Sunday, April 8, 2018

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...

In many ways, yesterday was a remarkable day meteorologically, but precip totals were a bit lower than forecast by the models.  Perhaps that's a good thing.

On the remarkable side, yesterday morning's sounding tied for the highest April precipitable water in the Salt Lake City upper-air period of record with 0.77 inches.  Surely we were higher than that in the late morning and early afternoon, but soundings occur at 1200 and 0000 UTC (6 AM and 6 PM MDT, although the actual launch time is a bit before then) and thus missed out peak moisture.  Sadly, there used to be a network of GPS sensors used to estimate precipitable water at high frequency (yes, you can do that with GPS), including one in Salt Lake City, but it seems to have had the plugged pulled as I can't find the data anywhere.  If anyone knows if that data is available and what the link is, please pass it along.

Rain was delivered, but the precipitation band shifted southward into Utah County pretty quickly.  Thus, after a few hours of steady soaker, it was over.  Convection during that period was limited.  No thunderstorms to really get things going (although there were some convective showers in the evening).  I'm not rooting for floods, but some rumbles would have been a nice.

I don't know if snow levels pushed all the way to 11,000 feet, but the Utah Avalanche Center reported rain to at least 10,400 feet.  Water totals for the last couple of days are now around 1.75" at Alta Collins.

There was some snow to start and it is snowing again this morning, but a good chunk of that fell as rain.  Intrepid UAC forecasters Drew Hardesty and Zinna Wilson braved yesterday's liquid sunshine and here's how things looked.

Their video reminded me of my times in the Cascades.  Note how these wet rain-on-snow slides can move slowly, but they are dense and have tremendous momentum.

Temperatures dropped overnight and it's now snowing again at mid and upper elevations.

As far as this winter is concerned, lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it's been.

1 comment:

  1. This is the only place I have found it now - Grand Junction is missing on here as well but we broke the April PWAT as well.