Mar 1, 2023 - News

Utah expected to get pummeled by a "parade of storms" this winter

Illustration of snowfall accumulating and being shoveled off the screen.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

After near-record-setting snowfall last week, more powder is still expected along the Wasatch Front.

Driving the news: The Wasatch Mountains are under a winter weather advisory through 5pm Wednesday.

  • About 6 to 12 inches of snow are expected.

By the numbers: The snowpack across much of the state as of Feb. 27 is 150% above average, per the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

  • Jon Meyer, state climatologist at the Utah Climate Center at USU, told Axios this much snowfall at this point in the season has not been seen in Utah since 1984.
  • "When we look back over the last 40 to 50 years, there's really only been a handful of other years that are comparable analogs to this year as seen up to this point," Meyer told Axios.
  • Between November 2022 and this February, Salt Lake City has accumulated 56 inches of snow, per National Weather Service data.
  • Meyer attributed the snowfall to numerous low-pressure storm systems moving through the state.

Context: Last week, several schools and businesses statewide closed due to plentiful snow.

Reality check: Despite the snowfall, nearly 53% of the state is still under severe drought, according to data from the National Integrated Drought Information System.

What they're saying: "We really don't have any indication that the parade of storms is going to slow down. We could continue to see winter weather events arriving every few days with this very active weather pattern," Meyer added.

  • Alison Palmintere, director of communications for Ski Utah, told Axios skiers are delighted by the powder.
  • Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon, for example, reported it received 500 inches of snow last week — the earliest it's hit the milestone in 18 years, FOX 13 reported.
  • The snowfall, she said, allowed ski resorts to open terrain quickly at the start of the season compared to previous years. "It's been really positive," she said.

What's next: Meyer said the risk of flooding is possible as the warmer spring season approaches.

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