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About J.Spin

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  • Location:
    Waterbury, VT
  • Interests
    Skiing, Snow, Snowboarding, Outdoors, Winter Weather, Photography

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  1. Event totals: 6.2” Snow/1.39” L.E. The accumulating snow is definitely starting to get more loft to it after some very dense readings yesterday – it had come down to 11.5% H2O (~9:1) by the midnight last night, and as of this morning’s reading, the six-hour stack had come down to 8.3% H2O (~12:1). Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 1.8 inches New Liquid: 0.15 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 12.0 Snow Density: 8.3% H2O Temperature: 32.5 F Sky: Snow (2-10 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 10.0 inches
  2. Event totals: 4.4” Snow/1.24” L.E. Details from the 12:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 1.3 inches New Liquid: 0.15 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 8.7 Snow Density: 11.5% H2O Temperature: 32.7 F Sky: Snow (2-10 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 8.0 inches
  3. The snowpack at the Mt. Mansfield Stake appears to have taken a recent 8” jump to get to 22”, so we’re really knocking on the door to 24” now. With the density of this snow that just fell, it would be very surprising if they didn’t hit 24” by tomorrow.
  4. With Winter Storm Malcolm moving into the area early this morning, there was a major PNW vibe around in the valley – we had huge, moisture-laden flakes falling all morning at the house, and driving through just 2-3” of unplowed snow on the road felt like you were moving through concrete. It reminded me of being back at Snoqualmie Pass/Alpental. I gave Mother Nature some time to continue putting down the new snow, then headed up to the mountain for a session this afternoon. I’d brought gear for both skinning and lift-served skiing, unsure about whether or not there would be COVID-19-related lift queues. When I reached the Timberline Base and saw the Timberline Quad running for the first time this season with virtually nobody there, it was an easy decision to opt for lift-served. There were actually no queues at any of the lifts this afternoon, and it was walk-up all the time with numerous empty chairs, so presumably the opening of more terrain took care of any issues that had been creating backups. In terms of the snow, it was unquestionably dense down at 1,500’. I was actually happy with my choice to go with lift-served turns because I appreciated having some packed snow in places and the ability to wander off to the sides into the powder as desired. The powder would have been a bit easier on my fat skis, but on my midfat Teles it was definitely a workout staying for long periods in the deep, dense untracked snow. I was happy for some quick reprieves on the groomed areas. Groomed terrain was skiing very nicely – the packed snow was certainly dense, but not to the level of that slick, wet pack snow that can get rather grabby. The snow got substantially drier with elevation – in the top 500’ of vertical, say from the Vista Summit on down to 2,600’ or 2,700’, the snow was in a totally different league relative to the base. Jumping into untracked powder made for smooth, easy turns; the snow had just lost enough density that it just wasn’t pushing me around on my midfat Teles. Down below those elevations, the powder began to get a bit more dense, but you could definitely give yourself and extra margin of comfort on a pair of alpine fat skis, or especially a snowboard. As of this afternoon’s additional snow from the storm, we’d picked up 1.09” of liquid equivalent down at the house, so the mountains must have had at least that much, and whatever they did get, it represented a major resurfacing of the slopes. Ropes were dropping all over the place, and within one trip over to the main mountain, I came back to find that they’d opened up Tattle Tale, apparently even the steep headwall section, which speaks to how meaty this snow was. They even had Spillway open on all natural snow, and that’s a steep minefield of boulders and stumps. I figured people were just poaching it until I saw the rope opened at the top. In terms of the depth of new snow that fell from Winter Storm Malcolm, it was difficult to tell because there was already some decent loose snow below this new stuff, and there hasn’t been a major thaw in quite a while to consolidate the base. When I got off the top of the Timberline Quad at the Timberline Summit, I stuck in my measurement pole and it went up to 18”. This represented the entire snowpack at that elevation from what I could tell. Based on occasional probing around and measuring during the afternoon, I came to the conclusion that there must have been at least 8” that had fallen up high, and the resort’s afternoon report says 8” at elevation, so that makes sense. I’ve added a few shots from the afternoon at Bolton Valley below, and you can see from that first shot how the dense snow down at 1,500’ was giving the area a definite PNW feel:
  5. Here’s the north to south listing of available snowfall totals from the Vermont ski areas for Winter Storm Malcolm thus far, using data from areas that have made an afternoon update. When MRG came in with 10” as I was working my way down, I figured totals would be well into the teens by the time I got to the southern part of the state, but there were notable ups and downs, and only modest additional increases topping out at the 12” mark. Jay Peak: 5” Smuggler’s Notch: 6” Stowe: 8” Bolton Valley: 8” Mad River Glen: 10” Sugarbush: 6” Pico: 8” Killington: 8” Okemo: 11” Bromley: 8” Magic Mountain: 10” Stratton: 12” Mount Snow: 12”
  6. I haven’t felt that the ECMWF model has picked up terrain nuances/upslope as well as many of the other models lately, for whatever reason.
  7. Ahh, roger that, just needed clarification, it sounds like you’ve got it. I think we’ve got the appropriate analogy for upslope on the back side of synoptic storm in the NNE thread now.
  8. With bread and butter being clippers, shortwaves, LES, etc., I actually think the better fit for the upslope on the back side of a big synoptic storm is…
  9. On that note, it looks like the flow is starting to shift on the radar. You can see the echoes just beginning to push past the Chittenden/Washington county line and the snow is starting to pick up here.
  10. Event totals: 3.1” Snow/1.09” L.E. Details from the 6:00 P.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.9 inches New Liquid: 0.19 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 4.7 Snow Density: 21.1% H2O Temperature: 32.7 F Sky: Light Snow (1-5 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 7.5 inches
  11. I just got back from an afternoon session at the mountain, and even with just this first part of Winter Storm Malcolm, there’s really only one way to describe its impact for the resorts around here…
  12. “Sigh” You’re getting there I guess. The first usage is close, but you still need some work on the analogy. It looks like almost a week of a bread and butter-style pattern after this storm passes. If you’re responding to PF’s post regarding this storm’s upslope component, that’s not the correct analogy at all. If this storm was bread and butter we’d probably average 500-600” of snow a season. Don’t make me go Miyagi on you; Phin helped set up the appropriate analogy for this type of system a while back:
  13. Event totals: 2.2” Snow/0.83” L.E. Well, Winter Storm Malcolm is certainly delivering in the liquid equivalent department here, with 0.83” of L.E. as of the 12:00 P.M. observations. I’ve caught a lot of it in the snow cores thus far (0.60”), but when the snow is super waterlogged the way it is down at this elevation, you know there’s probably some liquid sneaking off the sides of the snowboards as it percolates though. Thankfully the gauge is catching everything. Thus far this has been a huge boon to bolstering the total liquid in the snowpack down here in the valley, and it should be even better for the resorts at elevation. The precipitation here at our site was snow all morning, then a healthy mix of types at midday/observations time, but it’s transitioned back to all snow since then. Details from the 12:00 P.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 1.1 inches New Liquid: 0.45 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 2.4 Snow Density: 40.9% H2O Temperature: 33.4 F Sky: Light Snow/Sleet/Rain Snow at the stake: 7.0 inches
  14. Ahh, I was thinking Norwich was in Orange County, but I see it’s actually in Windsor County, right on the Orange/Windsor line. Where was your previous spot? Windsor goes surprisingly far north!
  15. There’s a definite bump for the Mt. Mansfield area at elevation on the latest Event Total Snowfall map as I mentioned above, and the BTV NWS AFD talks about it: Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Burlington VT 640 AM EST Sat Jan 16 2021 NEAR TERM /THROUGH SUNDAY/... As of 453 AM EST Saturday... Quite the impressive satellite imagery this morning with water vapor showing moisture exploding northward ahead of surface low pressure developing west of the benchmark and south of Long Island Sound. Latest RAP analysis shows pressure falls taking the low directly north up the CT River Valley, placing the forecast area in the sweet spot for QPF with the latest HREF and NAM3 showing upwards of 1.5" of liquid across the higher peaks through 00Z Sunday.