words by Evan Thayer
There are six months in which we can claim Utah mountains are “very snowy.” November, December, January, February, March, and April. Sure, we can get snow outside those months, but those are the months in which we average more than five feet of snow per month in the snowiest regions of the state. This season, we have completed half of those months – statistically, just over halfway through the season. Yet, we have already seen a full season’s worth of snowfall as a statewide average.
That black line is this season and we are now at 100% of the median peak snowpack as a statewide average. The peak snowpack typically doesn’t occur until around April 10, so we are eight weeks ahead of schedule. That means that any and all snow we see from this point forward is just a bonus on top of an already “typical” season. Of course, this season is anything but typical.
Alta Ski Area, for example, recorded its snowiest November in more than a decade. This was followed by their snowiest December in more than a decade. Of course, this was then followed by their snowiest January in nearly TWO decades! When you put those together, that equals almost 500” of snow in early February and their highest October-January snowfall total since they started tracking more than 40 years ago!
As you can see, we have already surpassed the season totals from last year (2021–22):
Alta isn’t alone in these impressive stats. Utah currently holds the top FOUR spots in most total season snowfall this year in North America (Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude Mountain Resort). All with well-over 400” on the season and Alta and Brighton on the cusp of passing 500”. Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort on the Wasatch Back are having historically good seasons. Park City already seeing more snow than all of last year and passing its seasonal average already.
One of the more remarkable aspects of this season is the even distribution of above-normal snowfall throughout our mountains. Every major mountain range is experiencing huge totals:
With such a large state geographically, it is unusual for the wealth to be distributed so evenly – yet we see snowpacks 50 to 120% above normal throughout the entire state.
We’ve already seen a fantastic season, and odds are that it will only get better. Utah mountains can pick up another 100 to 200” of snow from this point forward, so if we continue to stay in active weather patterns, it’s likely that we could challenge some all-time seasonal snowfall records by later this spring.
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