Alta’s base is deeper than in 2023. Really.

The ski area is creeping up on a record, with more snow in the forecast.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Alta Ski Area general manager Mike Maughan walks around employee facilities, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. The ski area saw a record snowfall that season, but this February's numbers may be even better than last's.

Maybe it is too much to ask of nature to deliver Utah skiers more snow than it did in 2022-23, when the total snowfall and base snowpack at Alta Ski Area buried previous records.

But one record month? Surely that’s not being too greedy.

Believe it or not, it could happen this February.

On Thursday, thanks to 8 inches of new snow over the past day, Alta reported a 152-inch base. That’s 1 inch deeper than the ski area’s base was on the same date last year, amidst a season in which the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort would break its overall snowfall record by more than 150 inches. It also falls just 15 inches shy of the resort’s record base in February (167 inches).

Unfortunately, those bragging rights will likely be short-lived, according to Evan Thayer, the Utah forecaster for OpenSnow.com. With temperatures stretching up above freezing over the next four days, he said it’s unclear how much of that base the resort will be able to keep from settling.

“There’s a very good chance we’re actually going to see that base number decline,” he said. “It’s not losing snow, it’s just that it settles down.”

With more snowfall forecast for the state before the month ends next week, though, eclipsing the previous base-depth record at Alta isn’t off the table. Thayer has forecast Alta will see about 20 inches of new snow before Feb. 29, including more than a foot Tuesday.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Skiers make some turns at Alta Ski Resort, on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.

Don’t get greedy and start expecting this ski season to keep pace with the last in terms of base depth or total snowfall, though. Some 437 inches of snow has fallen at Alta this season. Last year, the ski area had seen 524 inches since October. Then it collected 229 inches of snow in March — more than the season average at many of the country’s ski areas — marking the snowiest month in the resort’s 85-year history.

“We’re probably going to finish February somewhat close to last year,” Thayer said, “and then we enter March and, as we know, last year’s March was the snowiest month on record at Alta.

“So chances of us keeping pace are slim, but there’s always a chance.”

Even if Alta can’t write in a new record for base depth in February, it can claim a pretty decent consolation prize. Thayer said the snow that has fallen has been particularly wet, averaging 9.4% water content compared to 7.4% last year. That has resulted in 13.18 inches of snow-water equivalent at the Alta-Collins snow stake this month. And that, Thayer said, is the most for February since weather-watchers began tracking that figure in 1980.