Christmas in August? Powder spotted in the Uintas

Utah Weather Stories

Snow spotted in the Uinta Mountains early Thursday morning.
(Courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation)


UTAH (ABC4) – After facing severe thunderstorms this week, a surprise visitor was captured by a Utah Department of Transportation highway cam — snow!

Early Thursday morning, some snowfall was spotted in the Uinta Mountains along the Wasatch Front.

Wasatch Snow Forecast posted on social media about the surprise discovery, showing light snowfall dotting the highway on Bald Mountain Pass in the Uintas.

A healthy amount of powder was spotted at Snowbird Mountain Resort on Thursday morning as well. The ski resort reports about 1 inch of snowfall can be seen at the summit.

(Courtesy of Luke Stone/@powderchasers1)

With another day of storms expected on Thursday across Utah and a more than 20-degree temperature drop in the past day, could we be seeing more snow in the future?

ABC4’s Meteorologist Cesar Cornejo says it’s possible.

“As we increase in elevation along the mountains, you’ll notice the air is significantly colder and for good reason,” Cornejo says. “As we ascend into the high altitudes, we lose about four degrees for every 1,000 feet.”

Although it may seem strange to witness snowfall in August, Cornejo says the phenomenon is not so foreign.

“Snow in the high Uinta Mountains are not unusual, even in the summer, if a strong enough system does make its way into Utah,” Cornejo says.

Cornejo explains further, saying, “Why is that? Well, the storm system brings in colder air and when paired with the higher elevations, will leave us with prime conditions to see snow.”

Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, said there is a 70% chance of La Niña hitting the U.S. in late November to early December.

While it is too early to tell what this will mean for Utah, this could be a sign of hope for a better winter. If La Niña hits Utah, that will mean more precipitation and solid snowfall.

But for now, as we welcome the fall season, Cornejo says we can expect to enjoy cooler temps and seasonal weather.

“So, as we get closer to fall, valley dwellers will still see warm temperatures, but in the mountains, they’ll be cooling down and getting closer to what will more resemble winter than fall, thanks to that elevation difference,” Cornejo says.

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