The good is that with all the snow over the past 3 days, the total snow depth at Alta-Collins has eclipsed 100" (250 cm).
STEENBURGH WINTER IS HERE!!!
For the first time since the 2010/11 ski season, we have over 100 inches of snow at Alta-Collins before February 10. Steenburgh winter is that magical period where we have such a snowpack before February 10, when the sun begins to have a much stronger influence on snow conditions in the Wasatch range. Enjoy the deep snow and the low angle sun while they last.
Now, getting to the bad: Forecasts for Friday night. From 4 PM Friday to 8 AM Saturday, Alta-Collins got 15", including 13" from 5 PM Friday to 5 AM Saturday with 0.55" of water.
Such accumulations were much greater than forecast. I did not put numbers on the snowfall for this blog, but expected only a modest refresh of a few inches. The National Weather Service Little Cottonwood Forecast issued on Friday afternoon called for a 70% chance of 2-5" (with 0.15-0.35" of water) from 5 PM Friday to 5 AM Saturday and a 30% chance of 1-2" (0.05-0.14" of water). As noted by commenters in the previous post, the "bros at the bird" beat us this time. It's hard to say how much of the snow removal, traffic mess, and avalanche closures yesterday in the Cottonwoods were related to the underforecast, but I suspect it was a contributor.
BTW, the NCAR Ensemble handled the event pretty well.
|NCAR Ensemble Forecast initialized 0000 UTC 20 January 2017|
|NCAR Ensemble Forecast initialized 0000 UTC 21 January 2017|
The ugly? There isn't one. We have a 100" base on January 22nd, with snow in the forecast. Avalanche conditions could be better, but after the past few down years, we shouldn't complain. Just be careful out there.