State license plates and tourism brochures boast that Utah ski areas receive the “greatest snow on Earth,” but is there really anything special about Utah's snow? Often it is argued in ski industry brochures that Utah's snow is the greatest because it is the “driest” (i.e., has a low density or water content), yet the mean water content of snow at Alta ski area, which is world renowned for powder skiing and provides the cornerstone for Utah's famous slogan, is not lower than observed, for example, at many Colorado and Wyoming ski resorts. We propose that Alta's reputation is not based solely on mean water content, but also abundant natural snowfall. Although it cannot be shown that Utah's snow is the “greatest on Earth,” the climatology at Alta and other nearby ski areas is consistent with a high frequency of deep-powder days.Links:
- Download the full article soon before it goes behind the gate.
- See the powder snow at Brighton, Utah the day after a major dump. (We skied Alta the day of the snow dump, but didn't get the camera out.)
- I have been poring over the sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly plots, trying to guess if the northern or southern storm tracks will be more active this winter. The only thing I know for certain is that I am not much of a snow prognosticator.
- There is a gold mine in environmental guilt but I am not sure carbon offsets does anything but assuage guilt.
- Mark and I have stayed at the Vintage Hotel in Winter Park, CO during the summer. We liked it so much, we talked about returning to it during ski season.
- Or perhaps one of the Summit County, CO condos?
- Or maybe staying liftside in one of the Cottonwood Canyon, UT condos?