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About J.Spin

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  • Four Letter Airport Code For Weather Obs (Such as KDCA)
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  • Location:
    Waterbury, VT
  • Interests
    Skiing, Snow, Snowboarding, Outdoors, Winter Weather, Photography

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  1. Event totals: 16.5” Snow/1.20” L.E. We’ve largely cleared out now, so I’d say this last accumulation marks the end of Winter Storm Izzy here at our site, and the above numbers should represent the final totals. This storm has now surpassed Winter Storm Carrie (9.3”) from back in December as the largest this season, and is the largest recorded here since Winter Storm Kade (17.0”) back in Feb 2020. Details from the 1:00 P.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.2 inches New Liquid: 0.01 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 20.0 Snow Density: 5.0% H2O Temperature: 16.9 F Sky: Partly Cloudy Snow at the stake: 18.0 inches
  2. Here’s the north to south listing of available storm totals from the Vermont ski areas for Winter Storm Izzy: Jay Peak: 14” Burke: 5” Smuggler’s Notch: 14” Stowe: 13” Bolton Valley: 16” Mad River Glen: 19” Sugarbush: 15” Middlebury: 14” Pico: 17” Killington: 17” Okemo: 13” Bromley: 15” Magic Mountain: 13” Stratton: 15” Mount Snow: 14”
  3. The GFS is usually pretty good at catching these potential bread and butter northern stream systems several days out. I’m only seeing the midweek (Wednesday/Thursday) one at this point, but we’ll see if anything pops up. In an earlier post I’d mentioned that if we could get 1.5” of L.E. out of the weekend system and the potential midweek one, it would be quite a boon to the slopes. I think the mountains may have already picked up that 1.5” from just Winter Storm Izzy though. Since we picked up 1.19” of L.E. down here in the valley, they’d almost have to have hit that mark, so that’s going to be a great addition to the mountain snowpack.
  4. We were skiing up at Bolton yesterday, so I can pass along some updates and a few images. Wind holds were in effect at the very start of the day, but they were loading by mid-morning and we headed up. The snowfall rates were already pretty substantial (~1”/hr.) down in the valley, and they ramped up as we headed into the higher elevations. With the snowfall rates, it was hard to keep pace with plowing the Bolton Valley Access Road, so snow was definitely present and giving some vehicles trouble making the ascent. We had to head around stopped vehicles in a couple of different spots, and one was working on turning around to head back down and presumably wait for the plow/sander to make a pass. As far as ski days go, you had a number of factors that made yesterday’s session a good one. By mid-morning, the wind had settled down to almost nothing across many areas of the mountain, temperatures were very comfortable in the upper 20s to around 30 F, and it was pounding snow somewhere in the 1-2”/hr. range a lot of the time. The snowfall meant that surfaces were getting constantly refreshed, atop of what had already been a solid resurfacing with probably 0.50 – 0.75” of liquid equivalent in the form of medium-weight snow. With the overnight shot of snow and the continued heavy snowfall, patrol was opening up trails all over the main mountain that had not been available yet this season. It was hard to know which ropes had been dropped before opening time, and which ones were done on the fly, by just about everything on Vista was open. The resort had completed their snowmaking and preparation of Spillway, which is one of their signature steep trails, so that was open with all the new snow atop the base they’d made. That offered up some excellent steep skiing. You could still contact the harder manmade snow below at times, but it was snowing so hard that the manmade stuff was quickly getting buried. The heavy snowfall rates were very evident while riding the lifts because of how fast you would get coated with snow, so on one of rides on the Vista Quad, my son’s friend stayed still to catch the accumulation. I’ve got a shot of that in the images below.
  5. Event totals: 16.3” Snow/1.19” L.E. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 3.7 inches New Liquid: 0.07 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 52.9 Snow Density: 1.9% H2O Temperature: 16.0 F Sky: Light Snow (1-3 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 19.0 inches
  6. Event totals: 12.6” Snow/1.12” L.E. Details from the 12:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 2.0 inches New Liquid: 0.15 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 13.3 Snow Density: 7.5% H2O Temperature: 22.1 F Sky: Snow (4-20 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 16.0 inches
  7. The snowfall has picked up a bit over roughly the past half hour, so it could be the back side portion of this event coming through.
  8. Event totals: 10.6” Snow/0.97” L.E. It was a 7-hour block of snow collection time while we were up at the mountain today, so with 7.3” new on the boards, snowfall down here in the valley averaged a bit above 1”/hr. during that period. Up at Bolton the snowfall rate was somewhere in the 1-2”/hr. range, so they picked a good shot today. If it’s been like this up here in NVT, it’s going to be interesting to see the numbers out of the places that really got into the heavy snows. Details from the 3:00 P.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 7.3 inches New Liquid: 0.59 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 12.4 Snow Density: 8.1% H2O Temperature: 32.9 F Sky: Light Snow (1-3 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 16.5 inches
  9. I totally agree. I didn’t know this accumulation was going to be even denser than 10 to 1, but that will be fantastic for the base. We actually were out on the Bolton Valley Backcountry Network yesterday for a snowshoe tour, and I was quite impressed with the off piste/backcountry ski conditions that were already present. The conditions over the past week seem to have been improving under the radar. There was decent base and 6-7” of powder atop that, even down in the 2,000’ – 2,500’ elevation band. On our ascent of the Bryant Trail, I took the image below of a track that a skier had left in the A1A glade area, probably around 2,300’, and I was definitely wishing I’d brought my skis instead. Things have really been primed for a synoptic storm like this, and the coverage is in a position that even the ~0.40” of liquid we’ve picked up so far is actually going to kick things up substantially.
  10. Event totals: 3.3” Snow/0.38” L.E. The overnight accumulations from Winter Storm Izzy already put down quite a shot of L.E. around here – almost 0.40” of L.E. in just this first round. Details from the 8:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 3.3 inches New Liquid: 0.38 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 8.7 Snow Density: 11.5% H2O Temperature: 24.1 F Sky: Snow (1-10 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 8.5 inches
  11. The Wind Chill Warnings and Wind Chill Advisories that had taken priority on the BTV NWS alerts maps have now expired, so we can see the layout of winter weather alerts in the area for the approaching system, which has been given the name Winter Storm Izzy. The collection of Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings certainly depicts the lower totals expected in parts of NVT and the Champlain Valley, and these can be seen on the latest Storm Total Snowfall Forecast map, which I see mreaves also posted. Here at our site, We’re under a Winter Storm Warning and I’m seeing projected accumulations in the 6-14” range through Tuesday. For the local mountains the projected accumulations top out around the 18-20” range for the highest elevations, and the map does just start to catch a bit of that 12-18” shading along the crest of the spine.
  12. Well, let’s be serious here – does anyone actually think the next two potential weather systems are going to drop 1.5” of L.E. as 100% liquid in the mountains of NNE? The second system in the modeling is a clipper-type system that doesn’t even hint at that possibility, so that’s sort of silly. The point is that the state of the mountain snowpack is such that it could take some rain (only so much before it starts to drain through etc.) as part of the L.E., and it would likely add L.E. to it as part of substantiating the base. Snow and sleet are certainly much better for conditions, and that’s actually all that’s currently shown in the mountain forecasts around here anyway.
  13. Yeah, first there’s this larger system from tomorrow night into Monday to think about, and that could be the synoptic system we’ve needed to get a huge portion of the moderate to steep natural snow terrain in play around here. Most of the models show at least a half inch of liquid equivalent here along the spine of the Northern Greens from that system, although something like the latest GFS run with over an inch of liquid equivalent through Tuesday would be really nice. A shot like that would have a huge impact on the snowpack depths for the natural terrain. As you can see from Matt Parrilla’s Mt. Mansfield Snow Stake Depth Plot below, the snowpack depth at the stake is currently 28”. That’s certainly below the average 40” snowpack depth, but nowhere near the basement as far as seasons go. It’s not 28” of fluff either; it’s substantial, and essentially primed for whatever comes next. The ~24” mark is about where people typically start skiing the natural snow terrain (lower and moderate-angle stuff), and indeed, that’s what I’ve seen at Bolton over the past week or so. I suspect PF and bwt have been seeing similar things at Stowe and Jay. The snowpack reaching the 40” mark at the stake (The Northern Greens 40-inch rule) is where you’ll find most natural snow terrain (even the relatively steep stuff) reaching practical utility. With a current 28” depth at the stake, we are absolutely within striking distance of that 40” mark with a good storm or two, and it’s hard to express what a game changer that would be – trail counts and available acreage would jump dramatically. In some respects, it doesn’t matter whether this next system delivers snow, sleet, freezing rain, or even plain rain; it’s that liquid equivalent that we’ve been lacking because we’ve had a relatively slow trickle of smaller systems over the past couple of weeks without the sprinkling of major or even moderate systems. Obviously, getting all the liquid equivalent as pure rain would be least optimal, but the mountain snowpack is in a robust enough state right now where it would still be substantiated by that liquid equivalent, unless the temperatures were somehow 50 or 60 F. Straight rain isn’t currently what’s forecast, so it’s more likely that any liquid equivalent will come as snow, or some other frozen forms of precipitation. And then indeed, there’s that midweek system. From a quick look at some recent runs of the GFS, I think something in the 0.3” to 0.5” inch of L.E. range is what it’s been showing around here for the spine from that potential midweek system. It’s up and down of course, and we’ll have to see how it changes over the next several days, but we do like the typical reliability of those types of systems: If the mountains ultimately pulled out something on the high end like 1.5” of L.E. from these next couple of systems, it will seriously transform the ski options.
  14. I’ve added the updated season snowfall progression plot for our site below. As you can see from the slope of this year’s cumulative snowfall trace over the past week, we’re toddling along at a reasonably steady pace, but comparing to the average slope, we’re clearly behind average snowfall pace. We’re obviously not going to catch up all in one fell swoop without a real whopper storm, but even a typical 6-12” storm would make a notable dent in catching up, since we’re only 18” behind average pace at the moment.
  15. This prompted me to update my numbers and check, and we’re right around 18” behind average season snowfall pace as of today. We’ve actually had 7-8” in the past week (helped by 3.8” from Winter Storm Garrett last weekend, and 2.4” from this frontal passage), but it’s sort of been a trickle, and not really helping to gain any ground on average pace. I’ll try to put together the updated season snowfall vs. average plot when I get a chance.
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