Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Trouble Is Lurking in the North Pacific

Trouble is lurking this morning in the form of an upper-level trough that is presently over the northeast Pacific.

The latest model runs call for this trough to dig along the Pacific coast and be centered over southern Oregon by 6 PM MDT Friday.

The forecast for northern Utah on Thursday is a bit touch-and-go as the cold front ahead of the upper-level trough is expected to push into the northern part of the state.  The latest NAM puts the surface front right at the Salt Lake City airport at 0300 UTC 20 May (9 PM MDT Friday), giving us a chance of some showers and thunderstorms late tomorrow and early tomorrow evening.

This is not a simple cold frontal passage, however.  The models tease us with the front late tomorrow and tomorrow evening and then push it back to the north and west.  As a result, during the day on Friday, we're forecast to be in strong southerly flow, which could mean a possible dust event Friday afternoon.

All in all, it looks more interesting than the boring weather we've had the past couple of days, but much depends on precisely how far south and east the front pushes late tomorrow.  Keep an eye on the forecast.  I'm hoping it pushes far enough south and east that we get some rain.  I haven't even had to think about watering the lawn and gardens yet this year and would like to keep it that way for a while longer.

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