Utah, also known as the Beehive State, is the 13th largest and 30th most populous state in the U.S. The state covers an area of 219,887 square kilometres and has a population of 3,271,616. Utah’s highest point is Kings Peak at 13,534 feet (4,120.3 metres), while its lowest point is the Beaver Dam Wash at an elevation of 2,180 feet (664.4 metres). But does it snow in Utah?
Utah has a dry semi-arid climate which transitions to a desert climate in some parts of the state. Utah’s dry climate is due to the state’s location on the rain shadows of the Sierra Nevada and the Wasatch Mountains. Due to its high elevation, Utah witnesses cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers. Most parts of Utah experience heavy snowfall in winter, except for the far southern valleys in the state.
When does it snow in Utah?
Although snowfall in Utah is a common feature from November to April, heightened winter starts in December and lasts through February. This season is marked by heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures that occasionally fall as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
Cottonwood Canyons in the north see about 551 inches (13,995 millimetres) of snow throughout the winter season. On the other hand, Moab in the south receives about 6.3 inches (160 millimetres) of snow after 3.9 snowfall days.
Snowfall in December
As earlier stated, December is the first month of heightened winter in Utah. The month is marked by chilly days and freezing nights during which temperatures hit lows of 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius). Salt Lake City in northern Utah records snowfall for 8.5 days throughout the month and sees a snow accumulation of 13.2 inches (335 millimetres). On the other hand, Moab, a city in southern Utah, records 3.0 inches (76 millimetres) of snow after 1.5 snowfall days.
Snowfall in January
January is the coldest month in Utah. Daily average temperatures in the state range from highs of 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12.2 degrees Celsius) to lows of 3 degrees Fahrenheit (-16.1 degrees Celsius). Salt Lake City sees snow for 8.5 snowfall days throughout the month and records a snow accumulation of 12.5 inches (318 millimetres). On the other hand, Moab sees 1.2 snowfall days and records a snow accumulation of 1.4 inches (36 millimetres).
Snowfall in February
February is the last month of heightened winter in Utah. Temperatures in the state range from highs of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) to lows of 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12.2 degrees Celsius). Salt Lake City records a snow accumulation of 10.7 inches in (272 millimetres) after 6.2 snowfall days throughout the month. On the other hand, Moab records 0.9 inches (23 millimetres) of snow after 0.7 snowfall days.
Where does it snow in Utah?
Snow in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is Utah’s capital and most populous city. The city sits at an elevation of 4,226 feet (1,288 metres) and has a population of 200,000 living on its 286.99 square kilometre landmass. Salt Lake City usually records its first instance of snowfall in November and the last one in April. On average, Salt Lake City records an annual snowfall of 56.2 inches (1,427 millimetres) after 34.8 snowfall days.
Snow in Summit Park
Summit Park is a small census-designated place on the western edge of Summit County in Utah. The CDP sits at an elevation of 6,886 feet (2,099 metres) and has a population of about 8,025 living on its 56-kilometre square landmass. Winter in Summit Park lasts from late November to early March and is characterized by freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall.
Summit Park is Utah’s snowiest city and records an annual snow depth of 343.2 inches (8,717 millimetres) after 62.81 snowfall days.
Snow in Ogden
Ogden is Utah’s 8th largest city and has a population of 87,321 living on its 71.35 square kilometre area. The city is located approximately 64 kilometres north of Salt Lake City and is well known for its historic buildings and proximity to the Wasatch Mountains. Ogden witnesses snowfall for 5.1 snowfall days throughout the year and records a snow accumulation of up to 18.3 inches (465 millimetres).
Ski Resorts in Utah
Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort, the largest ski resort in the United States, is located in Park City and has a massive 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. Park City Mountain Resort has over 330 trails and six terrain parks that cater to the needs of all skiing levels. It is also equipped with 43 lifts for transporting guests up to the mountain’s summit.
Deer Valley Mountain Resort
Deer Valley Mountain Resort is a ski only resort located on the Wasatch Mountains near Park City. The resort is ranked as one of the best ski resorts in North America and hosted some games during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Deer Mountain Ski Resort has 2,026 acres of skiable terrain and has 21 chairlifts for transporting guests.
Snowbasin Ski Resort
Snowbasin Ski Resort is located on Mt. Ogden, about 55 kilometres north of Salt Lake City. The resort was opened in 1939, making it one of the oldest ski resorts in the United States. Snowbasin Ski Resort receives an annual snowfall of 350 inches (8,900 millimetres) on its 3,000-acres skiable terrain.