Just as the Olympics got underway, Mother Nature switched up the pattern and moisture started slamming into the west. For a good part of the winter, the US has been in an amplified flow. If you look at the graphic, it indicated the jet stream is quite exaggerated. It has been pouring a lot of cold air quite far south while keeping a dominant ridge or high pressure in the west. Last week, the pattern went to a more zonal flow or more of a west to east flow across the country. This has been wonderful for the west and for Utah. The temperatures have been more mild in the Salt Lake Valley with rain, and the mountains have been getting a lot of snow. In fact, the snow started last week and continued through the weekend bringing 4 feet of snow in many places. The moisture streams in from the Pacific, hits the mountains, and is forced up-keep in mind cold air can't hold as much moisture as warm air-and the snow kept going for days. Definitely the best skiing of the season. There is another storm on tap today through Saturday and another one next Wednesday. Looking at the map referenced, the black lines indicate the upper level winds or jet stream, and the green indicates the moisture. The bottom line, this type of flow is great for the west and the disturbances keep riding along the jet stream. As far as looking ahead, it looks like this type of flow will continue for awhile. It will be a welcome relief from the bitter cold to the east, and a steady flow of storms in the west.
To celebrate all the snow, we headed to Brighton on Saturday. Emily had a ski race and it certainly was a workout on the legs. It was the first true test for Brennan on his new snowboard. I would have to say it was snowing 2"/hour. Amazing! There was a lot of giddy folks heading down the mountain and Brennan had his fair share of summersaults and face plants. The great thing, it didn't hurt! The kind of skiing that every run you do has fresh powder because it is snowing so hard.
A few small tips for powder days with the kids:
Bring extra mittens in the car as you may have to switch them out.
Don't rub your goggles against your shirt to dry as it may scratch them. Also, never wipe the inside when they are wet as you could wipe away the anti-fog coating. Here are a few tips.
For the kids, use the balaclava, it can be tucked in behind their helmet and keep their neck dry when they're having big powder falls.
Use lots of layers as they will get wet.
I'm not as clever as Powderhound Matt with his videos set to music with lovely edits, but here is a look at our day. You may want to take some Dramamine, but enjoy.