SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) – We started off 2017 with frigid temperatures with numerous snow storms, but February has brought another pattern with wet, windy and warm weather. Our mild temperatures have ushered in valley rain and mountain snow. The weather pattern is a hit with drivers, but last year when we saw a February warm up it ended up denting our snowpack.
“I think it’s the ideal scenario for a lot of people in the valley. I don’t mind the snow, if you have four-wheel drive car you’re okay. It’s pretty in the valley, but if it’s just raining in the valley it’s fine, as long as we get it up here,” Justin Mellon, a Salt Lake City resident, said.
While many are happy they are not commuting in snow, a drastic weather pattern change int he middle of winter can be a costly shift. Last year, our February pattern saw storms shut off and temperatures warmed up.
“A warm February is not really a huge detriment, unless you’re losing snowpack at those middle elevations. and last year, we actually saw that starting to happen last year,” Randy Julander, the snow survey supervisor for the state, said.
We’ve seen storm success with snowpack numbers sitting between 120 and about 200 percent, and on top of that, we’ve got plenty of winter left.
“April 1 is typical peak of of snowpack. To be at that level now with 2 full months of accumulation to go is really remarkable,” Randy Julander, the snow survey supervisor for the state, said.
Any storm from here is icing on the cake. Local flooding can cause a few headaches but overall, warmth is not a problem as long as the wet weather keeps moving through the forecast area. This healthy snowfall is a game changer after an extended dry spell.
” We’ve been slowly declining in our water storage over the past 6 years and we’ve used, and this puts alittle back into savings. It’s a nice place to be,” Randy Julander, the snow survey supervisor for the state, said.
There is such a thing as too much snow, and that typically occurs when we have storms on top of spring melting, but we are a few months off form something like that and only time will tell with our weather pattern if we have issues.