A historical comparison of snowpack averages in Utah.

TitleA historical comparison of snowpack averages in Utah.
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2002
AuthorsJulander, Randall P., and Perkins T.
Conference Name70th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 70th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedMay 2002
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationGranby, Colorado
KeywordsSNOTEL, Utah snowpack, Telemetering, Snow courses

Snowpack data collection began in an organized fashion in Utah during the late 1920's and the first 30-yearaverage was calculated in the late 1950's. Individual sites are used to calculate moving 30-year averages each yearin this continuous record up to current data. Snowpacks are analyzed over this time period by site, region andelevation to determine any significant changes. Snowpacks in southern areas are compared to those in northernUtah as well as low elevation sites to the higher elevations to ascertain potential trends or differences. SNOTEL isa telemetering system providing daily snow water equivalent, precipitation and temperature data. Installed in thelate 1970's and early 1980's, it provides accurate data on site specific melt out dates. SNOTEL provides far greaterdata than the manual snow course system does, but has a much shorter period of record, limiting it's statisticalrelevance. Given the statistical limitations of a 25 year period of record, snowpack melt-out dates are examinedstatewide to determine if there are definable trends.