Snowless late fall for SLC despite a wet start


We are halfway through the fall season and the Salt Lake City airport, our official weather observation site, has yet to see measurable snowfall. Many of us are itching to see the winter wonderland scenery here in the valleys but we just have not had the best of luck yet.

But many might have heard about the date November 7th and how it is the first average measurable snowfall date.

Well, Dr. Jim Steenburgh explains why that date, while an important one, does not mean a for sure snowfall then.

“November 7th is the average date, so we have to expect things to fluctuate from year to year. Some years we get measurable snow before then, some years we get measurable snow after that date.” 

So not having any snow is not out of the ordinary for us but given how wet we have been this fall it seems like we cannot catch a break for that first snowfall.

Why is that?

“We just haven’t had a cold enough trough to do it at the airport but certainly we are in that time of year that can happen”, answers Dr. Steenburgh.

One area that has seen a good amount of snow is the higher elevations, with spots like the Cottonwood Canyons getting healthy amounts of snow for this time of year. But even those spots are not untouchable.

“It’s also been a little warm. So, we’ve had some storms it’s been very wet. We’ve gotten high altitude snow, but a lot of that snow is gone now on south aspects”, says Dr. Steenburgh.

Even our mighty snowmakers have had issues with keeping their snow.

As we continue to plow our way through the rest of the season the likelihood of that first snowfall will be inevitable for the valley floor. So, now would be the best time to get ready for the slick mess that comes along with the amazing views. 

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