Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Favorite Storm Is Coming

My favorite storms are those that drop into Utah from the northwest.  They are great for meteorology and great for skiing.  We get some stable upslope precipitation in the southwesterly flow ahead of the front, some frontal precipitation as the front moves through, and then some orographic and/or lake-effect precipitation following the frontal passage.  The whole Wasatch range gets snow and we get a right-side-up snowfall for great powder skiing.

I'm trying not to get too excited, but the models are forecasting such a storm for this weekend.  The NAM puts the cold front and upper-level trough just upstream of Utah by Saturday morning, with moist southwesterly flow beginning to spread over the Wasatch Front.

 By late Saturday afternoon, the front is pushing through northern Utah.

It's a bit early to get into details of timing and amount, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  The longer-range models show a second storm on the heels of this one, but the pattern of late has been difficult to predict, so I'm trying to avoid "irrational overexuberance."  I confess, however, that I'm rooting for them to be close to reality so that we'll have a great few days of storm chasing with the Doppler on Wheels and start building up the Wasatch snowpack.