Friday, November 17, 2017

Update on Storm Chasing Efforts during IOP2

I like to joke that "storm chasing" Utah style involves sitting in one place and scanning storms repeatedly, which is exactly what we've been doing today for OREO IOP2.

After our overnight team returned to Salt Lake late last night, today's day team deployed to Antelope Island near the Fielding Garr Ranch.

Antelope Island is a great place to operate the DOW as there are unblocked vistas of much of the northern Wasatch and even the Salt Lake Valley.  It's a bit farther from the Cottonwoods than we like, but we can do a great deal looking at other parts of the Wasatch.

Much of the day we scanned a relatively broad frontal band.  Pretty boring by our standards, but it might still yield some interesting data.  However, during the afternoon, the flow shifted to WNW and the atmosphere destabilized, yielding some shallow convective showers. 

These showers produced a bit of graupel in downtown Salt Lake City and the Avenues (and perhapse elsewhere).

One thing we can do with the DOW is take vertical scans through storms.  The orange and yellow stuff at the bottom of the vertical scans below are ground clutter produced by mountains, but the purples are some of the convective showers, which you can see are shearing off downstream with height. 

Given a relatively pessimistic storm chasing forecast after Monday night, we'll probably work this shallow stuff to the last gasp.


  1. Great information professor Jim. I saw about 2 to 2.5" at my home in West Jordan at 7548 West and 8150 South. I received a report from Tooele of 2". I'm wondering if you could see convective precipitation between 10 AM and Noon near the Oquirrh's, because typically I'm downslope in a west to southwest and even northwest flow. There was one lightning strike in the area at the time and seems to be the only explanation for my typically lower snow area to get more than the East Bench. I'm at 5209'. There wasn't a lot of wind, and I have video of nickel sized flakes coming down nearly vertical at Noon. Regards...Dan Pope @weathercaster @dangood4utah

    1. Although we were canning in that period, I was returning to SLC for a meeting and thus can't provide a DOW-based impression.

    2. From the visible satellite it looks like the West side of the Salt Lake Valley had more snow, as did the upper Tooele Valley. The only time I have seen this in the past is during a Lake Effect storm. Yesterday's flow was not favorable for this part of the valley, and yet we had 2 to 2 and 1/2 inches. Thanks for checking back in. Dan Pope

  2. Much of the valley (including my house in Taylorsville) had some fairly heavy graupel showers early Friday morning, with very large graupel in some. Some of these had occasional lightning as well. I ran into another fairly good graupel shower over the middle of the valley later, around 4 pm, which from radar imagery I think might have been lake enhanced. Otherwise I saw mostly just a mix of rain and snow around the valley.