Western Weather 2017-18 and Later

EMSC

Well-known member
Conditions are not exactly great in Colorado, but compared to Utah they look downright good based on what I'm seeing in this thread. TR later today on Copper.
 

Marc_C

Active member
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Marc_C

Active member
Snowbird at the moment:

Please be aware that there is no beginner terrain available and the Aerial Tram is open for foot passengers only. All skiing & riding is based out of the Creekside Lodge and serviced by the Gadzoom chairlift. At this time, we have one continuous run open.

Thanks to the continued efforts from our mountain operations teams and favorable snowmaking temperatures, Snowbird resumed winter operations on Saturday, December 2 with skiing/riding out of the Creekside base area. Hours of operation are from 9 am – 3 pm, daily.
Details

Skiing and riding off of the Gadzoom chairlift is available from 9 am - 3 pm.
Advanced terrain only. No beginner terrain is available. Early-season conditions exist.
Skiing access to/from the Snowbird Center is not available at this time. Shuttle buses are available for transportation between the hotels, Snowbird Center and Creekside Lodge.
Lift Tickets are available for $84 (adults); $39 (age 7-12); $69 (age 65+).
Buy Online & Save
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
The good news is that the storm overperformed, 18 inches at Alta vs. the predicted 12. This brings snowfall since Nov. 1 to 41.5 inches, 43% of normal. That's not enough for significant new terrain openings.

kingslug":2om0o95g said:
Well at least its snowing and more on the way. We'll see if my luck continues this year.
No more snow is on the way before you arrive. Rarely do we see this level of unanimity among the weather forecasters for a period up to two weeks.

The long-range is nothing but ridging starting tomorrow and lasting as far as our models can see. At least through mid-month and probably a bit longer.

In reality, there appears to be a high chance that we'll see no snow or very little snow through at least December 15-20th. When will this pattern change? I don't know. Things look pretty locked in right now. I see no real indications of movement.

Cliff Mass weighed in today, labelled the upcoming weather as "The Godzilla Ridge." http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2017/12/t ... turns.html

The bottom line is that if you want to ski fewer runs than are open at Hunter now with similar snow surfaces for 4 days, go ahead and stay at Snowbird. Otherwise start making those plans for skiing at Targhee or non-winter activities in southern Utah.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
I likewise bailed. As Tony mentions, even Targhee is looking dry for the next two weeks and I'm not sure I'd want to spend more than a day or so there without powder to say nothing of the four-hour drive in each direction, ugh. I ate my SLC flight and cashed in a FF award for the same time period to Zurich, where I'll actually get more ski time (five vs. four days due to being able to ski on both arrival and departure days) and better conditions.
:bow:
 

baldyskier

Member
Tony Crocker":27x5pgdf said:
=D> =D> =D> to both kingslug and jamesdeluxe.
And nice work on your part, Tony, for an early heads up that a change in plans may need to be considered. This board is valuable! Now, please bring back some normal Little Cottonwood Canyons winter conditions in time for my February, 2018 trip!
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Even in worst case 1977 LCC was OK by February. In Colorado OTOH the 1976-77 drought lasted through the end of January and the 1980-81 drought through the end of February. No surprise 1981 was when Colorado areas made their first big time investments in snowmaking.
 

kingslug

New member
Tony Crocker":3eejr0rf said:
Snowbird partial refunded? Makes sense for goodwill to a recurring group customer.
Well its a credit which I'll use in April.so they make out no matter what.
 

kingslug

New member
And thankfully we cancelled as its now dumping at Stowe..so off we go this weekend. Imagine being stuck at Snowbird reading Stowe snow reports. Although I do remember one year this happend around March. ,
 

Marc_C

Active member
kingslug":3rod78ny said:
And thankfully we cancelled as its now dumping at Stowe..so off we go this weekend. Imagine being stuck at Snowbird reading Stowe snow reports. Although I do remember one year this happend around March. ,
The worst that has happened in my 17 years in Utah was a 27 day inversion circa 2003 - essentially all of January was dry and it was mid-40's/spring conditions at the resorts.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Marc_C":3u9vn6cg said:
The worst that has happened in my 17 years in Utah was a 27 day inversion circa 2003 - essentially all of January was dry and it was mid-40's/spring conditions at the resorts.
IIRC, that was the year we had an Epicski Gathering in SLC just after new years and it rained all the way to the top of Snowbird, to say nothing of Snowbasin, where the entire mountain was a tilted skating rink. Remember, BobMc?
#-o
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
2003 tied with 2015 at 30.5 inches as the lowest January snowfall in 37 years or Alta Collins records. In the Alta Guard UDOT records going back to 1946, the ONE INCH in January 1961 is the only one lower than 2003 and 2015. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/alta-monthly-snowfall

Since January 2003, only the following ski season months have had less snow:
21 inches in November 2009
20 inches in December 2011
23.5 inches in November 2017

December 2017 stands at 20 inches and two small storms totaling maybe a foot are predicted between now and Christmas.

Where would 55 inches Nov+Dec stand? It would be the lowest since the Alta Collins station was started in 1980-81. The worst was that first year at 34+34=68 inches. The next lowest years were 58+13.5=71.5 inches in 1986-87 and 58.5+20=78.5 inches in 2011-12. Two other years are between 90 and 100 inches and the other 32 seasons are over 100 inches before Jan. 1. An average 18 inches during Christmas Week would still put this year short of 2011-12.

Pre Alta Collins, 1976-77 at AltaGuard is of course the extreme case at 13.5+17=30.5 inches. Other years under 100 inches:
1962-63 had 31+17=48 inches
1959-60 had 22+39.5=61 inches
1958-59 had 38+47.5=85.5 inches
1956-57 had 36+50=86 inches
1954-55 had 37+53=90 inches
Notice the 5 worst years from 1946-1976 were clustered within a 9 year time span. I'll bet people were talking about the "early season dry spell" then. Only one of the other 4 seasons was above average for Nov+Dec.

This is a classic example of weather volatility. The typical skier might think 10 years is a nice round number and indicative of expected weather. From 1954-55 through 1963-64 Alta averaged 107 inches of snow before January 1. That's 66% of the actual 71 year average. Maybe it was climate change. :stir:

But the bottom line is that 59 of those 71 seasons saw at least 100 inches before January 1, still an enviable record.
 

EMSC

Well-known member
Tony Crocker":1idp9aqe said:
Where would 55 inches Nov+Dec stand? It would be the lowest since the Alta Collins station was started in 1980-81. The worst was that first year at 34+34=68 inches.

So even if Alta gets up to an extra foot above what is predicted, it would still put the early season as the driest there since the early sixties? That's pretty bad, especially considering the warmth limiting snowmaking as well.

Not quite as bad for warmth over this way plus a few inches every now and again helps a bit for Colo. Still a very bad early season this year any way you slice it.
 
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