Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Radar Potpourri

I'd rather be skiing, but if stuck in the office, it's great to have Mother Nature put on a show.

The radar loop this morning is simply fantastic.  There's the strong frontal precipitation band pushing through the Salt Lake Valley.  There are a number of pixels with radar reflectivities < 35 dBZ (yellow), which is quite high for a winter storm.

The orographic effects in the southwesterly flow ahead of the front are also fascinating.  Note the persistent, stationary echoes over the southern Wasatch Mountains.  The radar beam in this area is quite high, which often results in overshooting, as discussed in my book.

Source: Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth
As a result, snowfall rates are probably higher than you might infer from the radar echo strength.

Also of interest is a band of precipitation that appeared to form over the high divide between Little Cottonwood and American Fork Canyon (circled).  Note how this band trained off over Deer Valley and even SR-40 between Heber and Park City.  I like to say when looking at radar imagery that there are "a lot of critters in the woods" and I've never seen a critter like that before.

Heavy snow will likely continue on the U of U campus through about 10:30 or 11 before starting to taper off.  Enjoy it while it lasts!

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