Last Gasp

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 7:01 am

Summary:

Cold with snow showers today.  Still plenty of powder left to be skied.  Snow showers will taper off by Thursday and we will see a warming and drying trend heading into the weekend.  We finish the month off under high pressure.  Chance for a storm to return a few days into February.

Details:

Storm is on its last gasp.  It just doesn’t want to stop snowing, so we’ve seen snow showers continue overnight.  Accumulations have generally been light, in the 1-5″ range since yesterday.  The one big exception is Snowbasin which saw moderate snow continue for much of the night and picked up 16″ new inches in 24 hours, 10 of which looks like it fell overnight:

We will continue to see snow showers today and perhaps into tonight.  Accumulations should generally be light in the 1-3″ range, but we could see some pockets of higher amounts in areas favored in NW flow.  Temps will be cold so bundle up if you’re heading onto the mountain!

Ridging takes control starting on Thursday and strengthening through the weekend.  At first, temps will be cool which will keep the snow in good shape.  But temps will warm up by the weekend and valleys will become inverted.  I’m planning on doing some tailgate BBQ this weekend since we haven’t had much opportunity for that this year (not that I’m complaining).

If you’re desperate for powder and you just missed this storm cycle, there are two ways you can still get powder.  #1 is in the backcountry, which I don’t recommend unless you have appropriate gear, training, and are in exceptional cardiovascular shape.  The other, easier way, is doing cat skiing, where they do all the work for you.  Whisper Ridge is a proud sponsor of WSF and has 60,000 acres of skiing.  They’ve received nearly 150″ of near snow this month on their upper mountain.  So needless to say, the skiing should be great up there.  You can visit their website and give them a call for booking information, if interested.  If not this trip, then the next!

Our dry and warm conditions carry us straight into next week, probably our longest break in the action since beginning of November.

Long Range:

Ridge will start to break down over the first few days of February.  Models just starting to come into range showing a storm for around February 3-4.  This storm is going to weaken as it breaks down the ridge, so its unlikely to be too strong by the time it reaches the Great Basin.  Hopefully that will pave the way for more storms in its wake.  Too early to tell at this point.

How Big was January? 

Here is the current chart from this storm cycle:

Snowfall 20-Jan 21-Jan 22-Jan 23-Jan 24-Jan 25-Jan Totals
Brighton 4 17 10 13 30 6 80
Alta 5 14 17 7 26 6 75
Snowbird 4 16 16 7 25 4 72
Snowbasin 3 6 10 13 20 16 68
Solitude 3 12 8 9 25 1 58
Powder Mtn 4 3 8 15 17 8 55
Deer Valley 2 13 4 12 18 3 52
Park City 2 8 6 11 20 4 51
Brian Head 13 14 6 3 12 2 50
Sundance 4 7 4 4 18 1 38
Eagle Point 12 7 6 2 5 2 34
Beaver Mtn 1 0 5 8 17 1 32

3-7 FEET of snow for most Utah mountains!  Impressive.  Then, when you add that to the strong storm cycle from earlier this month, you get the following monthly totals:

200″ of snow for Brighton! Could be close to a record for them!  Perhaps the most impressive thing is how consistent the snowfall was distributed, at least in Northern Utah.  Every resort aside from Eagle Point and Brian Head saw between 120-200″ of snow, with most in the 140-160″ range.  A big win for the Wasatch Back this month — as residents of Park City area are well aware! Probably close to record snowfall for them for a month.  Keep digging, guys!

Going to let the final snow showers fall, and let some data correction occur on snow sensors, then I’ll post a look at how this all has affected our snowpack tomorrow.

WSF





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  • Tim

    thanks a ton for the updates. I am arriving in town on 2/4 so happy to see that the ridge appears to be breaking down. Although these upcoming storms may not have the same intensity as the previous, hoping that the massive snowpack will provide a nice buffer. keep up good work

  • John Acquavella

    Sad to hear the loss of ski patroller Joe Zuiches at Squaw Valley.

  • Erock

    First time on cirque traverse in a awhile there aren’t really rocks by the rock sign. Love it.

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