Friday, December 28, 2012

A Break in the Action

The Christmas storm cycle is coming to an end.   The forecasts for the next seven days indicate that split flow will dominate the pattern.  We may see a weak system or two come through, including on Sunday, but precipitation will be light and overall the next seven days will feature below average snowfall.
Accumulated precipitation forecast by the GFS over the
next seven days
We shouldn't complain, the Snowbird and Mill D SNOTELs presently sit at 130% and 112% of average snowpack, respectively.


  1. I noticed on the visible satellite image today that nearly the entire Great Basin has a decent snow cover, at least above about 37 degrees N. It has often seemed to me that such extensive snow cover causes incoming systems to occlude much sooner due to a much colder lower atmosphere. This may increase snowfall in some areas (portions of Nevada, for instance) due to lack of rainshadowing, but seems to result in much weaker systems further inland in Utah. Has anyone else noticed a correlation with this? I am wondering if there is much to it or not.

    1. I drove back from Northern California yesterday and there was snow on the ground from the Sierra's all the way to Salt Lake. I've driven that route a handful of times in the winter and this is the first time I've had snow all the way across Nevada. What satellite image were you looking at?

      Getting across Donner's Pass on the 22nd in a blizzard, now that was fun.

    2. I was looking at the 1km visible spectrum images on the SLC NWS page. You can see from the current surface obs how cold this whole snow covered area is, too. Looks like we are going to get a pretty mean inversion when the mid levels warm up in a few days.

  2. Interesting...

    We flew back to California from SLC on Saturday and noticed that there was snow on the ground for the entire trip through Northern Nevada. So, I can verify what you saw in the visible satellite from my 36000 feet vantage point :)