Saturday, November 25, 2017

Monday's Storm Probably Not a Savior

Tree skiing anyone?  Source: Park City Mountain Resort
It's not too often that I hop on my bike at 10 AM on November 25th, but that's what I did today and I even wore fingerless gloves.  Whatever.

The plot below shows the range of temperatures each day this month (dark blue bars) compared to the normal range (green region) and the maximum (top of red) and minimum (bottom of blue) temperatures.

Source: NWS
Little wonder why the past month has pretty much been a downer for skiing.  The past four days have had minimum temperatures close to the average maximum for this time of year.

I am asked two things in patterns like this.  The first is will the next storm deliver.  The second is when will the pattern change.

If forced to pick between a yes and a no, I'll have to go with the latter for the first question, at least for the central Wasatch.  If you bought into the medium range forecasts from the GFS a few days ago, your hopes may have been raised, but with the exception of the storm on Nov 16–17, the GFS has disappointed for most of the fall.  Now that we sit 48 hours from Monday, all but three of the SREF members are generating less than 0.4" of water for Alta. 
There's still some hope if a lower probability, snowier outcome, but chances are we'll get just enough snow to cover the rocks.

Now let's talk pattern change.  Looking at the large scale, I don't see much in the way of major changes over the next 10 days.  The active storm track remains to our north.  In a pattern like this, a decent dump is not impossible, but it needs something to come through and tickle northern Utah in just the right way.  For example, a slow moving front that is quite productive, similar to the one that affected us on Nov 16–17 (but colder), would do the job.  Hope.

On the plus side, it is warm in the valley and the trails are in good shape for mountain biking, hiking, and trail running.  So much better than this scenario with a valley inversion, which would be truly miserable.

1 comment:

  1. On a different topic, I saw this video posted by the NASA Data Visualization Studio using GOES modeling that show the dispersion of aerosols from smoke, sea salt, and dust. It reminded me of posts earlier in the year on the fires in the West.