ENVIRONMENT

Alta Ski Area passes 800 inches of snow for first time ever

Mar 31, 2023, 6:35 AM | Updated: 9:31 am

Alta 800 inches of snow...

Alta Ski Area obliterated its all-time snow record this season, and the resort passed the 800-inch mark for the first time on March 31, 2022.(KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

ALTA, Utah — Alta Ski Area has obliterated its all-time snow record this season, and the resort passed the 800-inch mark for the first time on Friday.

Alta also became the first North American resort to reach the 800-inch mark, with Brighton Resort likely to hit that mark later in the day, according to KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson.

The 2022-2023 season is in “elite company” Alta Ski Area told KSL.com, as only five snow seasons in the past 43 years reached 700 inches of snowfall — none of which reached that milestone before April.

Alta’s previous record of 748 inches was broken last week.

(Screenshot from Alta’s website on Friday, March 31, 2023)

Higher record on the way?

Since 1980, Alta has received an average of 80 inches in April, meaning a season with 900 inches of snow is not out of the question quite yet.

Alta has received 20 inches of new snow over the last 24 hours, bringing its base to 224 inches. More snow is expected to fall through Friday night and another storm is set to move in early next week.

Utah’s statewide snowpack jumped to 27.5 inches of water by Thursday morning, 1.5 inches higher than the previous record set in 1983 and 3.4 inches higher than the statewide snowpack collection of the 2021 and 2022 seasons combined. That number is expected to continue to climb as more storms impact the state.

Cities and counties across Utah are taking advantage of the extra water this winter to replenish aquifers, and no parts of the state are listed in extreme drought for the first time in nearly three years, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

While the update is welcome, experts warn the drought and its resulting extensive impacts aren’t over just yet.

“We’ve come a long way but there’s still a ways to go to become more drought resilient as a state,” water resources officials tweeted Thursday, in reaction to the latest drought report. “Your conservation efforts play a huge role in that.”

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Alta Ski Area passes 800 inches of snow for first time ever