Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dribs and Drabs Aren't Enough in Late March

Readers of this blog are well aware that all snow isn't created equal.  Some storms produce better skiing than others simply because of how the snow is stacked (e.g., right-side up vs. upside down).  Once on the ground, many terrible things can happen to snow due to wind, sun, or (gasp) rain and other factors.

The pattern setting up for later today through early Friday morning will probably produce a few dribs and drabs of snowfall in the central Wasatch.  The NAM generates about .3 inches of water and a bit more than 6 inches of snow for Alta Collins by Saturday morning.

The GFS is more excited, but has proven to be somewhat untrustworthy for precipitation amounts, so I'm blowing it off in this discussion.  Hence, I'm sticking with a forecast of dribs and drabs.  A trace to two inches tonight and maybe 2-4" tomorrow night.

If this was January, dribs and drabs aren't preferable to a larger storm, but they are a nice refresher.

In late March, however, the bang for the buck is more limited because the sun is simply too powerful. Today's filtered sunshine and high temperatures will bake the snow on most aspects, and the dribs and drabs won't be enough to bury the resulting stiff or refrozen uneven snow surface, except perhaps on slopes that are high elevation and due north facing.

For good powder skiing this time of year, significant dumps are needed.  The one from Tuesday and Tuesday night has already been trashed by wind and sun.  Such a pity.


  1. Plenty of protected soft snow still left after this weather you just have to be pickier about aspect/trees and elevation. But leave it to me by all means.

  2. The snow is still spectacular in wind-sheltered areas up high. Days Fork was phenomenal today.

    1. Well, perhaps things are holding up better than I thought. Some of the old tracks there are mine :-).