TLDR: A look forward at more snow as the season for snow sports closes. Scroll down for a probabilistic snowfall forecast covering this weekend.
Most of us made the solemn realization that the season for snow sports is closing, but I hope this post can keep the fire going a bit longer. Ski resorts across Utah (*wink to Brian Head and Eagle Point*) had a great season, and the spring skiing forecast looks good, both short and long term.
A view of select high-altitude (> 7k ‘) station datasets shows that most locations received substantially more snow than average this water year.
Using Alta as an example (only resort I could find that records comprehensive historical snowfall statistics, get on this everyone else!), and recognizing that the following numbers are reported by the resort, the local SNOTEL station recorded about 545 ” total snowfall since October 1st, 2018. Alta received more snowfall this season than 6 of the previous nine full-length seasons. Furthermore, the 18/19 season surplus came primarily during February and March, leaving much for April skiers to work with.
Long Term Forecast
All we could ask for now is a regular delivery of snowfall in April. This is the likelihood at least over the next week or two, according to the NOAA climate forecast:
To elaborate, during the 8-14 day period (Fri. April 12 to Th. April 18), Utah is about 60-70% likely to see below-average temperatures (low-elevation average is ~ 45-55 degrees) and 50-70% likely to see above-average precipitation (Utah in mid-April already tends to be moderately wet). The 6-10 day period (Wed. April 10 to Sun. April 14) forecast is similar.
Short Term Forecast
The next storm hits Utah resorts sooner. In short, two mid-level lows merged in the past couple of days (not uncommon) beneath an upper-level low.
An embedded and elongated shortwave trough then pivots around the upper low and approaches Utah from the southwest Friday night behind lots of moisture. Expect a moderate precipitation event for the area that will bring snowfall to the higher elevations (> 7k ‘).
Here’s a subjective snowfall forecast for Wasatch resorts:
Resort Closing Dates
Lastly, here’s a list of tentative Utah resort closing dates in chronological order, updated recently for Snowbasin:
- Nordic Valley: closed since 3/30
- Eagle Point: closed since 3/31
- Beaver: 4/07
- Deer Valley: 4/07
- Park City: 4/07
- Powder Mtn.: 4/07
- Sundance: 4/07
- Solitude: 4/14
- Brian Head: 4/21
- Snowbasin: 4/21
- Alta: 4/28
- Brighton: unreported
- Snowbird: unreported
Make it count!