Break Time

Friday, January 13, 2017 at 8:37 am

Summary:

A break in the action for this weekend into early next week.  A good time to dig out. Storms return starting Wednesday with more powder likely!

Details:

Alright folks, we have finally completed what was a very long, intense, hectic, but overall, fun storm cycle.  Totals since the start of the new year have been impressive — to the tune of up to TEN FEET of snow.  Here are my final numbers using resort reported numbers with a little bit of quality control:

January Totals 2-Jan 3-Jan 4-Jan 5-Jan 6-Jan 8-Jan 9-Jan 10-Jan 11-Jan 12-Jan 13-Jan Totals
Brighton 7 21 6 18 2 4 11 12 20 12 5 118
Deer Valley 5 19 4 16 1 2 6 19 18 11 5 106
Sundance 1 20 3 22 3 5 9 6 9 14 10 102
Solitude 10 28 4 15 0 1 8 10 9 14 1 100
Powder Mtn 8 2 3 18 0 5 6 12 20 21 0 95
Beaver Mtn 7 2 10 17 0 5 6 15 14 15 0 91
Park City 6 17 3 13 0 2 3 10 18 12 4 88
Snowbird 5 19 2 13 2 2 5 11 7 13 3 82
Alta 4 19 3 10 2 1 5 10 7 13 5 79
Snowbasin 8 2 7 11 0 3 6 8 11 16 0 72
Eagle Point 0 0 1 3 7 2 3 4 0 5 13 38
Brian Head 1 0 0 2 12 2 0 5 0 2 12 36

Truly some numbers we haven’t seen in a long time in Utah.  And the skiing has been amazing.  Just one powder day after another!  If you planned your vacation to Utah over the last two weeks, pat yourself on the back.  One of the sad parts of writing these forecasts, is you hear a lot from people leading up to their vacation, nervous about if they’ll get any fresh snow, but then you never hear a word from them after the fact.  It would be nice to get some retrospective reviews of if it lived up to their expectations.  Hopefully everybody was stoked.

Details on how all this snow affected our snowpack can be found below.  Hint:  You’ll want to read this.

As for our forecast, perhaps a few lingering snow showers in far southern Utah this morning, but overall we are clearing out for the next four or five days.  We will see valley inversions developing.  A great time to head up to the mountain to check out all the new snow and get some vitamin D rather than being stuck in cold, polluted valleys.

Long Range:

This break in the action isn’t going to be too long.  It still looks like we will see our next storm approaching by Wednesday the 18th.  Snow likely in all Utah mountains for Thursday.  This looks like it will be a healthy storm with decent totals, so more powder is likely.  There is a subsequent storm for next weekend in both the Euro and GFS, but both models slide it’s strongest energy to our south into the desert southwest.  Southern Utah will likely be most favored for that storm.  It looks like active weather may continue beyond that, but way too far out for details.

Snowpack:

Of course, we’re probably all curious to see how this monster storm cycle affected our snowpack.  As you’d expected, we are sitting pretty currently in the state of Utah:

Every major basin in Utah is now well above average!  A couple now at >200% of normal!  Haven’t seen numbers like that in a long time.

Let’s take a look at some individual locations and see how they compare to the past 5 years’ snowpacks..

First, Timpanogos Divide:

A whopping 227% of their median.  96% of the normal season total.  And already significantly deeper than any of the previous 5 years!

Snowbird:

189% of median.  57% of the average season total.  Already above the peak snowpack of the dismal 2014-2015 season.  At least a full month ahead of any of our previous 5 years!

Brighton:

172% of median.  73% of average season total.  Already above peak snowpack from 14-15 and 11-12.   Also, a month and a half ahead of the other seasons.

Thaynes Canyon (Park City Resort):

151% of median.  63% of season snowpack average.  At least a month ahead of all previous years.

Ben Lomond Peak (nearish to PowMow and Snowbasin):

180% of median. 88% of seasonal peak average.  Already higher than 4 of previous 5 years.  And, an astonishing 32.8″ of SWE (most snow in Utah, I think).

Trial Lake (Western Uintas):

232% of median. 95% of seasonal average snowpack.  Already above 4 of past 5 seasons.

As you can see, it’s a similar story around Northern Utah.  We are well above average and well above any of the past 5 seasons.  Some of these locations are even rivaling the great 2010-11 season thus far.  Obviously, that season saw snow continue consistently into May, so we may have a tough time keeping up.  More than anything, it’s been a pleasure watching so many happy faces so far this season.  We’ve definitely been waiting for Mother Nature to deliver the goods like this for quite awhile.

As expected, Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada got hit even harder than we did.  Snowfall totals for Mammoth Mountain were in the neighborhood of 17-19 FEET for this storm cycle.  You may have seen the viral photos of chairlifts buried under snow.  Many of those resorts have had a tough time opening any terrain because, yes, there is such thing as too much snow.

Time to relax, recharge, and wait for our next storm cycle to arrive next week!

WSF





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11 thoughts on “Break Time

  1. Mike Gromer

    “As you can see, it’s a similar story around Northern Utah. We are well above average and well above any of the past 5 seasons. Some of these locations are even rivaling the great 2010-11 season thus far.”

    Do you know where our current snowpack is right now compared to the 2010/2011 season at this point?

  2. HypnoQuail

    To touch on the vacation planning, my friends came out from Jan 6th to the 9th from FL. Even though the snow was a little heavy, they had an absolute blast. The snow here is much better than anything on the east coast, so they were stoked to say the least. Thanks for all your hard work!!

  3. Zac Thayn

    The Timp Divide numbers blow my mind. I was just curious about where you say it’s reporting “96% of the normal season total”. What exactly does that mean? Thanks!

    1. rtkane

      I believe it just means that to date, they received 96% of what the normal full season total is…so if during a full season they would normally have received 400″, they’ve already gotten 96% of that amount.

  4. Hunter Trowbridge

    We are flying in the 17th and skiing the 18th to the 20th at Snowbird. Needless to say I’ve been living vicariously through your forecasts! Stoked to see what the storm next week drops!

  5. Ilya Rudnit

    Was there from 01/06-01/10 and had an amazing time. 4 straight powder days! Thanks for the great forecasting.

  6. Mitchell Frankel

    One thing to note and perhaps comment on is the difference between snow water equivalent and actual snowfall, relative snow depth, and snow density. Yes, these past two weeks have been awesome water wise and skiing wise, though it was not necessarily Utah champagne blower January snow day after day. There were multiple rain/snow events and some wild graupel events. Water wise, the Wasatch is killing it, but snow depth and total are around average and even a little behind for LCC. I’m ready for another series of AR events with hopefully slightly lower temps than the last couple!

    P.S. Thanks for the dailies Evan!

  7. Michael Hatz

    Dear Evan, this is my second season of kinda living my life based on your forecasts! I gotta say, Life Is Good! Thanks for all you do and the accuracy of your data. I am constantly referring my Real Estate clients to your site. Keep up the good work. Michael Hatz – Park City

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