What a season it has been! The 2018-19 season has been one of Utah’s snowiest on record and the state set a new record for skier days at 5.125 million. Nationally, skier visits were up to 59 million, the fourth-best year ever.
Every ski resort in the state recorded above-normal snowfall for the season. When we look at the statewide snowpack numbers, we can see just how far above normal we actually are:
Every watershed basin in the state is at 135% of average or higher. Some areas, such as southwest Utah, are more than double the average snowpack! When we look at these numbers graphically, we can see that Utah statewide mean snowpack is one of the highest we’ve ever seen:
On average, we are 162% of median snowpack for this date. We have received more than double the snowfall of the 2017-18 season. We are even challenging the great 2010-11 winter, in which Utah shattered all previous snowfall records.
While the numbers are impressive, what might be even more remarkable is the consistency of the snowfall. Since resorts opened, we have not gone more than 7 days without snow. This means that if you booked a weeklong trip to Utah, chances are high that you had at least one powder day, if not two or three. Alta Ski Area, realized 626” of snow on the season, has reported fresh snow on 91 separate days since November 1st. That’s out of a possible 176 days. That means that Alta has received fresh snow on greater than 53% of ski days since the start of the season! Deep Dive Into Alta's Season.
Elsewhere, each of the other resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons (Brighton saw more than 600" and Snowbird) surpassed 700" of snow on May 24, 2019. Solitude Mountain Resort falls just over 500" for the season. Farther north, Snowbasin Resort had its snowiest winter in years and has thus far reported 429” of snow, including one of its snowiest February months on record. In southern Utah, Brian Head Ski Resortand Eagle Point both recorded seasonal snowfall more than 50% above average.
download high resolution version of graph From a weather perspective, this season was ideal. We had abundant, consistent snowfall. We also avoided long stretches of high pressure and warm temperatures, which meant that the snow quality remained high through the duration of the season. The distribution of snowfall across the state was incredibly uniform this year -- all mountain ranges and resorts did well. Even in some of our historically big years in the past, we did not see the same level of consistent distribution of snowfall across the state.
download high resolution version of graph
Skiers, snowboarders, and snow-lovers can all rejoice! This has been a truly remarkable season – one that will be remembered by many of us for years to come. Utah has once again lived up to its billing as The Greatest Snow on Earth.
Alta Ski Area put together a complete season wrap, chalked fulll of details Alta's Deep Dive Into A Deep Year.
P.S. Snowbird will likely remain open into June. You can find a full list of closing dates here.
Words by Evan Thayer with OpenSnow. All numbers are accurate as of April 20, 2019.
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