Sunday, January 18, 2015

A (Nearly) Hopeless Situation!

Model forecasts for the next 10 days are discouraging for powderhounds to say the least.  Other than the potential for dribs and drabs generated by weak systems, there's pretty much nothing in the way of potential storms for northern Utah.  Further, during the next week, a high-amplitude blocking ridge takes hold along the west coast.  It's even in the ECMWF forecast! 

Source: ECMWF
To illustrate how grim things are, the forecasts below are for the next week and have been derived from the North American Ensemble Forecast System (NAEFS) and downscaled for local terrain effects.  The average of the members we are using calls for under 3 inches of snow over the next week.   

And the corresponding model traces for Alta shows only one member getting to 6 inches and most with no more than two inches.  

Yup, the situation is nearly hopeless.  However, these are extended-range forecasts, so perhaps we can hope that we get a surprise.  For instance, the ridge could shift upstream and open us up to northwesterly flow.  While I can't rule out such a surprise, the odds are more than likely that we will see very little in the way of snow over the next week (maybe even 10 days).  At least there's no snow on the valley floor, which should help some with the intensity of the inversion.  

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