November’s Remarkable Turnaround

By Yeti \ December 8 2016

This weather discussion is provided by our friends at Wasatch Snow Forecast.

We are a week into December and we have a solid base. Alta had one of its best opening days in memory.  More terrain is being opened daily. And we have a very active forecast through the middle of December.  It’s hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago we had almost no snow in the mountains of Utah. 

On November 15th, Alta Ski Resort had reported a measly TWO INCHES for the month so far, every resort that was hoping to open before Thanksgiving was pushing back their opening dates, and the Wasatch Crest trail was still rideable for mountain bikers.  Needless to say, it was looking bleak for skiers and boarders in Utah.  ‘Powderhound Panic’ was spreading rapidly through the Utah ski community!  

But, Utah weather has a short memory and an astounding record of turning the tides very quickly.  Sure enough, the pattern flipped for the second half of the month from warm and dry to cold and snowy.  From November 16-30, Alta reported 70” to finish the month above its historical November average.  The snowpack at Snowbird on November 30th was actually slightly above the 30-year mean. 


What is the lesson in all of this? For me, it’s that we shouldn’t panic when we have a slow start to the season. Utah has proven time and again that it will deliver the goods if we are just patient.  Now, we have an exceptionally active pattern developing and it’s highly likely that our snowpack will be well above average heading into the holidays.

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