Spring Returns

Friday, April 1, 2016 at 7:04 am


Dry conditions and warming temperatures will be the theme for this weekend.  Great weekend to do some spring skiing, house cleaning, or even bust out the summer recreation gear.  Chances for storms will return next week.


Overall, things are now quiet.  Yesterday we had some ‘popcorn’ convective showers that moved through from north to south and created some high mountain snow showers from time to time.  Not much accumulation.  Today will be cool but we’ll see temps warm rapidly this weekend.  By Sunday, we should see 50s on the mountain with close to 70 in the valleys.

Next chance for snow will be Monday night into Tuesday as a system just clips far northern Utah.  Nothing major, but we could see a bit of snow.   Later next week, both the EC and GFS are hinting at a very unusual scenario developing in which low pressure off the California coast spins abundant moisture into the area from the south.  Very monsoon like.  This moisture eventually combines with energy pushing in off the Pacific.  Right now, there are timing differences, but both Euro and GFS models would generate somewhat decent precipitation.  Of course, with the origins of this moisture, it may mean high snow levels.  Something to watch…


April 1 is often the date that many locations across the west do their end-of-season snowpack readings, so it seems wise for us to have a quick look at where we stand:


If you weight each basin equally, the mean is 102% of the median statewide this year.  Of course, not every basin should be weighted equally — the Wasatch range should be weighted a bit higher since it receives a larger proportion of snowfall than many of the other regions listed.  Most of the Wasatch was closer to 90% of average.   But it does illustrate that as of today, we are very close to “normal” statewide.  Not great, but I know many of us are perfectly happy with these numbers when compared to what we got last year.

Speaking of last year, Snowbird enters April with more snow than each of the previous 4 years:


If we can get a good storm into the region in the next couple weeks, we have a good chance to have a higher peak than 2013, however, this time of year any extended periods with no snow can cause the snowpack numbers to decline — it’ll be interesting to see what April can do for us.  I’ve never had a year without at least one or two very good April/May powder days — so I would highly doubt we are done yet.  Remember last year?  The best day of the season was April 15.

Next update will be later this weekend when we get a bit more clarity on next week’s potential systems…




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  • Faceplant

    Wow I’m getting old. I skied every storm but I can’t for the life of me remember a 5″ SWE storm in mid feb. I know we got some snow in February but it was pretty meager.

    • It’s funny you brought that up because I looked at that yesterday as well and was a bit perplexed. The total flatline afterward seems a bit unusual as well. Not sure what the deal is, but the overall numbers look correct as of today.

    • Erock

      There was a couple really warm heavy density snowfalls Valentine weekend. But not 5″ of liquid. I remember the storms because I tried to chase in Jackson hole and got skunked when they were forecasting 1 to 2 feet up there. Ended up with more snow in the cottonwoods I think 5 to 10 inches over a couple days.

    • Jim

      According to Alta web site they received a total of 36.5 inches in February with 19.5 inches between the 15th and the 22nd. After that there was pretty much nothing until March 6th. So the graph does make sense.

    • Jim

      There was one of the atmospheric river events mid february that had over 2″ of water but did not amount to much snow. I recall average snow ratio was about 7:1. very dense.

      • Faceplant

        Great. You guys confirmed it. I’m just old.

  • Updated version for April 1st is now in with a slight up-tick from yesterday, mainly in eastern Utah. Nice to finally get a near normal season after 4 dry years!

    • Mike R

      Very cool. It was a great week up on PC, fingers crossed that we’ll have more this month.

  • Nancy Davis

    How do I donate money for this awesome work?

  • Ran