By Jim Stanford on March 23, 2011
Did I write something about spring the other day? Snow melting?
It sure felt like I paid for it yesterday, lashed by winds and driving snow on a hike more evocative of January than March. Cold, with snowfall rates of up to three inches per hour. Skiers reaped face shots of radioactive powder.
Avid snow statistician (and “Future Primitive” DJ) Eric Balog reported Monday that of the 115 days Jackson Hole Mountain Resort had been open this season, it recorded new snow on 87 of them. Updating that stat with the 28 inches that fell since then, including yesterday’s whopping 22 inches, the resort has reported snow 89 of 117 days, or 76 percent.
No wonder the seasonal disorder affected among us are fleeing to the desert.
The snowpack in Rendezvous Bowl is comparable to the massive winter of 1997. Today’s depth of 147 inches is a new record for this date, although it’s worth noting that in the same week in March 1997, the snow depth hit 159 inches before settling considerably in sun and warm temperatures.
Total snowfall this season is 479 inches in Rendezvous Bowl. Grand Targhee also is pushing the 500-inch mark. Should be ample water in the Snake River whenever spring does happen to arrive.
The winter of 1996-’97 became known as “Ninety Sick-Ninety Heaven,” and 2007-’08, when 605 inches of snowfall were recorded at the Raymer Plot, was called “Two Thousand Great.” What should 2011 be known as?