A Good Start

A Good Start

After 7 days of clouds and snow,  brilliant blue skies have returned to Star Valley

At Star Valley Ranch(location of above photo), snow depth Thursday morning was 7 inches, with a total of 19 inches falling in the past week.  This brings the water year total since Oct. 1 2012 to 31 inches of snow with 3.28 inches water content. At the CoCoRaHS  site located 5 mi. S of Smoot, since Oct 1st precipitation totals 3.11 inches.

After such a dry summer and low snow pack last winter, it is an encouraging beginning to this year’s snow season.

The SNOTEL sites in the Salt River Range are showing a good start to the snow pack.

The following table provides more detailed data of the snow pack from the surrounding area including the Tetons.

Looking ahead the  flow pattern  will lead to a large trough off the West Coast and  milder southwesterly flow into western Wyoming.

Thursday morning’s 500mb analysis

500mb analysis Thursday am 11/15/12

 indicates high pressure ridging over much of the west which transition to an intense trough off the West Coast by the weekend as a weaker upper low off the California coast moves inland.

500mb forecast Saturday morning 11/17/12

Thursday a.m. Water Vapor Imagery shows a large area of clouds associated with the upper low off  California and a developing strong system in the Gulf of Alaska.

WV Imagery Thursday am 11/15/12

Model forecast precipitation through Saturday morning is confined to the coastal states with mostly  dry conditions in Wyoming. The clouds from the weakening upper low moving into California will spread into western Wyoming with the possibility of some light precipitation.

Model forecast precipitation  48 hours through Saturday am 11/17/12

Over the weekend the mild southwest flow continues across Star Valley, with most of the precipitation remaining to the west and north of Star Valley.

Model forecast precipitation 48 hours through Monday am 11/19/12

The low pressure trough moves inland across the Northern Rockies by Monday a.m.

500mb forecast Monday am 11/19/12

and will lead to some precipitation into Star Valley.  Mountain snows and valley rain/snow showers will be likely Sunday and Monday.