Knock Knock! It’s Winter!
I sometimes think I've irritated the folks up at the Salt Lake City forecast office of the National Weather Service. I have, at some times, indicated that there have been occasions when what has been forecast for our area has not always been what actually happens.
Now, that's not that big a deal as weather is an inexact science to some degree, so there will probably be some miscues.
But what has me puzzled at this time is what seems to be the hesitancy to issue advisories and warning from the Salt Lake office. Right now, it's Tuesday afternoon January 2nd, there is (finally!) a forecast for snow in the Cedar City area and it looks like winter is about to arrive for a few days.
As I look at the regional map at this time I see a Winter Weather Advisory issued from the Las Vegas Office for Lincoln County. They are forecasting one to two inches of snow for Caliente. The Flagstaff office has all kinds of advisories out for northern Arizona with one to three inches forecast for Fredonia, three to five inches in Flagstaff and four to six inches at the now closed North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
And, if you look at the forecast for Cedar City from the Salt Lake office they are saying that we could get from two to four inches. Sounds great, right? The question I have however, is why our forecasters are holding off on issuing an advisory?
I mean, a storm with two to four inches of snow is a pretty common occurrence for Cedar City, so it might seem kind of a ho-hum thing. Maybe one to two inches of snow in Caliente is more of an issue than two to four inches here, but I would think we should be given a heads up as soon as it is warranted.
It seems as I have been looking at these regional maps for a good deal of time, the advisories and warnings for Utah more often come later than those from other forecast offices.
I'm not suggesting that our forecast office employ a “chicken little” mentality and try to cause fear and panic for those of us traveling the roads here in the winter time. But, timely information is important as we plan travel in the area, especially of that travel takes us beyond the boundaries of our communities.
Well, maybe this writing has had more of an impact than I imagined. I just checked and refreshed the regional map, and the Salt Lake City office has now issued a “winter weather advisory” for...the southern Utah mountains. They say five to ten inches could fall from this storm to the mountains.
I think I just saw a collective grin from the entire town of Brianhead.
Top Ten One Day Snowfall Total In Utah
Gallery Credit: Dr T