Published at 6:30 am Sunday
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A trough of low pressure and associated cold front are draped over Utah this morning.
If it looks familiar, there is a reason. We had a similar placement of a trough last Monday. Here was the surface map 4/26.
The system is going to move southeast throughout the day and should get hung up along the I-70 corridor. Later tonight the system will start to slowly move south before it starts to affect the NW San Juans by very early tomorrow morning. Spotty precipitation should develop in the low and mid-elevations throughout the morning on Monday.
In response to the system approaching the area, the pressure gradient will tighten and gusty winds will develop across the area. Yesterday the winds had more of a thermal gradient influence, which is common this time of year. Today the winds will have not only the seasonal thermal gradient but also the pressure gradient affecting the region. This will lead to higher wind gusts today than we have seen the last couple of days.
As has been the case the models are still trying to get a handle on precipitation amounts. For now, I just want to focus on the Euro and NAM high-res model. The precipitation pattern they are showing is hinting at a convective element (thunderstorm potential) developing on the west side of the forecast area (Hesperus to Cortez) which then extends into the La Platas and San Juans this afternoon.
On Monday the convection extends into all of the lower and mid-elevation areas in the forecast area south of the San Juans.
Here are the snow and liquid precipitation forecasts through late Monday.
Euro snow (before melting)
Nam 3km liquid
Nam 3km snow (before melting)
I am not sure that I favor either of these model runs this morning, but they are the most similar in how they produce the precipitation. The NWS is hinting that the low pressure may close off across the region. Depending on its placement, it could enhance the overall precipitation totals.
Next update Monday morning, thanks for following and participating in the contest!