Sunday, March 18, 2012

Big Totals for Some

Sometimes I love when a forecast busts.  Sometimes I don't.  I'm not sure what to think of this one.  It's been a crazy night.

The Utah Avalanche Center reports 13–16" in the Cottonwoods, 8–10" in the Park City mountains, and a trace–2" in the Ogden and Provo area mountains.  That distribution reflects the fact that beginning in the late afternoon yesterday, a persistent, localized band of precipitation setup and really hit the central Wasatch, as discussed in posts from yesterday.

Temperatures and snow levels have been high, but are falling this morning.  Nevertheless, given how high they were for much of the night, there's a huge contrast in the snowfall as you move from about 7500 to 9500 feet.  Location and altitude dictated accumulations overnight.

We stopped getting data from Alta-Collins at 5 am, but at that time, there was 14" of snow produced by 1.51" of water since things got going yesterday afternoon.  That is a lot of water weight and Little Cottonwood is presently closed for avalanche control work.

In the last few hours, we've transitioned to a situation where the precipitation is more wide spread and driven by larger-scale factors.

Temperatures should be dropping during the day as colder air moves in, which will hopefully lead to lower density snow.  Enjoy it if it's white.

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