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Thread: 2017 Utah Snowpack

  1. #1
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    2017 Utah Snowpack

    Continuing from last year's thread: 2016 Utah's Snowpack , here are the stats thus far.

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    It looks like SW Utah is getting pounded. My one hope for my outdoor hit-list (since 2007) is to see Gunlock Reservoir overflowing again, creating MANY waterfalls. Beautiful.

    Just for fun, here are stats from last years snowpack, albeit just a week earlier:

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    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

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  4. #2
    If this continues, it is going to be a great season for rafting!
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

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  6. #3
    30" at Brighton yesterday:



    Colorado has also been getting pounded. We had almost nothing at Thanksgiving. Check out the snowpack graph at places like the San Juans:

    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

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  8. #4
    So how does this year rank historically?


  9. #5
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    2017 Utah Snowpack

    That is a lot!

    If this "pineapple express" moisture keeps up, we will be having a great year for the west coast.

    And coming from a firefighting background, the more water we have, the more vegetation will grow, and more potential for many more fires. You would think that during a dry year that you would have more fires, but not so. I'll bet the St. George BLM will be busy come summer!



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    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  10. #6
    So how does this year rank historically?
    Really good, but not that close to record breaking-yet at least. The amazing part is that until mid-December snowpack was below normal. Since then, it has been dumping. If it weren't for the slow start, the snowpack would be even more amazing.

    Ironically, Montana has much less snow than normal. Normally in La Nina years, Montana gets pounded and places like Southern Utah and Southern Colorado stay relatively dry. This has been a really weird La Nina.

    "Normal" La Nina:



    The Pacific Jet Stream has been pushed farther south than it typically does in La Nina years and the snowfall in the Rockies is mostly an east to west band of locations getting most of the storms. Southern Idaho, Utah, Southern Wyoming, and Colorado have been getting pounded. Montana, most of New Mexico and much of northern Idaho and parts of Washington have been drier than normal. The storm track has been stuck in the same place.

    Part of the slow start was due to warm temperatures in the Arctic early season. October, November, and December were extremely warm in the Arctic, when compared to normal. This prevented the Arctic Ocean from freezing over until later than normal, which kept the storm track up north. As soon as the ocean froze over though, it was quickly pushed southward and has been basically stuck in the same place.

    Right now, the bulk of Colorado and Utah are forecasted to have equal chances of wet vs. dry weather for the next three months. The Four Corners region however, should typically dry out a bit and the Pacific Jet Steam migrates north, but as said, this has been a really weird La Nina.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  11. #7
    How much of that 238% snowpack for SW Utah is located in Gunlock's watershed? I'd like to see Gunlock overflowing too, but the last time I was there (last November) it was waaaaay low. It looked to me like it would require at least 2 - 3 years of above average precipitation to restore it to normal levels.

  12. #8
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post
    How much of that 238% snowpack for SW Utah is located in Gunlock's watershed? I'd like to see Gunlock overflowing too, but the last time I was there (last November) it was waaaaay low. It looked to me like it would require at least 2 - 3 years of above average precipitation to restore it to normal levels.
    I know, it's a fools hope, but man, I sure hope so. The last time it was roaring at full capacity (compared to a a trickle from a few years ago) was April 2006. I know, cause I'm diligent every year in keeping track of the conditions of these falls. Serious, it's a destination spot just for the falls alone in my humble opinion.

    The state park use to post current elevation of the lake but that was 10years ago. Now it just says "low". But the latest fishing report from two days ago says "low but rising". So I'm crossing my fingers very hard here.

    It's a small lake so it could fill up rather quickly from the snow and rains this spring...but it's a fools hope I suppose.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  13. #9
    The state park use to post current elevation of the lake but that was 10years ago. Now it just says "low". But the latest fishing report from two days ago says "low but rising". So I'm crossing my fingers very hard here.

    It's a small lake so it could fill up rather quickly from the snow and rains this spring...but it's a fools hope I suppose.
    The low water could probably lso be attributed to the population boom in that region as well, rather than just the weather. That area has been booming astronomically and the per capita water usage is very high.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  14. #10
    I assume you're talking about Santa Clara? Because Gunlock itself is little more than a ghost town that refuses to die...and I think all of the residents might be related.

  15. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post
    I assume you're talking about Santa Clara? Because Gunlock itself is little more than a ghost town that refuses to die...and I think all of the residents might be related.
    I meant Southwest Utah in general. I would assume that the water from Gunlock Reservoir goes to more than just Gunlock residents.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  16. #12

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  20. #14
    @Scott P , where do you find the weather data like the one you show on occasion for Craig? I have searched the NOAA website and it has lots and lots of stuff but never did find the info I'm looking for.

    I'm looking for the snow accumulation totals for Salem or nearby.

  21. #15
    I'm looking for the snow accumulation totals for Salem or nearby.
    I don't think Salem has an official weather station, but nearby Spanish Fork does. Here's a link where you can find a lot of info on several cities in the region:

    http://w2.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=slc

    It looks like 41 inches of snow in Spanish Fork so far this month. Impressive!
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

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  23. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
    I don't think Salem has an official weather station, but nearby Spanish Fork does. Here's a link where you can find a lot of info on several cities in the region:

    http://w2.weather.gov/climate/xmacis.php?wfo=slc

    It looks like 41 inches of snow in Spanish Fork so far this month. Impressive!
    That is exactly what I was looking for! Great info for sure.

    The Spanish Fork station should be pretty close to the same conditions at my house.

    Thanks Scott.

  24. #17
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    This is current as of today, 2/15/17,

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    There's a bunch of storms coming this weekend for nearly all of Utah, so I will capture a post-storm total next week too.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  25. #18
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    As we head into March, it's looking REALLY good for 2017. All above 120% still.

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    Compared to March 2016:

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    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

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  27. #19
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    That last storm brought up the states percentage a notch or two, especially for SE Utah. And this will be the last post until the next rain/snow storm.

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    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  28. #20
    @jman - thanks for continually updating this thread.

    I wonder how much Lake Powell will rise this year with the abundant snowpack?

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