snow with this system. Below is the GFS forecast for 500 hPa vorticity and 700 hPa relative humidity (green contours) showing the approaching trough with limited moisture approaching our region Thursday.

GFS 500 hPa geopotential heights (black contours), 500 hPa vorticity (shaded) and 700 hPa relative humidity (green contours) showing approaching weakening trough with attendant limited moisture. Courtesy: weathernerds.org
18z GFS forecast 500 hPa vorticity (shaded) and 700 hPa relative humidity (green contours) showing approaching weakening trough  with attendant limited moisture on Thursday. Courtesy: weathernerds.org

Behind that, another trough will enter the continental U.S. on Saturday but looks like it will stay to our south over southern Arizona and New Mexico, leaving us high and dry. The good news is that temperatures will be relatively pleasant in the mountains this week with highs in the upper 20s – low 30s.

By the middle of next week, models are picking up on a couple of troughs that could produce some appreciable snow amounts beginning Tuesday evening. Stay tuned for more information on the potential storms next week (and for any possible changes on forecast snow totals Thursday), and enjoy the comfortable ski conditions!

-Pete

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