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About ORH_wxman

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    SNE wx FOCUS
  • Birthday 07/14/1981

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  1. I would say it started in the 1992-1993 winter...so yeah about a year after pinatubo. That winter we got the infamous December 1992 nor Easter and then it was overshadowed itself later that same winter by the March 1993 superstorm. Though in our own local interior MA zone, the former was probably more prolific even if March '93's 18-20" of powder Mixing briefly with sleet was no slouch... Then a year later we followed that up with the encore of January and February 1994...just a train of overrunning snow events within a regime of Arctic outbreaks and 1050 highs to the north...at times giving us strange soundings with OES falling along the south shore while synoptic sleet was falling...yeah -12C temps at 900mb while there's a warm nose at 700-725mb. Then of course two years after that is the prolific 1995-1996 winter. It was like we erased a decade of frustration in a span of a few years. We had a couple lean winters in the late 1990s but we rebounded quickly in the 2000s and it hasn't seemed to quit. The duds are far out numbered these days...but as you said, those of us who remember the winter-lover's hell of the 1980s into the very early 1990s know that he pendulum will swing the other way at some point.
  2. Oh I think you might be remembering 2012...we actually had snowfall that morning. I had about an inch with puffy currier and ives flakes. That was the first Christmas I drove down to NJ for to visit Megan's family....I left ORH around noontime with temps in the low to mid 30s and snow cover...I arrived in NJ with temps around 50F and downsloping winds....though the actual temp may have been a bit colder...that was a car thermo reading. Though your 67F recollection might not quite match because it never got that warm...but we def had a sfc boundary that day. Maybe you were remembering 2014 or 2015...but I'm not recalling a distinct boundary in either of those years...just flat our torch.
  3. Yeah, cutters happen, but on average you are going to get more cold stretches for snow making and more natural snow events to help build up snowpack with the extra couple weeks between 12/20 and like January 7th. Even years where we got Grinch storms, frequently we had a big storm after Christmas to erase the bad taste...like 2007-2008 had the events on 12/30 and 1/1, 2008-2009 had the 12/31 event and another on 1/7 plus a smaller refresher in between. 2009-2010 had the big retro Jan 1-3 storm that gave BTV their 34 inches of snow...again, with a minor refresher before that storm which all happened after the hideous cutter on Dec 26-27. 2010-2011 of course had boxing day and then despite a bit of a thaw (but no big cutter) on new years, there was another event on 1/7, though 2010 never had a Grinch storm which was nice. 2011-2012 sucked, lol, we'll leave it at that (I know there was some decent upslope that year though).....2012-2013 had the big event on Dec 26-27...and then another on Dec 29th. I could go on, but yeah, everyone gets the picture...those extra couple weeks tend to produce good natural snow events in addition to the extra snow making time.
  4. Prob 2013...it was right before Christmas...there was an ice storm up in NNE. We briefly had 60s in the pike region but then we got backdoored and actually fell through the 40s on the 23rd and eventually fell down to near freezing over the interior. It's actually what saved the thinning snowpack north of the pike interior region while Kevin was sipping pina coladas in Tolland with his brown grass. I remember a nasty drizzle and upper 30s during the original pre-Xmas GTG at Clark's....which happened to be Dec 23rd that year. I remember Ray and I were teasing Kevin about the snowpack and he was getting violently angry...I don't think he bought his girls any Christmas presents that year.
  5. Update for 2017.... Extent is still tracking pretty low...basically in a dead heat right now with 2016 for 4th lowest, though I would be surprised if it kept up pace since 2016 had breathtaking losses late in the month with a ton of vulnerable nearly-melted-out ice in the ESS and managed to finish 2nd lowest...2017 has no such vast areas so vulnerable, so we'd expect a slowdown relative to 2016. That said, there is still room for a pretty low result, top 5 lowest is still definitely within reach and you still cannot quite rule out 2nd lowest if the weather was absolutely hostile to the max. But the race may be more with 2011/2015. Area is a bit of a different story...the ice is pretty compact...not nearly as spread out as some other years. So area is running higher than extent in the rankings. Here are the August 17th (based on 8/16 satellite scan) area numbers by year: 2017: 3.69 million sq km 2016: 3.26 2015: 3.51 2014: 4.53 2013: 4.10 2012: 2.92 2011: 3.32 2010: 3.92 2009: 3.95 2008: 3.67 2007: 3.23 2008 is currently the closest match, then 2015 is next closest. 2008 finished at 3.00 million sq km while 2015 finished at 3.09 million sq km. The ice pack is currently more compact than both of those years so it wouldn't be shocking if it finished higher...however, it is also probably thinner out on the PAC side, so that could offset the compactness some and still produce area losses that are more comparable to a dispersed ice pack....weather of course will be a factor too, so we'll just have to see. A finish anywhere from 3rd lowest to 7th lowest is still plausible on area...I think 2012 and 2016 are now safely out of reach as well as 2009, 2013, and 2014.
  6. Yeah the worst conditions possible are probably like a windy 0F in January like 3 days after a cutter....at that point you almost just want to pack up and go home. We actually had a day like that when I went to Killington as a kid on December 24, 1992. There had been a brutally ugly cutter about a week before...then only a minor refresher of 1-3" right before we went up. Left the house at 5am on Christmas Eve and ran into a nasty squall on the way up around Woodstock...got there and it was windy and frigid...IIRC I think the temp was falling most of the day. I do not think the summit ever made it above 0F...if it did, it was probably in the morning. But regardless, it was just my dad and I...and I think we got in about 24 runs that day...like legit runs all over 1200 vertical....some much more. So we gutted it out despite the ice and frigid cold. The mountain was virtually empty being Christmas Eve and so cold. So that part was nice. We took about 4 breaks....very uncharacteristic of us...usually when it was just the two of us, we'd only take a lunch break and that's it. But the cold was so bad we had to go in a few times to warm up. I think the only conditions rougher than that are probably when it's like 34F and raining...nobody want to get wet.
  7. I feel like ice is a bigger risk in December...you get those death ribbons of manmade snow refrozen after a Grinch storm. Obviously it can happen any time of the winter....but the higher chance of natural snow aiding the conditions would be in January. Then again, maybe we get a Nina and this December acts like 2007...or 1995.
  8. Powderfreak prob has a more technical insight than me, but you are likely to have better conditions in January just due to the natural snow buildup that progresses throughout the season...however, a lot of it will just have to due with weather. You could have smashing awesome conditions the week before Christmas if we get a good December and on the other hand if there is a cutter right before you arrive during January, the conditions could be awful with tons of ice. But all else being equal, if both periods are cold without a ton of natural snow, you're gonna have the better conditions in January because they will have had more snow making done by then on some of the secondary trails that might need a bit extra versus the big primary trails that will be covered in December.
  9. Yeah it was...might be remembering the next year in 2014 or even 2015...both torches...2013 did have a very warm day on 12/22 though before Christmas. We ended up with a swiss cheese snow pack that year because of it after it melted down 16 inches of powder that had fallen between 12/10-12/17.
  10. It feels like we've been punished for years after December 1995....like the perfect way to run the holiday season. I guess 2000 and 2002 were pretty good, but man, the Grinches that stained 2007, 2008, and 2013 are still very vivid. At least 2007 and 2008 were still pretty deep on Christmas day...even if glacial in consistency. But it doesn't remove the stench of a 55F rainstorm on dec 24th while getting last minute Xmas shopping done.
  11. Yeah that was a sick outbreak...but I still prefer 1995...that was just literally cold with snow event after snow event from about Dec 10th onward...no thaws. We even had mood snow (with some minor accums) like every day between Dec 22-Dec 26 after the underpeforming Nor' Easter on Dec 20-21 (though it still dropped 6-10 inches on top of an already good snow pack).
  12. 2000-2001 had a mildly positive PDO too. But it wasn't like 1995-1996 where it was solidly positive all year leading into the winter. 1983-1984 was also a strongly positive PDO in a weak Nina.
  13. There's hardly any occurrences of back to back weak Ninas...'84-'85 you could maybe count. '96-'97 is close too...but yeah, obviously small samples. Those two winters were pretty different.
  14. Some good weak Niña winters: 2008-2009, 2000-2001, 1995-1996, 1983-1984...there's been some duds in there too like 2011-2012 and some winters in the first half of the 1950s but overall a weak Niña has been pretty solid. Last year I wouldn't classify as very good but it was OK. Pretty good for snow but probably warmer than we'd like.
  15. What do you make of the subsurface cooling? It's looking pretty accelerated the past 2 weeks. La Nina is definitely becoming more likely looking at that...or at least a cold-neutral.