Friday, January 15, 2016

The Hits Just Keep Coming

It's been a LONG time since I said this, perhaps years, but I really like the pattern we're in, which looks to continue for the next several days.   

The storm from Wednesday night and Thursday ended up putting down about 5 inches of cold smoke on the Alta-Collins stake.  Then, last night, we got another 8 inches of cold smoke with only .21" of water, which yields a water content of only 2.6%.  Given the measurement uncertainty, that number might be a bit higher, but we're still talking very dry snow.

The loop below shows very nicely the overnight trough passage and the accompanying transition in storm characteristics.  Snowfall was widespread ahead of the trough, producing both valley and mountain snow, but with the trough passage, we've seen a transition to precipitation being confined to mainly near or over the Wasatch Mountains, including portions of the east bench.

KMTX Radar with HRRR 700-mb (crest-level) winds
The best way I can highlight the progression we'll see over the next several days is to use the GFS time-height section forecast for KSLC for the next 180 hours (see Forecast Tools: The Time Height Section for more information on this type of chart).  Five pulses of high relative humidity during this period represent five quick-hitting storms (starting with the current one) over the next week.

We'll have to see if the storms farther out in the forecast evolve as advertised, but by and large this looks like a great weather pattern for backcountry skiing.   There are some avy concerns out there, the wind might do some damage at times, and we might go a bit upside down with the storm late Saturday and Saturday night, but by and large, we should be happy.  Conditions at the resorts should remain soft too.

1 comment:

  1. No complaints on the storm cycles this year Non. Zip, Nada!! ( so far). Alta was great today. Thank a patroller where ever you are!