2017/2018 Snow Pack - or not

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Yuk. This is the least snow I can ever remember for this time of the year in the snow season. December! That is accounting for 35 years of living at 7K' in snow country. We used to average 225"/yr at my house. So far this year we have had 14" which has mostly sublimated away. We don't have to think about an early opening to the backpacking season this spring - you can go right now!

The Worldview pic of the state from a couple of days ago. Literally no snow except for up high in the Uintas and on the north facing slopes above 9,500'.

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 17.45.34 PM.png


The same Worldview pic from last December when big snow came in December but just put us up to average.

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 17.58.25 PM.png


The next pic is a zoomed-in pic of the northern part of the state from today. The big white patch over the lake and the capital city is our lovely pollution-laden inversion layer. Nick's house is just barely out of the yucky stuff and his surreal picture of the smog from his deck made the local KSL news weather last night. Care to share, @Nick ?

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 17.45.53 PM.png


This screen is from the snow model today showing the departure from normal. Yellows, orange and reds are a little less, less and a great deal less snow on the ground than average for this date. Blue and green are above average. The first red is 2'+ less than average. Colorado is not much better and the Tetons and much of the Winds are suffering.

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 17.47.50 PM.png


Sorry for the Utah-centric post - it's just that it is my backyard. You should take a look the same way at your mountains (I can assist if you ask).

Added after prompting by @slc_dan (thanks Danny Boy):
Discussion of the tools illustrated above.
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/winds-snow-conditions.6944/#post-82542

In short, WorldView and the NOAA Interactive Snow Model are two sites I visit every day for trip planning and weather observation.

The climate is not normal....
 
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#2
We're supposed to get snow here in Glenwood Springs, CO tonight, but not much. I was just out at the local airport :) and could see the stars. I don't think the local or nearby ski areas have much, if anything, open (Sunlight, Ajax, Highlands, Buttermilk, etc.).
 
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#3
Utqiaġvik = formerly Barrow

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/env...rs-removed-the-data-because-it-seemed-unreal/

Utqiagvik is warming so fast, NOAA computers removed the data because it seemed unreal

Last week, scientists were pulling together the latest data for NOAA's monthly report on the climate when they noticed something strange: One of their key climate monitoring stations had fallen off the map. All of the data for Utqiaġvik, formerly Barrow – the northernmost city in the United States – was missing.

No, Utqiaġvik hadn't literally been vanquished by the pounding waves of the Arctic Sea (although it does sit precipitously close). The missing station was just the result of rapid, man-made climate change with a runaway effect on the Arctic.

The temperature in Utqiaġvik had been warming so fast this year, the data was automatically flagged as unreal and removed from the climate database. It was done by algorithms that were put in place to ensure that only the best data gets included in NOAA's reports. They're handy to keep the data sets clean, but this kind of quality-control algorithm is only good in "average" situations with no outliers. The current situation in Utqiaġvik, however, is anything but average.

If climate change is a fiery coal mine disaster, then Utqiaġvik is our canary. The Arctic is warming faster than any other place on Earth, and Utqiaġvik is in the thick of it. With less and less sea ice to reflect sunlight, the temperature around the North Pole is speeding upward.
 

Nick

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#4
I was standing on top of Comb Ridge last weekend looking out the distant mountain ranges and saw pretty much no snow at all, even on the big ones in Colorado. I like snow-free winter camping in the desert, but this sucks.

The big white patch over the lake and the capital city is our lovely pollution-laden inversion layer. Nick's house is just barely out of the yucky stuff and his surreal picture of the smog from his deck made the local KSL news weather last night. Care to share, @Nick ?
I shared a few in the night shots thread, but here's one of them. Sickening...

 

Kmatjhwy

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#5
Yes what an unusual winter we are having. Here in Jackson Hole the ground here in town has been still free of snow. Yes we have had some snow but it would melt after a few days here in town. We have had a little snow today. But a bunch of snow is in the higher elevations here locally.

But have been watching things and it is really really bad all over the southwest. This fall was several months in Southern Utah and Northern Az. and there was no precip whatsoever for two months. And still the snow recording sites show no snow up high there in the southwest. If there is not some precip down south, it could be a big fire year next year for the southwest.

And looking at the NWS extended forecast outlook, they are thinking here in the west for it to be warmer and drier in the forseeable future unfortunately. Wishing the best to those of you in the southwest.
 
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#6
We have no snow here (Glenwood Spgs, CO). We usually have at least a few inches down here in the valley by now, if not more, and lots more up higher. We average about 5 feet in town of actual snowfall. This is my FJ, taken Dec. 12, 2009:

IMG_6412.JPG
 
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#7
Peaks have been white here on the front range for the last couple months, around 10k and up, but we've only had a couple dustings down below here so far.


Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 7.35.30 PM.jpg
 
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#9
That was actually the graphic I was looking for, lol
 

Jackson

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#10
This is depressing. We've got plenty of cold air to go around, but no precipitation. And there I was, thinking I'd be plowing through feet of snow in the Wasatch in the days before Christmas.

I took a water law course this semester, and it's got me even more anxious than I usually am about low amounts of snowfall. Fingers crossed we get a few good wallops soon.
 

LarryBoy

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#11
Probably a terrible person, but I'm actually cheering for a low snow year. As long as it's enough to keep the fires at bay next summer, I'm happy. Earlier I can get into the San Juans the better. Plus, planning on crossing the Kaibab Plateau in March which could be... interesting...
 

Kmatjhwy

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#12
Now thru the years there have been some unusual winters.

In 2010 here in Jackson, Wy., we received more snow in April after the ski resorts closed, then what the ski resorts received all winter.
In 2008 it was a huge snowpack with way above normal in the high country. The flowers came out profusely in the summer only to wilt. For the summer was long, warm, and dry. That summer was in the Thorofare and experienced the long dry hot summer.
In 2009 or 2007 (but maybe another year close to here) it was a winter with a below normal snowpack, a low snowpack winter. The spring and early summer it rained about everyday. The flowers were profuse in the high country.
In 2001 hike d to the Yellowstone's Thorofare in Mid May for not much of a snowpack. In going in just a little snow at TwoOcean Passin Mid May of that year. Earliest ever in the Thorofare. Also people with horses went to the Thorofare in May of 2001 also. Not much snow then.

Then read about two winters in the late 1940s. One winter (maybe 1947 to 1948) tons of snow with the snow in Jackson up to the roofs of the houses. Snow in town until June. Lots of wildlife died thruout the west for big snow winter. The following winter (maybe 1948-1949) it was a winter of little snow. Read this from a little historical publication here in Jackson.

The last two winters here locally especially last winter were big big winters with lots of cold. Maybe a lite winter this winter for a change. The snow and winters do go back and forth and the mountains remain.

But what concerns me again is the southwest with still all dry and no precipitation. If little snow in the Rockies then the southwest is really bad.
Again am really worried for maybe fires all over the Southwest come next spring and summer if it continues this present course!!!

Pray and hope for no fires next spring and summer hopefully. Wishing Everyone the Best!
 
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slc_dan

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#13
We need your sources @Artemus. How are we supposed to trust screen shots. I'm sure they are photoshopped.

For real, I just want to bookmark them. I'm hoping to get out on some snow Sunday if we get our storm Saturday.
 
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We need your sources @Artemus. How are we supposed to trust screen shots. I'm sure they are photoshopped.

For real, I just want to bookmark them. I'm hoping to get out on some snow Sunday if we get our storm Saturday.
I have shared them so often here I figured power weather users like you already visited them every day. I will post links shortly.
 
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Underscore, here is one place I recorded the sites:
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/winds-snow-conditions.6944/#post-82542

In short, WorldView and the NOAA Interactive Snow Model are two sites I visit every day for trip planning and weather observation.

Add: Whoa, just now noticed that NOAA has a full snowfall analysis suite of tools now that includes the model mentioned above. Check out the other data here including the 3D Visualization tools producing KMZ overlays for things like Google Earth. I think @Jackson has mentioned that he uses these routinely.
http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/
 
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Kmatjhwy

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#16
Artemus, now as for that Interactive Nat'l Snow Analysis website, I myself also go to this site about on a everyday basis. This is such a great site!

Now here is several more weather websites for everyone.
www.mountainweather.com - This is a great website on the local weather and elsewhere by an excellent meteorologist here in Jackson Hole, Wy.
It has weather here for all over the Intermountain West and elsewhere including Alaska. Under Local Reports
and Info and then under Mountain and River is links to the above site and other sites. Great Weather Site! Also
the military at times has this local meteorologist giving weather lectures to them to boot.

Wyoming Snowpack data - www.wrds.uwyo.edu/wrds/nrcs/snowprec.snowprec.html
- An excellent site showing the depth and snow percentages at various Snotel Sites all over Wyoming and stuff.
At times in the past they would have a link here to the Snotel Sites in other states but can't find this at present.

Wishing Everyone the Best!
 
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Snow Today! Snow tomorrow! Hopefully more than just a dusting. While @Artemus is avoiding the snow down south, I'll be earning my turns.
3" Today. I vowed this year to track snowfall at my house because I had given up due to lack of snow in the past but this warming thing is so remarkable. Tracking it this year may force me into depression. We are up to 18" for this season (past average USED to be 225" for the year). Enjoy your turns but guard your knees and ankles on the rocks and stumps.
 
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Kmatjhwy

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#20
Here in Jackson, the weather forecastis calling for snow and snow showers thru the weekend and off and on most of next week. Yea!
 

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