Autumn is in full swing and we will see a cool early Fall trough bring showers and even a chance for high elevation snowfall to the mountains of Northern Utah this week. Another cool trough should be possible for next week as well.
Short Term Forecast
I can't believe it, but I'm putting out my first official forecast for snowfall of the new season. It seems like just last week we were in the triple digits and setting record highs.... That might be because JUST LAST WEEK we were doing those things. As we all know, things can change quickly. We had our first trough and cool front move thru the area this weekend. Temps have dropped almost 20F from where they were to start the month and we have FINALLY seen some decent moisture with rain showers and thunderstorms across the region yesterday.
But... enough about the past, let's look ahead to this first snowfall. On Tuesday, we will have another system drop into the Great Basin and push east into Utah. Showers should develop Tuesday night and the temperature will drop considerably into Wednesday. Snow levels should drop low enough that elevations above 8500' feet could see snowfall. The high peaks of the Wasatch and much of the Uintas could be in for the first snowfall of the season. Because this snowfall is confined to the highest elevations, we need a high resolution model to see it clearly on the map. The 3km NAM shows it the best:
Not the most impressive snowfall by winter standards, but considering it's happening on September 11th, it's not too shabby. If we look at the U of U's NAM meteograms for the Upper Cottonwoods:
An impressive 5" of snow up high.... This is likely overdone. I'm skeptical of this much snow this time of year, but you never know. The possibility is certainly there if we get an extended period of heavy precip on Wednesday. It should be cold enough on the peaks.
After Wednesday, we clear out and warm back up quickly. Any snow that does fall, should melt quickly.
We will be warmer than normal again for next weekend. Then, there is a chance for another cool trough at some point next week. Models differ on timing and strength, but the possibility does exist that we see additional showers and perhaps another dusting of snow.
Generally speaking, snow this early does NOT correlate to the overall winter pattern later in the season. However, it is nice to see that the atmosphere is responding to the changing seasons. The rain will help to mitigate fire season and cool temps and moist soil are perfect for my recreational needs.
Evan | OpenSnow
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