Welcome To Spring

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 6:52 am

Summary:

Our series of storms is over and we have several days of calmer and warmer conditions as we head into the weekend.  Our next storm will push in late Sunday into Monday.

Details:

It is March 1st, which is the first day of Spring.  You might think of spring as beginning around March 21st.  Well you’re wrong, that is astronomical spring.  This is meteorological spring.  I prefer to gauge my seasons by weather patterns.  Hence, “welcome to Spring”.

In Spring-like fashion, March is coming in like a lamb.  We have wrapped up the last wave of energy in our impressive storm series with an additional 3-6″ of new snow yesterday.  Powder Mountain managed to pick up 10″.  That brings our past week’s totals to:

What a way to finish out February, thus ensuring a 3rd consecutive month of above average snowfall!

Our weather will stay calm as we head into the weekend with mostly sunny skies and warmer conditions.  A first taste of spring skiing, perhaps.  Then our next storm pushes in later in the day on Sunday with the main event Sunday night into early Monday.  This storm looks like it could offer a chance for modest snowfall if the GFS is right.  Monday could be another good powder day.

Long Range:

After the early week storm next week. It looks like the storm track will retreat north again.  We could see some brush-by systems.  But snowfall during the first 10 days of March looks to mostly be contained in that one storm.  It may be closer to mid-month before the storm track sags south again.

Snowpack:

If you’re wondering how all this new snow has affected our snowpack, let’s take a look.  Overall, the state of Utah is doing extremely well with all basins above normal.

The numbers above 150% are particularly impressive this deep into the season.

This year has already blown away the competition of the previous 5 years for almost all locations.  So I decided to put us up against our goliath 2010-11 season as well when pulling the data this morning.  Let’s take a looks:

Snowbird:

This year (dark blue line) has already demolished the previous 5 years and is even slightly ahead of 2010-11.  Now, the spring of 2011 featured almost constant snowfall and we didn’t see peak snowpack until June 1st!!!!  It was so unusual that I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s almost impossible for us to keep up with that pace.  Still, it’s impressive for us to have been keeping up for this long.  Still, we are at 173% of the median and even if it didn’t snow another inch for the rest of the season, we’d still finish well above average.  Not bad!

Brighton:

Brighton has feasted off SW flow storms this winter.  They are way above not only the last 5 years, but also comfortably above 2011 right now.  Sitting at 128% of their median snowfall peak already!  *Note: Brighton’s snotel is much lower than Snowbird’s and is not mid-mountain where Brighton measures snowfall in their reports. This is why the SWE of Brighton is much lower than Snowbird.

Park City:

Park City showing a similar story.  Already left the past 5 years in its dust and is slightly ahead of 2011.  Guaranteed to finish well above average!

Ben Lomond Peak (near Powder Mountain… sorta):

Ben Lomond’s numbers are perhaps the most impressive for several reasons.  First, it’s perhaps the snowiest place in Utah in a typical winter.  You can see that in this looking at the SWE which is almost 10″ of liquid above Snowbird’s currently.  57.5″ of liquid is impressive! It’s also absolutely blown away the past 5 years. More than double most of those years for this date.  It is significantly ahead of 2011.  So much so, that it’s almost above 2011’s peak already.

Overall, numbers across the state look similar to these locations.  Generally, the high elevations are already above the average seasonal peak and are at least competing with 2010-2011 in total snow amounts.

WSF





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  • Stephen Styer

    I’ve had a string of bad timing for my trips to Utah last few years (I even somehow managed to not do well this year with 0″ of fresh during my week visit 11Feb to 17Feb). Combining my last four UT and CO week long trips for last 4 years I’m at around 12″ total fresh.
    Anyway, that just give me more reason to do more trips to increase my chances! Looks like next Monday could be good at my favorite resort (PowMow). I have next week blocked for a trip, and I have unusual flexibility in where I go. If you were me, which US or Canada resort has the best chances of fresh dry powder 05Mar to 10Mar?

  • Aaron Rice