Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Messy Pattern

We have a complicated weather situation over northern Utah today.  As can be seen in the analysis for 1500 UTC (0900 MDT), a 700-mb (crest level) low was centered over northeast San Pete County, with an inverted trough extending northward into southeast Idaho.  As a result, strong contrasts in flow direction existed across the Uinta Mountains and the northern Wasatch Mountains.  Precipitation was concentrated primarily near and west of the inverted trough, although the radar may be unable to see precipitation falling over the Uintas and southwest Wyoming due to blockage and overshooting.  

Note how easterly flow extends from southwest Wyoming to the northern Wasatch Front, as was forecast by the computer models yesterday.  This led to a weak downslope wind event this morning from Bountiful through North Ogden.  Note the predominantly easterly flow along the western slopes of the Wasatch at 1500 UTC (0900 MDT).  

Source: MesoWest

As we suspected yesterday, this has been a fairly benign event.  The peak gust reported thus far by any MesoWest station in that area is 37 miles per hour at a site in Farmington.  It's nice that the model guidance appears to have become more reliable for helping us discern between benign and high-impact downslope wind events.  

Source: MesoWest
If we could only do better with precipitation!

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