The winners were clearly the upper-elevations of central Wasatch, above perhaps 8500 or 9000 feet. The central Wasatch have a great deal going for it, including elevation, and it paid off in spades this week. Data from the Snowbird SNOTEL shows a nice uptick in snowpack water equivalent.
The losers? The storm was pretty much a disaster near or below 7000 feet where almost all the precipitation fell in the form of rain. I was glad to find late yesterday that Mountain Dell still had enough snow to skate ski, but the situation there and along trails in the Park City area is now critical or beyond critical. Such a shame.
The Ben Lomond Trail SNOTEL is at 6000 feet and it illustrates the dire situation down low. Keep in mind this is an extremely snowy location — typically with a much deeper snowpack than found at comparable or even higher elevations in the central Wasatch or Park City area. There was a bit of a bump in snowpack water equivalent at this location during the storm, with no net change. I suspect what happened is that the snowpack soaked up the rain initially, causing an increase, afterwhich it experienced net melting and loss. The site now sits at about 25% of median.
The positive? It looks like a beautiful Martin Luther King weekend. For many out-of-towners, and what should be excellent conditions on the groomers, it will be the stuff that dreams are made of. I expect there will be big smiles at the Cottonwood Canyon resorts.