In times like these, one learns to appreciate the smaller dumps in life. My usual definition of a deep-powder day is a 24-hour snowfall of at least 10 inches, but we've only had one of those at Alta since December 3rd!
On the other hand, recent dribs and drabs have certainly helped the skiing some, even as we continue to lose ground to climatology for snowfall amount and snowpack water equivalent. The 6" of quick snow Saturday afternoon and 7.5" yesterday did create some smiles. Maybe 6" is the new deep powder day.
You'll be hearing some talk of a pattern shift probably in the coming days, and indeed there are some changes afoot. The GFS forecast valid 5 AM MST next Tuesday, for example, has a trough over the northwest U.S. and a ridge over the east, something we haven't seen a lot of this winter.
Similarly, the ECMWF model has a trough in the west (with some differing details) as do most (but not all) GEFS ensemble members.
|Penn State E-wall|
Instead, dribs and drabs are likely. As shown in the NAEFS plume below for Alta, the next round of dribs and drabs looks to be late Wednesday through Thursday AM. After that, there's a break and then a great range in the timing of possible dribs and drabs Saturday night through Monday. As usual, there's a couple of more excited ensemble members, so my usual line of keep expectations low and hope for the best applies.
There is one non-scientific reason for you to be optimistic. I took a surprisingly hard fall skate skiing on Saturday and learned yesterday that I fractured a bone in my hand. They tell me I can continue to ski with a splint, but this is likely to slow me down a bit more than usual. Thus, there may be a partial Steenburgh Effect that increases the likelihood of a deep powder day, although perhaps not as much as when I'm out of town. This effect, if it exists, will only last 6 weeks, so be ready.