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Local News

OpenSnow Provides Forecasting From A Powder Hound's Perspective

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Ski Utah
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For those looking for the best snow to ski and ride - they may want to know about a forecasting service that is very specific to certain terrain. OpenSnow.com fills that need, offering limited free access as well as a subscription service.

Evan Thayner studied meteorology in college – and before he heads up to ski, he spends his mornings studying the weather models, looking at a number of variables like temperature, elevation, and which way a storm is moving into Utah to prepare his forecast for opensnow.com

After keeping a weather blog for years, he joined forces with other snow enthusiasts when opensnow.com was created.

“Several of us are went to meteorology school, but then pursued other careers, myself included, I originally went to school for meteorology but ended up doing computer science for a while and I sort of got back into meteorology by accident.”

He thinks their forecasts are more accurate than others mostly because they’re all skiers or snowboarders.

“So, what we do is we take the same model forecasts that say the same models that the National Weather Service uses, but we contextualize it for skiing purposes. So, how is this weather going to affect your ski day? How is it going to affect your week? So, I think what we do is we provide those same. We look directly at the models, but then apply it to like a skier’s perspective.”  

While Little Cottonwood Canyon benefits from a northwest flow and also from the Great Salt Lake’s lake effect Deer Valley and Park City snow totals on the eastern slope of the Wasatch do much better with a southwest flow – or just a really big storm.

“The wraparound storms do favor Park City, but I would say Park City does best in just one of those big, strong, full moisture storms where you have a lot of forcing that pushes the snowfall up over the crest of the Wasatch, and you're not relying so much on just that orographic lift. if you can get a lot of forcing and have strong jetstream it's just going to push all the snowfall right over the Wasatch and everybody gets a lot of snow including Park City.”

You can read or subscribe to Thayer’s forecasts online at opensnow.com.

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