Friday, December 20, 2013

Freshies for All

Yesterday was a great day for the Utah team in New York and Wasatch snow lovers.

In New York, the University of Utah snow study team was finally able to enjoy some of the fruits of their labor.  The final numbers are in and, from 7-18 December, we recorded 252 cm of lake-effect snow at our North Redfield observing site.  That's 99 inches, which falls just short of the coveted 100 inch barrier, but we would have easily been over that if we had included some of the non-lake-effect snow that also fell during the period.  Very impressive.

With freshies to be had, the team hit Snow Ridge ski area, which is on the east side of the plateau and offers up 450 vertical feet of the tugs finest.   Apparently they had a pretty good day, although they would not share with me any photos of their "secret stashes."  Maybe they are pulling my leg, but having skied Snow Ridge when I was in high school many years ago, it would not surprise me if they found some pretty good powder turns.

Advertised base 36-72 inches, whatever that means.  I suspect the settled snow depth is comparable to or better than Alta right now.  
Few on the trails
First in the field, first on the hill.  Looks like a mixture of twigs and fatties for boards.  

And food is easy on the expense account, making me happy.  One of my students
remarked that you can't get a packet of ketchup in Vail for what they sell burgers
for at Snow Ridge.
Meanwhile in Utah, we finally got some much needed snow.  The Collins stake at Alta measured about 10 inches overnight and during the day yesterday, with about an inch of water.  We sorely needed it, but be careful out there if you are venturing into the backcountry as that snow has fallen on a house of cards.

Tug Hillers: I will be giving a talk on lake-effect, snow, and our field program at the Barnes Corners United Methodist Church at 10 am Saturday 11 January.  A $5 donation is requested and space is limited, so sign up in advance.  For more information, click here.


  1. There was about 0.2" of freezing rain the night before (Dec 18-19) in much of the Salt Lake Valley. The trees are still coated in ice (and snow now too). This ice storm was more significant than the one in January, I heard there were even a couple of power lines down from it.

  2. Jim, Eons ago I was working night shifts during the winter (late 1960s) and I still remember seeing Watertown, NY, report an hourly snow increase of 12" - think that was an exaggeration? Bob

    1. According to Christopher Burt, the record hourly snowfall in a lake-effect storm is 12" at Copenhagen, NY on Dec 2, 1966 ( Copenhagen is just SSE of Watertown. Any chance that is the event?

    2. Jim, you better head for the tug hill to get out of that bad air.
      Bob, I can believe the 12" in an hr report. I saw 9-12" in a hr back in feb 07
      Near Redfield.