Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Death to Heat Miser!

For many years, I've had a doll of the Heat Miser strung up on a noose in my office as a protest against global warming, heat waves, and winter thaws.  The Heat Miser is one of Mother Nature's sons in the Rankin and Bass animated classic, The Year Without a Santa Claus.  I often joke to my students that everything you need to know about weather and climate is contained in that television special.

Last night temperatures in the Wasatch were obscenely high.  The map below shows the highest temperatures observed between midnight and 6 am.  How about 34ºF at the top of the Snowbird Tram, 37ºF at the top of Collins at Alta, 43ºF at the base of Alta, 44ºF at the base of Solitude, and 45ºF at the base of Park City.  It was also extremely windy.

Source: MesoWest
Precipitation started again this morning and it brought the temperatures down just a bit to 35ºF at Alta–Collins (9662 ft).  The Utah Avalanche Center reports that rain is falling to about 9500 feet.  

Source: MesoWest
Yes indeed it is a hard shell day.  We do have a weak front coming through later today and snow levels will fall a bit, but the lower elevations below about 8500 feet are going to be largely skunked.  Below is the forecast for upper Little Cottonwood from the GFS.  Usually the precip amounts are underdone, but the snow level forecasts are usually pretty good.  

Snow miser will attempt to return after today.  We will see colder temperatures through early next week, but the storms look to be of the quick hitter or brush-by variety.  Let's hope they pan out better than currently progged.  Death to the Heat Miser.  Long live the Snow Miser.

Source: Rankin Bass

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