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Old 06-06-2013, 10:40 AM
 
85 posts, read 208,695 times
Reputation: 40

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This applies to Provo and surrounding areas, too, in an area of 100 miles or so.

I see that they get x-inches every year and monthly averages. But for anyone who's lived in the Dakotas or MN/IA/NE, you know that doesn't tell the story at all. What I'm wondering is....

How long does it stay on the ground?
Is it a thing you have to shovel every day?
Snow storms or just snow flakes?
Icy or bad roads?
Does it ever limit travel where you'd be either afraid or at least cautious driving on the roads/highways?
Are there endless cloudy/wintery days where you can't do anything outside other than ski?

Secondly, how cold/annoying are the winters realistically? Does it limit outdoor activities or would it be considered "mild" by a true Northerner?
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: SLC, UT
1,571 posts, read 2,684,360 times
Reputation: 3918
If it's cold enough, the snow can definitely stick around for a long time. This past winter we had a lot of snow (in my opinion), and it stayed forever.

You only have to shovel if it snowed again. Again, often the snow sticks around from previous snowfalls, but it's usually not snowing every day. If we're having a snowstorm, it's good to plow/shovel a few times during it, so it's not such a big job when the storm finally stops.

Both.

The roads definitely get icy (with a fair amount of black ice).

There are areas where you will definitely need snow chains (SLC to Park City). I wouldn't go up there when it had just been snowing, was snowing, or was about to snow. I have an old Honda Accord, and I just wouldn't want to chance it. But I'm not sure how many actual road closures there are.

There are lots of cloudy days. It's not too bad, though, and I don't think outdoor activities would normally be limited (like hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, building snowmen, walking, etc.). The inversion is really the worst part. This past year it was really bad, and the inversion will hinder outdoor activities because it can be hard to breathe in.

I don't think the winters are annoying. I do think they're cold, but it's relative. I don't own a coat or a jacket - I own a zip-up sweater without a hood that I wear every day in the winter. I have ankle boots that I've had for the last six years, and I wear normal socks with them. But that said, I tend to stay in the city or suburbs (rather than going out into the wilderness), so it's not going to be as cold with asphalt and concrete all around than it would if it were just grass and trees. I know that a lot of other people (my family, friends, and co-workers), think it's insane that I don't own a coat and/or jacket, and they often complain about the cold.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:47 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,586 posts, read 6,546,741 times
Reputation: 3211
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsk42 View Post
This applies to Provo and surrounding areas, too, in an area of 100 miles or so.

I see that they get x-inches every year and monthly averages. But for anyone who's lived in the Dakotas or MN/IA/NE, you know that doesn't tell the story at all. What I'm wondering is....

How long does it stay on the ground?
Is it a thing you have to shovel every day?
Snow storms or just snow flakes?
Icy or bad roads?
Does it ever limit travel where you'd be either afraid or at least cautious driving on the roads/highways?
Are there endless cloudy/wintery days where you can't do anything outside other than ski?

Secondly, how cold/annoying are the winters realistically? Does it limit outdoor activities or would it be considered "mild" by a true Northerner?
In winter I'm mostly in northern New England if I'm not in SLC, so that probably qualifies me as a true Northerner. The SLC winter isn't even close to Northern New England. Less ice, not as cold, just less of a big deal in every way except for canyon roads after a snowfall. The cold doesn't feel as cold either cause it's drier.

My buddy and I were there last Jan when the big once-in-15-years ice storm happened and everybody was flipping out. We were laughing, we get those 15 times in one year!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:23 PM
 
85 posts, read 208,695 times
Reputation: 40
Interesting, thanks for the replies. If you can survive on anything less than a true winter coat, then yeah, it's a lot more mild than here. (sounds good!)

I guess a good question is maybe to ask how many people do NOT have all-wheel, 4x4, or front wheel drive? Around here during the winter that's almost literally impossible unless you do no driving. Even in the city and on plowed and salted/sanded roads it just doesn't work for long term.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
26,305 posts, read 27,622,934 times
Reputation: 12550
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsk42 View Post
How long does it stay on the ground?
It varies considerably from year to year. I'd say that in most years, we have spotty, dirty, crusty snow throughout most of the residental areas for the better part of several months at a time. That doesn't mean you're wading through knee-deep snow every day, because you're not.

Quote:
Is it a thing you have to shovel every day?
Absolutely not. In a bad winter, you may have to shovel several times a week during January and February and several times a month in December and March. In a mild winter, you may have to shovel once a week during that same period of time, perhaps less.

Quote:
Snow storms or just snow flakes?
Both. Snow "flurries" and real "storms" are both common.

Quote:
Icy or bad roads?
We almost never get ice storms. The snow removal in the Salt Lake valley is supurb. There will be a handfull of semi-scary commutes between the suburbs and downtown during any given winter, but for the most part, it's not all that bad. The worst problem, as I see it, is the occasional "black ice" which forms on the freeways when the daytime temperatures rise above freezing, thawing the snow that's fallen during the night, and then drop below freezing again in the late afternoons and evenings, forming invisible sheets of ice on the roads. Common sense driving lesens this problem for most of us, but that part is still scary to me.

Quote:
Does it ever limit travel where you'd be either afraid or at least cautious driving on the roads/highways?
Occasionally, but not frequently.

Quote:
Are there endless cloudy/wintery days where you can't do anything outside other than ski?
Yes. Well, there are other outdoor activites other than skiing. You can always snowboard, snowshoe, or ice skate, but the days of doing those things without being bundled up are few and far between.

Quote:
Secondly, how cold/annoying are the winters realistically? Does it limit outdoor activities or would it be considered "mild" by a true Northerner?
That is so subjective I almost hesitate to respond. Since I am a person who loves summer and starts to get cold when the temperatures drop below 65 degrees, winters here are unbelievably "annoying," and that's just about the nicest word I can think to use to describe them. Other people, particularly those who have lived in the midwest or northeast, say that winters here are nothing! As has been mentioned already, our low humidity does make the cold seem less bone-chilling (though still too cold for me!).

Last edited by Katzpur; 06-06-2013 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
26,305 posts, read 27,622,934 times
Reputation: 12550
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsk42 View Post
Interesting, thanks for the replies. If you can survive on anything less than a true winter coat, then yeah, it's a lot more mild than here. (sounds good!)
I start wearing my "true winter cost" in November and don't take it off until mid-April.

Quote:
I guess a good question is maybe to ask how many people do NOT have all-wheel, 4x4, or front wheel drive?
I'd say front-wheel drive is almost essential here. All-wheel or 4x4 is not.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
26,305 posts, read 27,622,934 times
Reputation: 12550
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
My buddy and I were there last Jan when the big once-in-15-years ice storm happened and everybody was flipping out. We were laughing, we get those 15 times in one year!
Yeah, ice storms are virtually unknown around here. And yes, we were all flipping out. Thank God we don't get them 15 times in one year.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Downtown Salt Lake City
62 posts, read 194,472 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsk42 View Post
How long does it stay on the ground?
Is it a thing you have to shovel every day?
Snow storms or just snow flakes?
Icy or bad roads?
Does it ever limit travel where you'd be either afraid or at least cautious driving on the roads/highways?
Are there endless cloudy/wintery days where you can't do anything outside other than ski?

Secondly, how cold/annoying are the winters realistically? Does it limit outdoor activities or would it be considered "mild" by a true Northerner?
I've only experienced two full winters here, so you can take my observations with the proverbial "grain of salt." And let's assume "winter" lasts four months (December 1 to April 1,) even though some of the "better" storms for snowsports' fans come in November and April, generally impacting only the ski resorts and other areas with higher elevations than the Salt Lake Valley.

The snow in late December, January, and early February, appears to stay on the ground longer than the rest of the winter, simply because it's colder. In early December, much of February, and March, the snowstorms pass through and then it warms up into the mid 30's and 40's with bright sunshine, so the snow melts away quickly. However, as the sun goes down, the moisture re-freezes and this leaves icy roads and sidewalks in the evening, night, and early morning, so if you travel during non-traditional hours, things can be slippery.

Folks seem to shovel once after each storm, other than people who seem to derive satisfaction from having every square inch of their property's pathways completely clear every day.

A snowstorm is a real storm and if you are traveling during the storm, conditions can be treacherous. It seems to me the highway department waits until after the storm ends to clear many roads, other than the Interstates. And many times during snowstorms, due to avalanche dangers, the roads to ski areas are just closed. That being said, I have an inexpensive front-wheel drive car I fitted with good snowtires and I had no trouble getting around.

This last winter, as other posters mentioned, January was the type of month where if you didn't enjoy winter sports, all you might want to do was spend your days on the computer bellyaching about the weather.

And finally, as a person who spent ten years living in Northern New England, the winters here seem to be much milder. Friends I've made here say "very cold" is when it's 10-15 degrees, unlike back East, where "very cold" was below zero. Even in the cold periods of late December, January, and early February, most days the temperatures were between 20 and 30 degrees, which I found comfortable.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN (Utah transplant)
99 posts, read 241,346 times
Reputation: 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattsk42 View Post
I guess a good question is maybe to ask how many people do NOT have all-wheel, 4x4, or front wheel drive?
Most people do not have all-wheel and 4x4 here. You most definitely don't need that as long as your not driving up in the mountains during a bad snow storm. Most people live down in the valleys and it's not needed. It's mostly front wheel drive. Even when you're driving in the mountains to the ski resorts you don't need all-wheel or 4x4, unless it's snowing hard, as I mentioned before. But even then it has to be a heavy snowstorm.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
8 posts, read 41,853 times
Reputation: 13
Snow can vary a large amount by going a pretty short distance. For example, to get to Provo from Salt Lake you go around the base of a mountain, this stretch is called Point of the Mountain(stupid name, I know) cities on one side of the mountain vs the other can vary by up too a foot. If you get snow from November thru February you aren't seeing grass until spring, it doesn't really move about freezing very often. With that said, it also doesn't get below 0 very often either. You don't have to shovel every day, but if it snows, your probably going to want to shovel 2 or 3 times, or you'll be shoveling 6-12 inches all at once. If you are driving the day of a storm the roads can get nasty, but SL Valley does an excellent job clearing the roads. The day after a storm you'll be fine. In Salt Lake we actually start praying for snow by the end of winter, because salt lake is surrounded by mountain ranges(Wasatch and Oquirrh) you get a nasty temperature inversion every year. A temperature inversion traps all of the air in the valley and it quickly gets smoggy and hard to breath, this year my kid spent recess at school indoors for most of the winter because the air is so polluted and the only way it clears out is a storm. Mild, would be a bit of a stretch, it isn't LA or Phoenix, but it's not the below 0, snowdrift type winter you get in the midwest.
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