Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Snow Forecast

There will be no snow in Utah on Thanksgiving Day.  That's good news for everyone driving to Grandmama's house.  Right now, the first part of Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday and Friday) looks pretty benign meteorologically, but with some degraded air quality in the urban valleys.  There's a chance of some valley rain and mountain snow showers later in the weekend, but right now it doesn't look like it is going to add up to much.  Nevertheless, keep an eye on the forecast if you are traveling.

For skiers, I'm sorry to say that this looks to be a weekend with snow primarily from hoses not heaven.  Natural snowpack in the upper elevations of the Wasatch presently sits at 50-85% of average.  At SNOTEL sites, Snowbird has the most robust snowpack with 4.4 inches of snow water equivalent (green line below).  That's actually right on the median for this time of year, meaning that half of the years have more, half have less.  Of course, by the time we get to turkey day, we will be slightly below the median.

In search of a deeper snowpack?  Have a looksee at the map below, but beware as there are some spurious individual observations.

Source: NRCS
Upper elevations of the Park Range near Steamboat Springs and the Sierra Madre extending into Wyoming include several SNOTEL stations with bigger SWE numbers than Snowbird:

Rabbit Ears Pass, 9400 ft: 6.9 inches
Dry Lake, 8400 ft: 5 inches
Tower, 10,500 ft: 11.2 inches
Whiskey Park, 8950 ft: 8 inches
Old Battle, 10,000 ft: 8 inches

Snowdepth at the Tower Snotel is 40 inches.  That's nice, but keep in mind that is near the summit of the southern Park Range, so it's probably the deepest snowpack in that neighborhood.  

Long range forecasts suggests a shift in the pattern next week.  Keep your fingers crossed.  

No comments:

Post a Comment