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March 20 - 30 snowfall - Utah, Colorado, Tahoe

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys

 

I'm looking at skiing in either Utah, Colorado or the Tahoe area for 7 - 10 days from March 20. Does anyone have any idea about the weather conditions and possible snowfalls for this period?  I know it's been an average season but as I'm coming from Australia I don't want to waste my money skiing ice in the morning then slush in the afternoon. Are there any low pressure fronts/storms coming through in this period or are you guys breaking out the board shorts and getting ready for summer? 

post #2 of 21

Much uncertainty, there is. I am comitted to skiing Utah during same period and have been obsessively following each run of GFS weather model. Any of those areas could get snow during that period. However, my amateur look at maps make me think most weather gets diverted to PNW and trys to beat against high pressure over rockies and Tahoe. If lucky, some of it occasionally gets through. However, if I was coming from Australia and wanted best odds for powder during that period, I'd hit PNW. Whistler looks to be getting hit hard during that period. At least on past weeks runs of computer models. However, as I'm sure someone will say, that could change. Models that far out not terribly reliable. However trend doesn't look that good for frequent powder days during that period for areas mentioned. I would like for someone to tell me I am horribly wrong and Utah will get dumped on every other day.   

post #3 of 21

I'm in Utah for a few days 3/19-3/23 as well. I logged on the NOAA website and couldn't interpert their graphs. Right or wrong I was under the impression precipitation would be normal for Utah ,whatever that represents.

post #4 of 21

If you google noaa model analyses and forecasts, you will get to computer model page. The GFS model is the one that goes out to 16 days. Out past 7 days, not super reliable, but you can see trends as to what weather is doing. It seems to me that west, particuarly southwest wants to build big ridge of high pressure. The storms coming from NW have to beat against it. Of course, I'm not a meteorologist, so I may be totally wrong. Hope so. 

post #5 of 21

GFS is probably not the best model to use for snowfall prediction, but local Mets would know -- they probably have a trusted model for whatever region you're interested in.  I know in the mid-A, GFS really blows predicting upslope effects and other important factors.

 

Personally, I wouldn't trust any of the models past about 4-5 days.  They change right up to the last minute (at which point you can look out the window and tell what's going to happen).

post #6 of 21

GFS is probably not the best model to use for snowfall prediction, but local Mets would know -- they probably have a trusted model for whatever region you're interested in.  I know in the mid-A, GFS really blows predicting upslope effects and other important factors.

 

Personally, I wouldn't trust any of the models past about 4-5 days.  They change right up to the last minute (at which point you can look out the window and tell what's going to happen).

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

 

GFS is probably not the best model to use for snowfall prediction, but local Mets would know -- they probably have a trusted model for whatever region you're interested in.  I know in the mid-A, GFS really blows predicting upslope effects and other important factors.

 

Personally, I wouldn't trust any of the models past about 4-5 days.  They change right up to the last minute (at which point you can look out the window and tell what's going to happen).

Thanks skier219, so it looks like I'll have to wait until the last minute to make a decision. The only slight problem is that it's going to be pretty hard for me to look out the window and tell what's going on when I live in Melbourne, Australia.......... 

post #8 of 21

Don't feel bad a lot of us here in the states have to do the same thing. I'm doing it right now also. And with the way airfares are so crazy a ticket from Australia to US may be less than one from US to US city.

 

 

post #9 of 21

Not liking forecasts for Utah for period. The guy I'm traveling with says he is cursed for snow. I'm starting to believe him. Seems like all weather stays to north for foreseeable future. I'm hoping somebody knowlegeable will say otherwise.  

post #10 of 21

Steve I would say otherwise but you said you wanted it from somebody knowledgable!

 

You know I was doing exactly the same thing before my trip to SLC a few weeks ago. Nothing forecast, no snow for 10 days previous, and I was bumming.

 

Then I went and ended up getting a nice dump for my last two days that made the whole trip and I am still smiling. My guess is that the low pressure up north will be able to move down by the time your trip starts and there will be an epic snow event while u are there. I hope so cause I want to go back too!

 

If this makes you feel any better I will placate the snow gods by burning incense, chanting and sacrificing a chicken. (PITA folks I am just kidding, although I did eat KFC last night). You are gonna have a good trip you watch. Hang loose.
 

post #11 of 21

Even when I have been there with no snow after two high-pressure weeks, I have had spectacular skiing.  Locals may not think the conditions are any good, but for the rest of us, the conditions and terrain are stil vastly superior to what we can get at home. 

post #12 of 21

X2 what skier219 said. My first 3 days all I heard was how bad it was and how "icy". LOL it was like skiing in butter to me, spring corn.

 

They need to ski Hunter on a Sunday afternoon after the hoardes have scraped it clean to know icy. They are spoiled they have no idea what the word "boilerplate" means.

 

 

post #13 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theconz View Post

 

They need to ski Hunter on a Sunday afternoon after the hoardes have scraped it clean to know icy. They are spoiled they have no idea what the word "boilerplate" means.

 

 

Heh, exactly.  I am amazed how, here in the mid-A, even spring slush can get scraped down to sheer ice on a busy day.  I've never seen a combination of conditions that bad out west.

 

I have encountered hard snow out west, but most of it is chalky, which is actually *too* grippy if anything.  As long as you're comfortable on it, it can make for great fast carving.  I have seen some honest to goodness boilerplate ice out west, but it's more a result of weather conditions and less a result of skier traffic like we see in the east.  It makes a small difference.

post #14 of 21

Last February in Motts at Heavenly, there had been no snow for a month so there were ends of trees and a few boulders/rocks showing.

 

Locals are saying they won't touch the canyon.

 

I am saying that the conditions would be called "amazing" by East Coast standards. And the steepest thing I had skied before going on this trip was either Lower K27 at Hunter, Lies at Gore, or Ripcord at Mount Snow.

post #15 of 21

I'm spoiled. This is my 4th trip to Utah this year. First 2 were great with some good powder days. No luck on last trip and pretty much had to stay on groomers as everything else was pretty crusty. I've got that craving for powder and would like some more before end of season. My trip is for 2 weeks so I've got a pretty good shot, but jeez the computer models are very persistent and actually show a worsening over time of dry spell. i guess the good news is I can wiat for snow to melt in the heat and pretend it's powder.

post #16 of 21

Two weeks? Now you're bumming me out Mau! I was gonna hold out and back to SLC but I may have to bite the bullet and stop being a miser and go to Whistler. Have you looked at their snow forecast? I looked at three different sites and they all say the same thing. Close to 2 feet this coming week!

 

And you can get into Canada by land with a birth certificate and drivers license. Have to take like 3 different buses from Seattle to Vancouver to Whistler but it can be done.

post #17 of 21

Conz, time to pull the plug. Forecast is starting to shape up for next Sunday onward. Perhaps, I will have my powder. 

post #18 of 21

WE will have OUR powder! What did you see where?

post #19 of 21

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post

 

Conz, time to pull the plug. Forecast is starting to shape up for next Sunday onward. Perhaps, I will have my powder. 

 

I think you mean pull the trigger, right?

post #20 of 21

Trigger. I've been working non-stop to be able to go on a 2 week trip with hopefully a minimum of emergencies while I'm gone. My brain has apparently stopped working. I think I earlier posted the NOAA Model analyses and Forecast page. The GFS model runs 4 times a day. The last 4 runs are showing a storm for Sunday going into the next week. That is total change from runs going back the previous week. However, can't totally believe it until it's only a few days away. For example, the GFS was prediciting a decent storm for Utah for today up until 3-4 days ago. Then, it started getting smaller and weaker with each run until it basically went away (into Idaho I believe) However, the change is a good sign of potentials given that it was showing the opposite up until last night.   

post #21 of 21

Steve sent you a PM.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › March 20 - 30 snowfall - Utah, Colorado, Tahoe