Monday, December 29, 2014

Return of the Greatest Snow on Earth

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we were skiing on manmade snow at the resorts and searching for anything we could find in the backcountry?  Well those days are officially OVER!

First we had the Base-Building Concrete Deluge thanks to that juicy atmospheric river, followed by the Christmas Miracle Storm.  Then, beginning yesterday, the Return of the Greatest Snow on Earth.

If I'm adding up the automated observations from Alta-Collins correctly, the storm that began yesterday morning and continues today has now laid down 20 inches of snow with an average water content of 4.2%.

The skiing yesterday in the Wasatch backcountry was pretty much as good as it gets.  Low-water content snow usually looks good in pictures, but sometimes doesn't ski as well as you might think, especially if it falls on a relative hard base.  That wasn't the case yesterday as it was falling on settled snow from the Christmas Miracle Storm and it skied fantastic.  A few photos below of one my my Medicare-eligible friends getting the goods.

Alta-Collins is now up to a 77 inch base.  Actually, although this season got off to a slow start, the snowpack is now at or above average at the Snowbird, Mill-D, and Brighton SNOTEL stations.  Further evidence that a bad year in the Cottonwoods is better than a good year in Colorado.  Apologies to those of you on the Park City side.  You're still below average.

Winter weather fun and games looks to continue the next few days.  In addition to today's snow showers, the National Weather Service has already issued a high wind warning for the northern Wasatch Front that is in effect from midnight tonight through 4 AM MST Wednesday, as well as a wind advisory for the Salt Lake Valley and the Cache Valley.  For more information, see  Some basics on downslope winds can be found in our previous post Downslope Windstorm Anatomy.

University of Utah Atmospheric Sciences/Meteorology Alumni and Friends:

If you are attending the Annual Conference of the American Meteorological Society next week in Phoenix, please come by our Alumni & Friends reception on Tuesday evening.  Info below.

1 comment:

  1. I was doing some 'research' at my site at Bridger Bowl today and we had very similar conditions. There was about 2 ft of new snow since Christmas with yesterday's storm giving us over a foot of 4% powder. It felt like I was skiing in Little Cottonwood again!