Monday, September 25, 2017

Sunday Snowy Sunday

Yesterday was a remarkable September day, with record low maximum temperatures set at many northern Utah sites.

Source: National Weather Service
The recipe for a record low maximum temperature in northern Utah is to have not only a cold airmass, but also steady precipitation all day so that diurnal heating is limited.  Those ingredients were abundant yesterday.  Precipitation totals reported to the National Weather Service as of 8 PM last night included 1.46" in the upper Avenues, 1.34" in Cottonwood Heights, and 1.28" in East Mill Creek.  The Salt Lake City International Airport observed 0.89" of precipitation.  

I was shocked and surprised that we did not set a record low maximum at the airport, but the high reached 48ºF, whereas the record, set in 1934, is an incredible 41ºF.

In the mountains, it was Sunday Snowy Sunday.  I've seen reports from Alta of anywhere from 11 to 14 inches.  The Alta-Collins automated snow-depth sensor was at five inches Saturday at 3 PM and peaked at 20 inches at 8 PM Sunday.  You can call that 15" if you like.  Note that the depth sensor has been averaging around 4" all summer long, so the snow depth this morning probably sits at around 16 inches or so. 

And here's the spectacular view from Hidden Peak this morning. 

Doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?

Yup, this was simply an beautiful storm, if only it was late October.  Snow like this in September is a waste.  I'm sure a few people will be out there tempting fate today and getting turns, but the cover is poor and nearly all of this snow will turn to mud before we begin to build a seasonal snowpack.  Only the high-elevation shady areas have hope of survival and there, the snow should be nicely faceted when the next storm comes.  

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