Let it snow: Much of Utah enjoying early snowfall this week


Photo of Alta Ski Area courtesy of Toni Mikayelyan


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – If it feels a bit early for snow in the mountains, you’re not wrong: it is.

Images of snow-capped hills came pouring in on social media to ABC4’s Pinpoint Weather Team throughout the morning and afternoon. The chill of the air was easily felt with temperatures in the mid-40s most of the day.

For the meteorologists, it was an exciting occasion. Cesar Cornejo headed outside to Little Cottonwood Canyon, bundled up in a red, station-branded jacket with wool socks under his boots for a live report. Back at the Weather Center, Chief Meteorologist Alana Brophy excitedly expressed her delight at the changing of the seasons.

“My stoke is so high,” she exclaimed. “I do like to ski but on top of that as a meteorologist, I am obsessed with storms so I get the best of both worlds. I get something I love as the result and something I love to do while it’s happening. So it’s like a win-win for me.”

While the Salt Lake Valley has yet to see its first measurable trace of snow, which usually falls around Nov. 7, conditions in the heart of ski country are ahead of schedule, thanks primarily to an unseasonably cold and wet autumn storm system rolling through the state, which even has residents in sunny St. George and Southern Utah reaching for the thermostat.

Park City, which usually doesn’t get its first full inch of snow until Oct. 14, has already gotten 3.3 inches, which was likely greeted with much excitement as new research has shown that Utah skiing conditions have gotten worse over the year.

While the Salt Lake area will likely just see some light flakes on the benches, the coldest air of the year will be surrounding residents later in the night. Brophy refers to the evening’s hard freeze warning as a “season-ending event” for gardens. ABC4 Meteorologist Thomas Geboy cautioned that freezing temperatures could damage not only crops and gardens but also exposed pipes, in his morning and midday forecast. He also noted that the campus of Utah State University in Logan was covered in thick, heavy snow early on Tuesday.

The cold weather is expected to last through Thursday, after which the temperatures are expected to moderate to typical brisk, but not freezing, fall conditions, according to ABC4, Utah’s most accurate forecast.

While the freezing cold and a bit of moisture are bad news for gardeners and those who hate fixing broken pipes, the weather is great news for skiers and cold-weather, outdoor enthusiasts, like Brophy. It’s also a welcome occurrence for the entire state as a whole coming off a summer that was record-breaking in heat and drought conditions.

“We definitely need this moisture. These are the types of storms we really want to see over and over again as we head through the autumn season,” Brophy explains. “When you compare this year to last year during the water year we really shut off, and in the fall, October was way below average when it came to precipitation. So it’s really nice this to see a year later.”

For Brophy, finally seeing the snow and feeling the cold air after an extremely toasty and dry summer has been a long time coming. She jokes she can finally put her snow-dancing rituals to rest, the time has come.

“I am very, very excited and to look up and see the snow on the mountains. It kind of just makes my heart flutter a little, I snow dance all year,” she jokes. “I just don’t tell anyone because people are haters and they aren’t super happy to hear you talking about snow when we hit 107 degrees but I’m all about it.”

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