Weather pattern is looking more active across northern Utah

Posted at 10:22 PM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 00:22:49-05

It’s been years since we’ve had such a dry start to the winter season, but finally we’re starting to see signs of change.

This year is reminiscent to the start of the 2014-15 winter season. There’s been little snow and extended days of inversion thanks to a persistently strong ridge of high-pressure dominating the western half of the country.

High Pressure Keeps Storm Track North and East of Utah

This type of pattern diverts the storm track, blocking storms from getting in and promoting inversions in the valleys.  But this pattern is breaking down, which is good news for Utah. The storm track is finally dipping in our direction.

Futurecast shows snow arriving Saturday, December 16, 2017

The first system is set to arrive Saturday morning, bringing much needed snow and clearing out the dirty air.  The Wasatch Front is likely to see accumulating snow, with up to a few inches possible. Mountains and ski resorts could pick up 6 inches or more.

Snow chances return next week.

Another system looks to dive down into Utah Wednesday-Thursday, bringing more snow and clearing out any more haze that builds into the valleys early next week. And a third system looks possible for Friday into the weekend before Christmas.

Pattern Change, High Pressure Ridge Heads West

While none of these look like massive snow makers (the Friday system looks particularly uncertain) there are at least signs of a weakening ridge that heads farther west. This allows more systems to approach, which should prevent more 3-day stretches of red air days and allow a little more snow to move in here and there. The forecast for next week could certainly change, but it looks like we’re heading in the right direction.

Keep in mind the last time winter started out like this in 2014, the following January & February more than made up for the lack of snow.  January & February 2015 went down in the record books as top 5 wettest for those two months in SLC.

Stay in touch with the Fox 13 weather team the most up to date forecasts.