Let It Snow? These Folks Say No
Sometimes bringing out things to talk about and report on just really isn't any fun. When I first saw some of the features and articles showing up, I said “Finally! Hallelujah! We've been waiting for this!” Then, I looked further in to it.
The “what” here is a wet winter with plenty of snow to put a dent on our on going extreme drought conditions and to give a us a little relief. It's been an almost universal hope of the population of the region. Many groups have been participating in prayers and in some cases fasting to see if we could get the heavens to open and give us a little precipitation.
We have had a pretty good monsoon season, and the rain fall southern Utah has had in the last few weeks is truly welcome and appreciated. However, if we really want to turn the tide on our dry conditions, what we really need is snow, and lots and lots of it, in our mountains.
So imagine the joy when I saw the headline on the Farmers Almanac winter prediction map of “shake, shiver and shovel” (not that I'm a huge fan of the shovel part). Oh boy, I thought, here it comes and it's about time.
Sure enough, they were saying this was going to be a winter of cold and that precious white gold of snow. Apparently, the southwest portions of the United States, including the Beehive state, didn't get the memo. No, even on the map the Farmers Almanac put out, if you look at our area, and the only such area in the Continental United States I would point out, it's “mild and drier than normal.” Talk about one through the heart! According to this if you want that big winter it's time to head to Montana
Well, maybe someone else had some better news. So I turned to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to see if the science would provide a little hope. They did not. In looking at their precipitation outlook for the months of December, January and February, most of the country has a normal to above normal chance of typical snowfall. Until you get to our neck of the woods. On this map, even northern Utah has a shot at a normal snowfall year. But where does the line start for the lessor probability of normal snow fall. You got it, central Utah
The Climate Prediction Center is saying that La Nina is expected to continue for the next several weeks, but the possibility of it continuing decreases to 60 percent for December through February. A general result of La Nina is colder and wetter winters in the north part of the country, and, you guessed it again, warmer and drier conditions in the south. That decreasing chance could give us some hope. And it's good to note that our typical wettest months are March and April, so we may catch a break.
Catching a break would be great. We need the moisture. No, we need the snow.
Last year, I tried to do my part. In May of 2021 it was time for a new vehicle, and I decided it was time for a four wheel drive and purchased one. So I was doing all I could to psych out Mother Nature. “Go ahead!” I shouted to the sky with a defiant fist in the air. “Bring on your worst! I'm ready for you!” Now, usually when I take this kind of a stance, Mother Nature responds with a “oh yeah? Hold my Cumulonimbus!” and the storms let loose. So I was bracing to open the door to see ten feet of snow piled up on my driveway and a scornful laugh coming from above. What did I get? Winter of wimpiness! I think I only went in to four wheel drive twice last winter and one time was just to do it.
In the end, all these predictions are just that. Guesses from the Farmers Almanac, and best interpretation of data from the weather service. It could be that this winter will be a real whopper. We need it. In the end, my snow blower, and four wheel drive could get a real work out and that's fine with me. Or if it's the right day of the week I can sit in my chair with a book and a bowl of soup and just watch it. Even better.