petite cotton balls
blanketing as downy quilts
their journey accomplished
It’s still the middle of autumn, but the last three days have made me feel like we’re in the middle of winter. We received our second large snowstorm this season, and the biggest snowstorm in over a year, per our local evening news. My eyes confirm that statement based on how deep the snow is in our yard.
It’s amazing how quickly the weather can change. Thursday was a very nice, sunny, warm day with temperatures in the mid 60’sF (about 19 Celsius) and no snow on the ground. On Friday morning, we woke up to about a foot of snow (30cm) and freezing temperatures, and it has been snowing almost nonstop since. Saturday morning we woke up to a few more inches of snow, about 16 inches total (41cm). Right now, Sunday afternoon, there is about 22 inches (55cm) of heavy, wet snow accumulated on our deck since Friday. You can see the difference in those snow depths among the above images. (I live at an elevation of about 5,500 ft/1,676 meters. The elevation of nearby Salt Lake City is 4,226 ft/1,288 meters.)
I enjoy the beauty of living where we experience all four distinct seasons. Freshly fallen snow blanketing the mountains and valleys is certainly beautiful in the winter, even if I don’t like driving in it. However, last year was a dismal snowfall year here. We live in a dry, desert climate, and my state’s (Utah, USA) water supply is dependent on the buildup of winter snowpack in the mountains and the resulting spring water runoffs into our reservoirs. Also, the ski tourism industry here, with 14 world-class ski resorts and “The Greatest Snow on Earth®” is an important part of the regional economy and obviously dependent on snow levels.
Hopefully, this large snowstorm indicates a good start to a respite and renewing some of the snowfall totals we didn’t get last year. However, the Utah State University Climate Center found that over the past 40 years, Utah has warmed twice as fast as the global average, and our annual snowpack is shrinking. Time will tell, but it is a situation that cannot be ignored.
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