Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Deep Powder Day...Hooray!

I use 10" as the minimum amount of snow required for a deep powder day.  We haven't had many days with that much snow this season (2 if I remember right), but we have one today.  The Alta-Collins stake hit the 10" mark at 8 am.

Snowfall overnight was remarkably uniform in the central Wasatch with Alta, Snowbird, Park City, Deer Valley, and Solitude all reporting 7" as of about 5:30 am this morning.  Northern areas like Powder Mountain and Snowbasin reported only 2".  As discussed yesterday, this was a situation where precipitation was going to be spotty and the flow was easterly for part of the night, which enabled the Park City side to get in on the action and create a more uniform snowfall.  

That won't be the case this morning as the flow has now transitioned to west-northwesterly.  The radar imagery shows quite nicely the precipitation enhancement over the Wasatch Mountains and shadowing to the west.  The plus indicates the position of Alta.  Note how the radar echoes sit over the Wasatch Mountains for much of this period, but don't extend very far east.  

There precipitation is somewhat scattered and variable, but is more intense and persistent over the mountains, which means this morning snow totals will be greatest over and west of the Wasatch Crest.  This should lead to greater storm totals in the Cottonwoods when all is said and done.

If you are heading out today, enjoy!  It has been a drought year, so I suspect there will be big grins today.  And, we're just getting started.  More snow is coming.  We'll probably be over the 100" settled snow depth barrier at Alta by the end of the week.

Addendum 9:15 AM:

The contrast this morning between the Cottonwoods and Park City is well illustrated by these web cam images from Alta and the base of Park City.

Source: Alta Ski Area
Source: Park City Mountain Resort


  1. Is it safe to say the storm door will be open for much of March?

  2. We don't know. It will be very active the rest of this week. After that, we'll have to see, but the models are not suggesting a return to the drought like conditions of Dec and Jan.