Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Starting to Crank at Alta

Things are finally picking up at Alta.  North Carolina State University has a vertically pointing microwave precipitation radar installed at Alta as part of a collaborative project with the University of Utah, Alta Ski Area, the Center for Snow Science at Alta.  Unlike a conventional weather radar, this radar just shoots straight up, collecting profiles over time that can be plotted as a time height section.  As shown in the image below (time is in UTC), things were fairly quiet through about 2200 UTC, when it really picked up.  BTW, you can see in this image that most of the snow growth today is happening below about 4200 m.

Source: NC State
If you don't trust the radar, there's always the Collins gauge.  .10" and .14" in the hours ending at 5 and 6 PM MST, respectively.