WEATHER

Changing weather pattern to bring snow to Utah, says Eubank

Jan 3, 2024, 6:00 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 8:33 am

snow...

Pedestrians walk through a snowstorm in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 24, 2023. (Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — During winter 2022-23, Utah was buried in snow, snow, and more snow. So what happened to the snow in late 2023? At least in early January, not much in happening. Will 2024 weather redeem the season?

“There’s no question December was abysmally dry,” Kevin Eubank, KSL Meteorologist, told KSL NewsRadio.

 

How dry? Eubank said Salt Lake City averages 12.1 inches of snow but received only 2.4 inches, which translates to 20% of normal.

For the first time in nearly four years, no areas of Utah are considered to be under severe drought conditions. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, right now, about 20% of the state is in moderate drought and the rest of Utah is abnormally dry or has no drought conditions at all. The National Weather Service says our record snowpack helped in several ways.

FILE: LEFT: A street sign is almost covered with snow near Brighton Ski Resort in January 2023 (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
RIGHT: The Great Salt Lake in September 2022. (Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

Alta Ski Resort picked up 72 inches of snow this past December, which is 90% of normal. For perspective, the resort was buried by 135 inches in December 2022, followed by 163 inches in January 2023, Eubank said.

“So to go from that feast of last year to this year’s famine, it’s a bit of a shock to the system,” he said.

“Last year, we had several six, eight, even 10-inch storms in Salt Lake City, and we haven’t had anything like that this year at all.”

High-pressure areas off the Pacific coast and along the Nevada-Utah line have blocked storms from moving into Utah and dumping their snowy payloads, Eubank said. 

But there’s good news. The high pressure is moving eastward, opening the door to snow-bearing storms sliding into the state, he said.

“In fact, the next seven-to-14-day cycle is going to be one of consistent storms, multiple feet of snow in the mountains, multiple small several-inch storms in the valleys,” he said.

It’s going to feel more like winter in the next 14 days than it has for the last two months.”

Average year of snow is ‘just fine’

A change to the weather pattern is coming, Eubank said, but it likely won’t be similar in volume to last year’s pounding storms.

“But I wouldn’t shut the door on ending up with an average year of snowfall. I think the months of the January, February, into March are going to be OK. And we’re going to come out looking back going, ”Hey, that was a pretty decent winter.'”

Eubank added that an average snow year is good coming off multiple years of drought.

“If we can just get up to that average. I think we’re going to be just fine.”

Besides, the snowplow drivers, resort workers, avalanche crews all need an average season to catch their collective breath after a nonstop monster year of snowstorms, Eubank said.

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Changing weather pattern to bring snow to Utah, says Eubank