A little something

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6:59 am


A weak system is pushing through the area today (Thursday).  Showers this morning will turn scattered by this afternoon with clearing on Friday.  A very warm weekend ahead.


Some resorts reporting an inch of snow overnight with one resort (Powder Mountain) reporting 3″.  The main band of precip is pushing into the SLC area as I type this.  Here is the radar as of 6:45am:



Nothing too impressive.  But a couple quick inches are possible today above 7,000 feet.  Daytime heating could enhance some of the scattered, popcorn-type showers this afternoon.  Hopefully it will be enough to bring a few creamy turns to the high elevations.

This weekend we will see very warm weather as a southwest flow brings in mild air.  A trough pushes into the PNW on Sunday.  Big questions remain for us starting Monday as models differ greatly.  Last two runs of the GFS bring precip from this trough far enough east/south to bring northern Utah some showers.  The Euro keeps all precipitation to our north for the beginning of the week, but eventually brings a more progressive pattern into the area by the end of next week with additional troughs.  With so much disagreement, it’s hard to make any sort of forecast, but it does look like the tempo and our chances for storms will increase with time.  At the very least it will be something interesting for me to watch and forecast over the coming week.  Stay tuned…


P.S.  A lot of questions lately asking exactly how this season ranks in the pantheon of worst seasons for Utah.  Of course, every location is slightly different, but if we are using the Alta-Guard location where the UAC has kept records dating back nearly 70 years, then these are the numbers I’ve gathered…

  • Worst season in history:  1976-77  314.5″
  • Current season:  223.5″
  • Amount need through end of April to avoid record: 91″
  • Average snowfall for second half of March and April: 113″
  • Percentage of average needed to avoid record: 80.5%

Essentially, we need to see 80.5% of average from now through the end of April to avoid setting a new record (If the numbers and my calculations are correct).  Of course, Alta-Guard averages nearly 500″ of snow per year and is one of the snowiest places in Utah — other areas are faring much worse.  This also doesn’t take into account that between storm cycles, we’ve seen several periods of record warmth.

What really is remarkable, is that in 70 years, our worst season was still 65% of normal.  When you look at places like Tahoe and PNW right now that are at 30-40% of normal for the season, it makes you feel lucky to live here where our bad isn’t nearly as bad as other places bad.  In fact, LCC’s worst season is near the average snowfall for many of the resorts along the I-70 corridor of Colorado.  Just an interesting comparison of numbers…


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  • Barry

    Like many, I have a trip (from Florida) the end if this month and appreciate your efforts greatly. Now, please tell me that you see record amounts of snow the end of this month.

  • Wilson

    Evan what do you think..snowbird or solitude today? Tough decision

    • Snowbird has a bit more elevation. Elevation is your friend today!

      • Wilson

        Thanks for all you do..hopefully next year you’ll have a lot more to post about

  • Landscutz

    Some say the drought on the west coast and the frigid east coast are related. This observation is described here (with some amazing weather maps):


    • They are very much related. An unusually strong, stubborn ridge in the west translates to an unusually strong, stubborn trough in the East.

  • Mat Young

    nice positive vibe on a tough situation. Here’s to hoping for 80%

  • Paul McLeman

    I read your forecasts Evan from the UK – I am learning a lot and always hoping you guys get more snow. We have skied at Deer Valley with family for the last 3 winters and so watch the weather with interest. Great explanations – I feel I am learning something everytime I read your posts. Fingers crossed for more snow

  • It is amazing how even the worst winters in the Wasatch still see over 300″ of snow, so sorry for places like CA where bad winters result in very little snow. It is worth pointing out that the Alta UDOT official snow reporting site is a notorious wind loading site. The site keeps great records that are very accurate so the data is very useful to compare snow years but the numbers are inflated about 10%.

  • Jim Sou Cal

    Very light snow at Bird now. With upper mountain in flat light cloud. At this point I’d prefer spring sun as lots of hard but the wind put some soft down yesterday. Regulator yesterday was rock hard. Fun but could be more fun. A good day for a hot tub.

  • Jim Sou Cal

    Wet snow at mid gad Snowbird with a couple of inches so far. Friday should be an improvement. Top of tram a touch more. Lots of white out. Some light peeks through. At least it’s empty.

  • Andrew

    At Alta today. Snowed most of the morning. A few breaks, a little sleet but it is back to all snow, albeit a bit on the wet side. Definitely more snow and precip than predicted. Overall very good conditions.

    • Joe M.

      Andrew, I concur. Alta was the place to be.