An interesting period to examine possible contributions of large-scale, orographic (i.e., mountain), and lake-effect processes is from 0300-0500 UTC (0800-1000 PM MST) last night. Wide spread precipitation is falling over much of the Wasatch Front and Back, including in areas that are not downstream of the Great Salt Lake, such as the Cache Valley and northern Wasatch Front. There is also strong, persistent orographic precipitation enhancement over and upstream of the Wasatch Mountains, Oquirrh Mountains, and the Stansbury Mountains. Some of this topography is located downstream of the Great Salt Lake, but some of it isn't. Clearly synoptic and orographic processes are dominating.
Nevertheless, the loop also suggests a weak but persistent area of radar reflectivity over and along the Great Salt Lake. MesoWest observations show temperatures over the lake were slightly (perhaps 3-4F) warmer than over the surrounding landmass.
|MesoWest observations at 0400 UTC 8 March 2011.|