Welcome Back Winter

Posted Friday, April 12th, 2019 by usw_admin

Hope you had a chance to get out and ski this week because an April storm like this doesn’t happen every year. Snow fell right side up (wet to dry) over the course of the wintry period, making the drive up canyon well worth the powder day.

In fact, Snowbird broke 600″ this week, and Alta isn’t far behind. We’re likely going to finish with the 2nd snowiest season of the last 10 years (the 1st being perhaps 2010/11 by a long shot).


Recap

Here’s a brief and spotty summary of storm totals this week. These data don’t cover the entire period but two periods (Tuesday PM thru Wednesday PM; Thursday AM thru Friday AM) of the storm, so complete storm totals are possibly a few inches more than the sum of totals from both periods.

5 PM Tuesday 4/09 to 5 PM Wednesday 4/10
  • PowMow: 8″
  • Alta (mid-elevation): 26″
  • Snowbird (low-elev., 3 PM Wed): 23″
  • Brighton (mid-elev.): 18″
  • Solitude (low-elev.): 13″
10 AM Thursday 4/11 to 6 AM Friday 4/12
  • Snowbasin: 6″
  • Alta (mid-elev.): 6″
  • Snowbird (low-elev.): 5″
  • Brighton (mid-elev.): 3″
  • Solitude (low-elev.): 1″

Source: NWS


Long Term Forecast

The rest of April is more of a dice roll in comparison with the first half of the month. The CPC outlooks (6-10 day shown below) don’t provide much insight about the long term temperature or precipitation forecasts, and so the best we might do is expect the climatology: typical wet but warm mid-Spring.

dice roll
NWS 6-10 Day Temperature (left panel) and Precipitation (right panel) outlooks, valid Thursday 4/17 to Monday 4/22. Shading does NOT indicate how cold/warm or wet/dry any location will be– instead, it shows how probably any place will see above/below average temperature or precipitation. In this case, for example, there’s a 70-80% chance that Los Angeles area will generally see above-average temperatures (left panel) during the 6-10 day period. Courtesy NWS Climate Prediction Center

Short Term Forecast

Backtracking to a short term forecast, I think there’s reasonable evidence of a weak perhaps warm shortwave brushing the area on Sunday, and some evidence of another stronger storm mid-week.

short term forecast
18 Z GFS 500 mbar absolute vorticity (shaded) valid 6 PM MT Sunday 4/14 to 12 PM MT Wednesday 4/17. Courtesy tropicaltidbits.com

Otherwise, keep an eye out for stray mountain snow showers through Saturday, but expect only moderate cloudiness with some sun. Snowfall continues in the Wasatch, finishing off a great season, but given gradually increasing temperatures and solar insolation, the season’s nearing its end.

Enjoy the weekend,

-Marcel

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