Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Mid April Snowpack Update

 Despite the fact that I've had some decent skiing the past few weeks and conditions on "closing day" at Alta were pretty damn good, the snowpack situation across much of the western United States remains below median at many sites and in many drainage basins.  

Source: NRCS

The best situation relative to normal is in the Cascades of Washington, the interior northwest, and areas near and east of the Continental Divide.  Southern Oregon, southern Idaho, and much of the southwest is at 75% of median or lower.  

Even with the recent snow, Snowbird is 76% of median with 31.8" of snow water equivalent as we approach the climatological maximum of snowpack at the elevation of the SNOTEL site (9177 feet).  

Source: NRCS

For those of you hoping for a refresh this week, the odds are low.  The best chance will be Thursday when we are tickled by an upper-level trough.  Most of the ensemble members are calling for light accumulations, although there are a couple (out of 52) that push 10 inches.  The odds favor 4" or less.  

After the weekend, we see the return of some possibilities as a deep trough and associated cold front moves into the western US,  Below is the GFS forecast valid 1200 UTC (0600 MDT) Monday. 

As indicated by the spread in the forecast plume, however, it's too soon to say whether or not that will give us a decent round of freshies.  It does look like the upper elevations of the Sierra may bet something out of this, and they need it even worse than us.  

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