Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dirty ridge

With us teetering on the edge of really getting the ski season going, I've been looking at the guidance regularly hoping to see a glimmer of hope for the "big one."  Nothing would please me more than to see us lay down another 2-3 feet of the white stuff, especially at lower elevations, in order to open up the backcountry fully.

At issue is whether or not the GFS and NAM are teasing me.  I've been fairly surprised at just how wet they are for Monday.  As shown below, we're downstream of a long-wave ridge, in NNW flow, and yet the GFS is going berserk for precip.  The NAM is also fairly wet as well.  

Experience suggests that we'll get some periods of snow out of a pattern like this, but not the behemoth dump I'm looking for.  Sometimes in a pattern like this we get a strong riming event.  Typically that happens if we're on the anticyclonic side of the jet so that we get a layer of altostratus with cloud-top temperatures that are fairly mild, say -5C.  In that situation, it's hard to get ice nucleation going.  Snowfall in that situation is more limited.  

Keep your eye to the sky the next couple of days as this could be an interesting period to observe.  Don't despair if the snow doesn't fly big time.  The longer-range guidance suggests we'll have some opportunities further down the road. 


  1. I wish you could put a calender for you're archives as I am looking thru to see snowstorms for Utah and according to Weather Underground SLC had 10.00 inches of snow depth.

    Sadly the actual snow data for Weather Underground is very glitchy pre 2006 or so.

  2. Oops. I meant for November 2010 there was 10.00inches. I went ahead of myself.

    I seem to do that and my writing always comes out wrong and then I have to fix it.