Taking some down time for a couple of weeks. See everyone in mid October. Maybe there will be hope for snow by then. Until then, begin with a few slow breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let your body relax. Visualize snowy mountains. Imagine skiing deep powder. Do this several times a day.
Friday, September 30, 2022
Excuse the gloating, but yesterday's thunderstorms favored for once my are with the Avenues, downtown Salt Lake, and the University of Utah coming in with the highest precipitation totals in the Salt Lake Valley.
Observations for the 24-hour period ending this morning show several sites reporting accumulations of around 0.3 inches.
Multisensor precipitation estimates of 24-hour accumulated precipitation show a band of precipitation extending from West Valley City across the Salt Lake Valley and into the Avenues Foothills. This pattern primarily reflects three thunderstorms systems that developed and intensified in the southwesterly flow as they moved across the northern Salt Lake Valley. The heaviest precipitation was actually in the mountains northeast of Salt Lake City.
The first system moved across the northern Salt Lake Valley from about 4:30 to 5:30 PM MDT, interrupting my mountain bike ride through the avenues foothills. I just barely beat it back to the house. The second moved across the valley from from about 7:30 to 8:30 PM MDT. The third developed over downtown Salt Lake City at around 8:50 PM MDT and moved into the Wasatch Range by around 9:15 PM MDT. As can be seen in the precipitation analysis above, there were a few other cells in other areas that developed and moved northeastward in the southwesterly flow, including one that moved across the Great Salt Lake and affected the Ogden area.
Thanks Mother Nature. My plants appreciate it.
Thursday, September 29, 2022
UTA announced yesterday major cuts to ski bus service for this coming winter. For the Cottonwoods:
- Route 953 up Little Cottonwood is suspended
- Route 972 up Big Cottonwood cut from 15-minute to 30-minute service
- Route 994 up Little Cottonwood cut from 15-minute to 30-minute service.
I hereby declare Joni Mitchell's song Big Yellow Taxi the official song of the Central Wasatch. "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got until it's gone."
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Call it Fall if you want to, but what I like to call the "bonus season" is upon us as a ridge in late September and October makes for beautiful weather, cool mornings, and sparkling afternoons. Add the changing leaves and you have simply spectacular weather for mountain biking, hiking, or any other outdoor pursuits that don't require snow or ice.
Reds, oranges, and yellows are now dotting the Corner Canyon area and temperatures are near ideal for a steady morning climb.
It's bittersweet to ride in the Corner Canyon area knowing that expansion of trails in the Avenues foothills remains paused. Corner Canyon has a great trail network, with a mixture of hiking trails, mixed use trails, and downhill bike flow trails.
I'm old enough to remember riding there on the old ATV and jeep trails before there was development. Those trails have now been supplemented with better engineered single track trails, greatly expanding the riding and hiking potential. I look forward to seeing the trails proposed for the Avenues foothills finished and hope it happens sooner rather than later.
Thursday, September 22, 2022
I understand I've missed some exciting weather in northern Utah, but I have been in Steamboat Springs this week teaching an immersive course in mountain field research at Storm Peak Lab with Drs. Gannet Hallar and Sebastian Hoch. We brought 14 graduate students here thanks to support from the National Science Foundation.
|Hungry students after the long drive to Steamboat|
Storm Peak Lab is a mountaintop observing facility that has operated at one location or another near the top of Steamboat Springs Ski Area for more than 40 years. The current facility was constructed in 1995. The University of Utah recently took over operations of the lab from the Desert Research Institute.
We've also had students looking at black carbon, which is emitted, for example, by coal fired power plants upstream of Storm Peak Lab, and attending the Yampa Basin Rendezvous, which has also been going on this week and is examining water resiliency in the Yampa Basin. Finally, there are three students from my class who could not attend as they are participating in another field campaign in the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. These students will be examining how the topography of those islands affects cloud and precipitation development.
The entire week has been a great learning experience for students and instructors. I hope to be able to incorporate such activities into future classes.
Friday, September 16, 2022
Pretty exciting stuff happening right now over the north Pacific and Bering Sea where a powerful cyclone is disrupting the jet-stream level flow with implications for the weather of the western continental United States.
Understanding the event requires going back in time to 0000 UTC 14 September (6 PM MDT Wednesday 13 December). At this time, tropical storm Merbok was moving poleward (identified below with an L) and about to interact with a trough in the mid-latitude westerlies (red dashed line).
These two features got together and decided to "go off." With an assist from the upper-level trough, Merbok underwent what is known as extratropical transition, evolving from a tropical storm into a extratropical cyclone of the type found in the mid and high latitudes. It also deepened explosively to remarkably low pressures. At 0600 UTC 16 Sep (Midnight MDT last night), the cyclone was centered in the western Aleutians (L in the figure below) with a central pressure of 948 mb (average sea level presure is 1013 mb). Storms like this tend to disrupt the jet-stream level flow by building a downstream ridge that can initiate a process known as downstream development in which downstream features also amplify. Indeed, the cyclone built a strong ridge over the Bering Sea and strengthened the northerly jet downstream over Alaska.