Snow for the New Year.

Posted Sunday, December 29th, 2019 by Andy Park

TL..DR
Utah will bring in the New Year right with some ensemble members indicating the potential for upwards of a foot of snow for the Wasatch by end of the day Thursday. Uncertainty grows past this point but I think it’s safe to say we gonna have us a great start to 2020.

Sunday through Tuesday

Just got back from exploring the high mountains of Colorado and boy did I miss the Utah snowpack. Currently my skis are ready to go and ride is on the way to go explore some excellent Wasatch backcountry.

We have a north, northwest flow aloft which has brought snowfall in the canyons around 1-3 inches. Additionally there is a nice swab of moisture moving in which could drive snowfall in the Wasatch throughout the day. High Resolution Ensemble members don’t show this but mesoscale analysis leads me to believe this outcome. Temperatures are pretty cool so going to bring an extra fleece.

The larger picture in the middle of the atmosphere is complex with Utah receiving the backend of the amplifying trough that is ejecting east from Colorado. As this system moves another smaller trough will dig into the southern coast of California by Monday morning splitting Utah in between the two. Northwest flow will continue over the region which might drive some snowfall due to airflow interacting with terrain but don’t hold your breath; the GFS/GEFS IVT models don’t indicate strong levels of moisture being directed into the Great Basin until midweek.

Wednesday to Weekend:
Starting Wednesday a surge of moisture over the Great Basin will bring a decent chance of some deeper snow with some members suggesting 12 inches by Wednesday evening. Again, a little far to throw numbers out but we do have a strong signal of deeper snow coming to the Wasatch by midweek.

By the end of the week the ensemble and deterministic GFS start to disagree on location of moisture:

But I think it’s safe to say that Utah will get a nice hit of snow to bring in the New Year. We have a good probability of a 6-12 inches of snow by Thursday with the potential of another few inches by the end of the week.

Get out there and get some face shots.

-Andy

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