Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oquirrh Precipitation Shadow

The Oquirrh Mountains appear to have had a dramatic impact on the precipitation today.  Over the past two hours, we have been clearly in a precipitation shadow at the DOW site, and even the area around the Cottonwoods had weaker radar returns than the mountains just to the north.  In fact, Alta-Collins only had .03" of snow water equivalent from 3-4 pm.  The frontal band has simply been unable to move into the south valley with the same intensity it had to the north.

The precipitation shadow is evident in the KMTX radar image below as a west-east oriented line of low reflectivity over the south Salt Lake Valley.  I'm using the KMTX image as it provides better context.

The precipitation shadow was oriented from SW-NE, but veered as the winds have shifted to westerly at crest level.  Fascinating stuff.  Not what we were looking for, but interesting nonetheless.

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