Monday, December 22, 2014

The Big Blow

Near as I can tell, nearly all the Wasatch Resorts are struggling today.  Many lifts are closed either due to wind or avalanche danger.  The Utah Avalanche Center reports some tree blowdown.  Things will be better tomorrow and the snow will still be there.

We're fortunate that many of the ski areas send us observations from their weather stations.  This allows us to put events like this into perspective and it helps a lot with forecasting.  The highest reported wind gust today at the top of Snowbird was 105 mph at 9 am.

That's out there in outlier territory.  My friends at MesoWest tell me that it's the highest gust they can find in their archives for Hidden Peak, although they note that there are lots of periods when we don't get data and their record goes back only to 1997. reports that Hidden Peak had a 124 mph gust on November 8, 1986.  Thus, it can blow harder, but 105 is quite a gust for this location.

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