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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. I’m surprised you didn’t comment back when we were talking about the winter of 2000-2001. Will had this to say about that winter… Oh no… “darn”… When I initially saw what he wrote I probably fainted just a bit. I can’t say that I really recall the temperatures that year, but you mean to say we had that ridiculous amount of snow and we didn’t have to deal with freezing our asses off? As if the snowfall hadn’t already elevated that winter into essentially mythical status around here, we learn that the stars had actually aligned to bring it to an even higher echelon of perfection. As I look back at my trip reports from that season I can see that it wasn’t always a bed of roses – I was just reminded of a storm where we had to deal with some sleet, but still, all that snow and no big cold (and apparently no massive thaws either?) is a pretty great combination.
  2. Yeah, I love those October storms and ski outings – they’re such a great way to kick off the season, and they can really sneak up on you sometimes because there’s always at least a little wonder as to how the snow levels and accumulations will play out. They’re also really ephemeral – it can be quite tough to even get a second day of great snow because of the temperature volatility this time of year. Of course that fleeting nature of the snow and descending your way right back into autumn is part of what makes the experience special. Checking my archives from the past few seasons, it looks like we’re generally catching one of these decent October events at least every other year (depending on one’s snow depth threshold for making turns). Last year the October 28th timeframe was our Halloween-ish storm. I went for a Bolton Valley outing, and I can see from my report that it looks like accumulations were topping out around 20 inches at the local resorts. Another fun one in recent years that always comes up at our house was October 26th, 2013. I guess it was a weekend day because I was able to go up with my older son, and the memories are vivid of having the Halloween music playing on the cable radio holiday station as we prepped all the gear. That was another decent dump with over a foot up high on Mansfield: The fleeting nature of the powder was definitely there for that event though – the whole family was able to head up for turns the next day, but Ty and I had to continually lament to E and Dylan with the old “should have been here yesterday” story because the powder was nothing like when it was fresh. There were still some nice turns to be had up high though: Whatever happens this October, the footsteps of the impending season are definitely getting louder at this point.
  3. Agreed, although still a minor component of most people’s snow observations toolkit, depending on Mitch’s measurement interval at that location/elevation, he could be one of the best candidates to at least have a long measurement ruler – with the right track we know what those coastals can often do at elevation in the Southern Greens.
  4. Thanks for responding backedge, I was going to point out the Amazon options as well. What you want to look for are drafting rulers and navigation rulers, those are the disciplines that seem to have the most tenth of an inch ruler options. Note that measuring to the tenth of an inch is only for snowfall measurements though, not snowpack measurements, which are only to the nearest inch or half inch. Therefore, you don’t actually need a long tenths of an inch ruler unless you’re planning on something special like a stationary snowfall measurement ruler or something. Your tenths of an inch ruler is something you want to be able whip out quickly for frequent snowfall measurements and view at eye level if possible, so going with too much length for that application can be unwieldy. I think 24” is about as long as one would want to go, but even that is going to be longer than you need most of the time. Even if you’re only going to measure snowfall at the minimum interval of once a day, how many storms do we get where you’re going to have 24 inches of settled snowfall (which actually means more than 24 inches of snow fell) in 24 hours? It can happen, so it might be nice to have a 24” or 36” tenths of an inch ruler on hand for those rare occasions if you’re a once-a-day measurer, but 99% of the time you’re going to want a 12” ruler for ease of use. I have two 18” plastic navigator’s rulers, and in my years of measurement I can’t think of more than a few times I’ve had to measure a snow accumulation stack greater than 12”. Granted, I try to make 6 to 12-hour snowfall measurements, so exceeding a foot of accumulation during those durations is pretty rare. One of those 18” rulers broke a while back, so I used one end to create a 6” ruler and punched a hole in it so that I could string it around my neck when I head out (you’d be amazed at how easy it can be to lose rulers in deep snow if you’ve got a lot of other observational chores to do). That 6” ruler is all I use for more than 95% of my snowfall measurements, so having a 6” or 12” ruler is something to think about.
  5. I believe the rule of thumb is that the board should be at least as far from the structure as the structure’s height. My elevated board at the back end of my deck does fall a touch short of hitting that mark, but with the minimal amount of wind we get at our location and the fact that I can corroborate that board’s numbers with other boards, I know that it’s not an issue. Technically I think in a perfect setup, the boards are supposed to be out in the open without protection from the sun, but I’m fine having a setup with northern exposure as someone who can’t be at the board at all hours. Since we’re supposed to record the maximum accumulation attained for a snowfall, it’s nice to have a bit of shade preserving some of the snow vs. it sitting in the sun and melting by the time I get home from work.
  6. Wow, I’ve been busy so I only just now saw the posts at the beginning of this thread about the September snow. So this was actually at least the second snowfall of the season. It’s kind of funny to think that we actually had that September snow, and now this October snow in what is sort of warm pattern, but these things happen I guess. Anyway, it’s been fun checking out the snow on the Mansfield summit this morning. All I took was a simple cell phone image so it’s pretty small, but the white has been hanging out in the 3,500’-4,000’ range on up.
  7. Yeah, it sounds like it’s sort of a location-specific perspective, maybe in line with Will’s comments earlier in the thread. As he said, it was “one of the all-time winters” for N ORH county and northward into NNE, but obviously not everywhere.
  8. I saw this exchange and thought it funny because Ginx didn’t actually didn’t bring up any negatives about 2000-2001… it’s just the fact that there was any text after the initial “impressive” that was probably surprising. There isn’t necessarily anything to read into it, it’s just the fact that around here in NVT when 2000-2001 comes up you don’t tend to hear about any qualifiers… you just sort of smile and nod and leave it at that. For skiers in our area it simply sets the standard for ski seasons post 1970-ish, so if there were any big negatives about it they’re probably just long forgotten footnotes buried beneath a snowy dream.
  9. Unless you have a specific spot in which you’re planning to build a table, I’d say just go with a picnic table (or any other sort of sturdy outdoor patio table etc.) You can move the table around as needed to find a representative, relatively wind-free spot. Picnic tables are nice because they’re generally quite sturdy, but of course they’re a bit heavier to move around. The next stage would be to get a 2’ x 2’ piece (or better yet, a few pieces) of plywood, and paint it white to minimize solar heating. You actually want a few different boards if you can manage it though, for a few reasons. It’s good to supplement an elevated snow board with at least one ground board, which is more protected from the wind, and then of course there’s the potential need for multiple boards anyway if you’re in a windy spot and need to average accumulations. Finally, what I consider perhaps the biggest “quality of life” factor necessitating multiple boards is board clearing. In a perfect world where all storms are 100% snow, one could certainly get by with a single board. However, reality is a bit different, and storms with mixed precipitation happen all the time. There’s really no substitute for slapping a fresh board in place and heading right back inside instead of trying to scrape all manner of frozen atrocities from the board to get it reset. Think back to the times you’ve had to scrape your car because it was out in a messy storm, and then imagine having to do that for an object that isn’t heated, and is purposely left out for every single storm of the winter season. Then add onto that all the days when snow simply melts and refreezes on the board. The process of resetting the board in those situations (especially if freezing rain made an appearance) is agonizing, and often pointless. Also, scraping your boards leads to a lot of wear and tear. Being able to take your board to a place to thaw while a fresh one gets put in its place really is priceless as far as I’m concerned.
  10. Ahh, it’s funny, I came to the thread to comment that, while heading to a class today here on the UVM campus, it absolutely felt like one of those days where it could easily be snowing along the spine. Well, there you go, and down as low as 2,700’. Tis the season.
  11. Yeah, I’d say Alex is in a pretty nice spot for upslope – I seem to recall days where he’d pick up some new snow and even PF and I didn’t have much of anything. If he was at that elevation in the Northern Greens (assuming decent aspect), the snowfall average would probably be pushing toward 200”. I think another issue might be that Alex isn’t at that location all the time? So, depending on how well his camera system is permitting measurements, he may not be able to catch every event before settling plays a bit of a role, and we know how potent settling can be when it comes to upslope snow. In any event it should be great to have more reports from snowy locations in the NNE mountains with Mitch’s new site. These sorts of sites with potentially cool microclimate effects are typically quite underrepresented, but are some of the most fun to follow and discover the snowfall nuances that come from different types of storms.
  12. I’m looking forward to participating again this season as one of the Green Mountain spine representatives – the events format was great since it fit right in with the event system I already use in my own record keeping. Thanks!
  13. We’ve had some drier years prior to the current one, and it looks like the average annual liquid is coming more into the 53”-54” range here, so indeed not too far above what tamarack has for his long-term number. After my first few seasons of recording total liquid here I was indeed getting an average in the 55”-60” range as PF recalled, but perhaps that was a wet stretch and these past few seasons have refined it appropriately. Being on track for 60”+ at this point in the season though is probably notable because it’s likely more than 10% above average. We’ll see how long that pace continues, but this last stretch of September has been reasonably wet, with 2.62” in just the first 10 days of the month. That’s pretty notable in a month where the average rainfall I’ve got in my records is only 3.87”.
  14. September is moving right along, so I figured I should get out the August and year-to-date numbers for liquid before it gets too late: August liquid: 3.06” 2017 liquid: 40.75” Rainfall has continued to slow down relative to the beginning of the summer, and combined with the generally comfortable temperatures, that made for quite a number of great August days. August liquid was actually more than an inch below average for our location, but the current pace still has the calendar year ending with a bit over 60 inches of total liquid.
  15. This morning was one of those fairly infrequent days when I arrived in Burlington to find that it was actually cooler than at home in Waterbury. Presumably Burlington was getting an earlier taste of whatever air is filtering in from our west. I just headed outside though and it’s gorgeous, certainly one of those days that calls for…