Western Weather 2016-17

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:57 am

With this season's first true blast of winter, it's time to create a new sticky thread for weather discussion throughout this winter.

I love it when a snow forecast comes together...

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Bobby Danger and AmyZ hiked up to Watson Shelter at Alta Ski Area this morning. And yes...they skied down.


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(photo: Bobby Danger; location: Alta Ski Area, Utah)


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UDOT reports 13.7" inches on the ground this morning at Bald Mountain Pass in the Uinta Mountains.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:57 pm

I rode up to the Uintas today with Tiny Tim and the dogs to check out the snowfall, and there was far more than we expected. It was knee-deep in places at Moosehorn Lake, despite the 13.7" snowpack measured at Bald Mountain Pass. The girls played and Tim and I reveled in our first taste of winter this season. People were even snowmobiling...in September! We stopped into The Notch Pub in Samak for a beer en route home, running into friend Nick and his wife in the process. He asked what we were doing there, and the answer was simple: "The same thing that you're doing."



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Zoe and Maggie love snow (just like their Daddy).


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Lots of snow! Seriously, it was up to my knees in places, filling my boots with snow. Snowshoes would've actually come in handy.


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At Moosehorn Lake.


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Down low where the snow was more shallow, the fall colors mixed beautifully with the white. We were surprised that snow cover began way low in Samak (el. 6,857').


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Burning off excess puppy energy at Moosehorn Lake. In case you can't tell, Maggie's about to get ambushed.


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Zoe, my little monster...the Devil Dog.


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Maggie, the canine icebreaker.


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There was even a guy out snowmobiling! In September! We were actually grateful for his presence, as the track made for easier walking.


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Admin with the girls. (photo:Tiny Tim)


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Did I mention that it was deep?
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby EMSC » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:10 pm

Nice pics.

Colorado high country's been getting periodic snow since mid-August with a quite a bit last weekend right after Utah got it. Interestingly I avoid it this early and prefer the warmth remain (it's supposed to be close to 80F all week here in Denver metro) until about the start of Nov. Then it can snow all it wants over this way ;)
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby EMSC » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:58 am

I'm Sure Admin is working on a story, but both Abasin and Loveland have fired up the snowmaking overnight.

Looks cold enough for at least the next several nights to keep making snow, though likely to have to shut down during much of the daylight hours. An inch or two of natural this morning as well to spice things up. So it begins....
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:34 pm

EMSC wrote:I'm Sure Admin is working on a story, but both Abasin and Loveland have fired up the snowmaking overnight.


Indeed: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2016/1 ... king-snow/
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby lono » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:54 am

October rainfall of 4.86 inches broke all-time records at Glacier International Airport.
On a goofy note,last night I dreamed I bought a copy of Tony Crocker's autobiagraphy " Antartic Stem Turns"
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:39 pm

The Northwest, and the interior Northwest in particular, set many precipitation records this October. Spokane Airport set a record for any month of 6.21 inches. http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/11/e ... en-at.html

Unfortunately most of the moisture was subtropical in origin, so only the very highest ski areas got much snow. http://bestsnow.net/seas17.htm
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby EMSC » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:48 pm

Dry as a bone here; still running the sprinkler system since it hasn't been cold enough to bother blowing it out yet. Mostly shorts and t-shirt weather (70's and low 80's) with very warm nights recently for the Front Range of Colo. As of today it's cooling off a bit: "only" ~10F above normal for the next 10 days which is better than the ~20F warmer than normal temps of the past several weeks.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:29 pm

Yeah, this warm, dry pattern prompted Keystone to delay opening (http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2016/1 ... e-opening/) and over here in Utah, is giving Evan of Wasatch Snow Forecast fits and is practically making mbaydala suicidal.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:17 pm

October had a very sharp demarcation line between the wet and dry sectors of the West, with Utah and Colorado on the dry side of the line:
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In much of 2013-14 there was a sharp line running NW to SE, with the SW side of the line (West Coast, ID, UT) being the dry side and MT, WY, CO being the wet side.

Even though the October pattern is expected to continue for the first third of November, it's still ridiculously early to be worrying, as noted also by Joel Gratz at OpenSnow. Any quality skiing in November is an unexpected windfall IMHO. This will be the 4th November in the past 6 years we will be away from western North America most of the month. So far we haven't missed much in the way of skiing near home.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:47 am

From today's Wasatch Snow Forecast:

http://www.wasatchsnowforecast.com/2016/11/02/sigh/ wrote:I’m usually pretty good at finding things to be optimistic about, however right now I’m honestly struggling to find anything. I think it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to get many of the resorts open on time unless there is a major change from what the models are currently portraying. If you’re searching for good news, all I can tell you is that 1) It’s still very early in the season and we have months to make up for our slow start. 2) You get more time to enjoy more non-snow related recreation in the mountains. and 3) Things can change very fast, so nothing in this forecast is set in stone.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:31 pm

To no surprise Alta has postponed its opening day. With Grand Targhee also on hold, this should drive home the extremity of the warm and dry first half of November. We are truly starting from scratch with this week's snow in most of the Rockies.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:33 pm

That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's snowing here now, and will remain cold and unsetted through at least the end of the month. Perhaps for the first time in recent years we won't have that depth hoar death layer.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:16 pm

Average snowfall going forward should get Alta to where it needs to be by Christmas. Hopefully admin isn't saving PTO days for November this year.

Most destination resorts in the Rockies will need more time to accumulate an adequate natural base and should be avoided by destination visitors until January. At least the snowpack is near average in western Canada now. James will remind the easterners that perhaps they should be looking to the Alps rather than the West the way this season is starting.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:20 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Hopefully admin isn't saving PTO days for November this year.


:dead horse: For the 50th time, you worry about your vacation and I'll worry about mine. What's so hard about that for you?

Tony Crocker wrote:At least the snowpack is near average in western Canada now.


That's hardly a universal truth, for the men's World Cup races at Lake Louise have now been canceled due to a lack of snow.
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