Quintessential Spring

Friday, March 18, 2016 at 8:30 am

Saturday update:

No change from yesterday.  Warm thru Monday, storm pushes in on Tuesday.  Still differences in strength between major models but it looks like at least a 6-12″ storm for the highest elevations.  If the GFS is correct, it could be more, especially for areas like the Cottonwoods.  At this point Tuesday and Wednesday look like the days to get after it.   Full update tomorrow.  WSF





We are clearing out and starting our warm-up into the weekend.  By Sunday and Monday, we should see very warm conditions.  Time to bust out the tailgate BBQs.  Snow returns Monday night into Tuesday of next week, perhaps continuing into Wednesday with much cooler conditions.


Beaver Mountain received another 7″ of snow since yesterday morning, so they really hit the jackpot this week.  If you haven’t been up there, I recommend it.  It’s a humble family resort but really great terrain and even better food.

We should be all cleared out now and we will see a rapid warm-up now thru the end of the weekend.  By Sunday, temps should be near 70 in the lower valleys and 50s on the mountain.  This warmth will continue on Monday as well, with winds kicking up ahead of our next system.

Next storm should start to roll in either Monday night or Tuesday morning.  There is a still a good amount of model disagreement so all I’m going to say for now is we should see periods of snow Tuesday morning thru Wednesday.  As for exactly when and how much, we’ll still have to wait another day or two to know those details.  You can see that even NAEFS ensembles are still all over the place, but the median would suggest a moderate sized system:



A cool, unsettled northwest flow could add to totals later next week in a similar fashion to what we saw earlier this week.  Main message is that it looks like more chances for March powder are on the way.

As for our snowpack, here are the current Utah numbers:


Statewide average is now just a bit below average.  You can see that the big snow this week up in the far Northern Wasatch has boosted their numbers.  We are in a pattern right now that is holding serve — the storms aren’t quite big and/or frequent enough for us to catch up to average, but we’re not really falling further behind either.

As for how this season compares to previous seasons, you can see that we are still ahead of each of the previous 4 years at Snowbird:


Good news!  Hopefully we continue to get snow through the end of April and finish somewhere near normal.  I know a lot of you said before the season that you’d take a “normal” year in a heartbeat, so can’t complain too much if that were to occur.


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  • Peter

    so what are we thinking is this lamina going to hit and make Utah and whistler record seasons go on go out on a limb and give us a future prediction thx for your reports no one does it better and I mean that regards pk

  • Forrest Gladding

    Is there any data on snow totals or snowpack at lower elevations to look t. Yeah sure this seem normal at 8500ft, but to me snow totals at 7000ft have to be way below normal the last 5 yrs. Just seems like in the 90s and early 2000s that we always had a fat snowpack further down the canyons than we do today. I haven’t even seen the base of the Y colour have enough snow in almost a decade.

    • The last five years have had below average low elevation snow pack. Warmer than normal temps and long periods of sun in the middle of winter have had caustic impacts on the low elevations. We were doing well at low elevations this year until February when high pressure took control and melted it. Perhaps an early impact of changing global climates…