Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Pow?

Endless winter continues in the Intermountain West this weekend.

The "warmest" weather comes today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) in advance of an approaching upper-level trough from the west.  With a strong baroclinic zone draped across the state today and tomorrow, temperatures will be much higher in southern Utah than northern Utah.

NAM Model forecast valid noon Saturday 28 May 2011.
By Sunday, however, the trough has amplified and moved into Nevada, with a band of precipitation forecast to be sitting over northern Utah.  Further, 700-mb temperatures along the Wasatch Front have cooled to about -4 C.  Thus, we'll see snow levels dropping to about 8000 feet.  Southeast Utah remains, however, ahead of the developing front and remains in the warm air, albeit with strong winds and potentially blowing dust.

NAM Model forecast valid noon Sunday 29 May 2011.
By Monday there's no escape as cool air has spread across the whole state.  With cool, moist westerly flow over northern Utah, skiers might just get the goods again in the Wasatch Range.  The NAM forecast 700 mb temperatures are less than -6C, so snow levels will probably be down to 7000 feet, lower during periods of heavy precipitation.

NAM Model forecast valid noon Monday 30 May 2011.
I won't be the least bit surprised if I see some snow or ice pellets at my house in the upper Avenues on Monday.  For the mountains, we'll have to wait and see if it snows enough to create decent conditions, but it bears watching and being ready for that one last powder day.

Of course, the way things are going this year, perhaps it will snow until the 4th of July...

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