Friday, November 9, 2012

Winter Arrives with a Bang

A strong cold front passed through Salt Lake City at about 4 am MST this morning, as clearly shown by the meteogram from the Salt Lake International Airport.

Such a large and dramatic temperature fall is somewhat unusual in the early morning hours, but with strong prefrontal winds, there was little cooling at the surface overnight, so the full brunt of the front could be felt at the surface.

Winter arrived with a bang following the frontal passage as thunderrain turned to thundersnow with falling temperatures at the airport between about 6 and 7 am MST.

It will be interesting to see how much accumulates today in the Salt Lake Valley.  Temperatures are right at the margins for snow and the ground is very warm.  There should be dramatic contrasts in accumulations between the valley floor and the upper benches, and from surface to surface.

BTW, the leading edge of the front was very shallow.  At 7am it was 34ºF at the Salt Lake Airport, but still 31ºF at Alta-Collins with southwest winds at the top of Mount Baldy.

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