Thursday, September 19, 2013

Snow On the Ground and (Possibly) In the Future

Major changes are now underway that should warm the hearts of Utah skiers.  First, I'd like to whet your appetite with the web cam photo from Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone National Park (thanks to Jack Hales' Star Valley Weather Blog for pointing this out).

Source: National Park Service
Next, we have a couple of opportunities for snow at least in the Wasatch in the coming week.  The first is with the trough passage that will occur this weekend.  Overnight forecasts from the North American Ensemble Forecast System [NAEFS, a combination of the US Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS and the Canadian ensemble] include a few members that drop 700-mb temperatures down to 0ºC on Sunday, which would probably get snow levels down to about 8500 ft.

Source: NWS
On the other hand, the average of those members is a bit warmer than that and the moisture accompanying the trough is pretty limited.  So, this could disappoint, but I thought I'd note the potential for our first dusting at upper elevations.  

Then, an even stronger trough is forecast to move into the western United States next week by both the U.S. Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) and the gold-standard ECMWF ensemble forecast system.

Source: NWS
Much will depend on the path and structure of the trough, but it looks like a major blast of colder air is coming to the west.  Perhaps the Winter Warlock can conjure up some magic and give us at least a dusting at upper elevations in the Wasatch.  Stay tuned.  

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