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J.Spin

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  1. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    Agreed, it’s been really nice. I was glad to catch PF’s post on some of the month’s numbers for our temperatures and see that they’re about average, so the great weather we’ve had is essentially what we “should” be seeing. Aside from PF’s input, the “discussion” thread is sort of a mess to follow and get a sense for practical weather up here with DIT’s continuous torch trolling, his biased use of tweets and selected stations to fill some sort of agenda, and the fact that the temperatures being thrown out are the notably hotter SNE numbers to begin with.
  2. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    We’ve had a couple of days with what seemed like orographic clouds up here over the past two or three weeks, but certainly not many. I actually like how those clouds come in, help keep the temperatures comfortable, and add variety to the weather. It’s not as if they always mean rain, sometimes they just build, give you a half hour of cooler shade, then you get a break of blue for a while, and the cycle repeats. In some cases you’ll get a passing shower as well, but it’s part of what keeps mountain weather interesting.
  3. J.Spin

    July pattern(s) and discussion

    LOL, brutal, just brutal. I’m guessing you tried that novel approach that PF mentioned of just opening and closing various windows and doors to regulate the temperature of the house? I tried it last night and it seemed like it worked.
  4. J.Spin

    July pattern(s) and discussion

    Yeah, been doing the same thing, closed some of the doors and windows, leaving others open to tweak the temperature as needed. It’s hard to complain when you’re able regulate evening house temperatures this way as we approach the hottest part of the year.
  5. J.Spin

    2018-19 New England Snow

    I was already worried about it when I was running through my data, but at some point it’s just sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, like testing if a snowy Dec, Jan, or Feb correlates with a snowy overall season. If a month is a large enough component of the season’s snowfall, it’s just naturally going to contribute to an overall snowy season. Those Novembers that went into the “above median” calculation from my data were up there in roughly the 20-40” range for snowfall. Unless a site’s snowfall average is well into the hundreds of inches per season, those kinds of numbers are obviously going to have a positive correlation with season snowfall.
  6. J.Spin

    2018-19 New England Snow

    To check for trends in my data, I thought about putting together a scatter plot and analyzing its correlation, but running the median seems like an efficient approach. My data set is even smaller (13 seasons), but here’s what I’ve got: Median October snowfall: 1.0” Median November snowfall: 13.6” Mean season snowfall: 155.9” Mean season snowfall for Octobers above median: 150.0 ± 47.6” Mean season snowfall for Octobers below median: 155.0 ± 26.8” Mean season snowfall for Novembers above median: 171.8 ± 24.9” Mean season snowfall for Novembers below median: 135.0 ± 41.6”” Any seasonal difference with respect to October snowfall is probably negligible (especially when looking at that difference with respect to the S.D. values). There’s quite a trend when it comes to November snowfall though. With respect to the snowier November values, the snowfall mean is 1.5 S.D. above the less snowy November values. The S.D. values still overlap if you consider both data sets, although at this point any data set with the highly aberrant 2015-2016 season in it has its deviation bumped substantially. With the data available though, the trend is certainly toward Novembers with good snowfall associating with seasons that have good snowfall.
  7. J.Spin

    2018-19 New England Snow

    I was working on logging in and bookmarking things for the new page and came across this comment when I browsed through some of the posts. It’s not as if we didn’t have any mixed precipitation events this past season, but when the main gist of our conversation about rating the winter in the NNE thread was essentially “What kind of A do we give it?”, that should put the kibosh on our nervousness for how the winter is going to go. That old adage probably has some sort of merit, but in some respects it’s like everyone’s fear about how getting October snow forebodes a weak snow season. We get accumulating snow in most seasons (including this past one, which had four accumulating storms and the highest October snow total in my records), and they can’t all be bad. That adage may be focused on temperatures, but I’d sure argue that good November snowfall doesn’t seem correlated with a bad overall winter season. November 2018 was excellent with respect to snowfall, as were November 2007 and November 2008, and those were all top 5 snowfall seasons in my records. If anything, the data here would likely support a positive correlation with between November and seasonal snowfall.
  8. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    June Precipitation: 5.45” 2019 Precipitation: 32.43" 2019 Water Year Precipitation: 50.90” June averages just over seven inches of precipitation and is the wettest month at our site according to my data records. While precipitation was more than an inch and a half below average this June, that still means plenty of liquid, so there was no obvious deficiency and the lawn and plants seem to be doing well. Even without an especially wet June, 2019 calendar and water year precipitation are still running several inches ahead of average due to a surplus of moisture in the winter and spring. November and May were substantial contributors in that regard with more than eight inches of precipitation each.
  9. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    My phone alerted me of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, presumably due to what’s off to our west:
  10. J.Spin

    The 2018-2019 Ski Season Thread

    I posted this in the NNE thread, but figured it would also be appropriate here. Earlier this year I had an inquiry on the ski areas page of our website that prompted me to update the page, so I’ve done that now that we’re in the off season and I’ve had a bit of time. Like my usual north to south list of the major ski areas that I use for storm reports, I created a similar north to south list of the state’s smaller areas that are currently in operation, with annual snowfall numbers that I could scrounge up/estimate. Naturally, not all these ski areas have expansive websites like the major resorts, but I was able to get reasonably current/relevant links for all of them. I was aware of many of these ski areas, but there were still some that I didn’t know were in operation. I know there are a number of Vermont ski enthusiasts here, so I figured I’d pass the list along. Hard’ack (82″) Pete’s Tow (99″) Lyndon Outing Club (103″) Chapman Hill (79″) Cochran’s (88”) Cosmic Hill (104″) Northeast Slopes (91″) Pine Mountain (65″) Harrington Hill (87″) Twin Farms (82″) Suicide Six (80″) Ski Quechee (90″) Bear Creek (150″) Ascutney Outdoors (175″) Timber Ridge (145″) Bellows Falls (56″) Hermitage (150″) Living Memorial (56″)
  11. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    Earlier this year I had an inquiry on the ski areas page of our website that prompted me to update the page, so I’ve done that now that we’re in the off season and I’ve had a bit of time. Like my usual north to south list of the major ski areas that I use for storm reports, I created a similar north to south list of the state’s smaller areas that are currently in operation, with annual snowfall numbers that I could scrounge up/estimate. Naturally, not all these ski areas have expansive websites like the major resorts, but I was able to get reasonably current/relevant links for all of them. I was aware of many of these ski areas, but there were still some that I didn’t know were in operation. I know there are a number of Vermonters and Vermont ski enthusiasts here, so I figured I’d pass the list along. I’ll cross post it in the ski thread as well for folks that don’t necessarily visit the NNE thread. Hard’ack (82″) Pete’s Tow (99″) Lyndon Outing Club (103″) Chapman Hill (79″) Cochran’s (88”) Cosmic Hill (104″) Northeast Slopes (91″) Pine Mountain (65″) Harrington Hill (87″) Twin Farms (82″) Suicide Six (80″) Ski Quechee (90″) Bear Creek (150″) Ascutney Outdoors (175″) Timber Ridge (145″) Bellows Falls (56″) Hermitage (150″) Living Memorial (56″)
  12. J.Spin

    June 2019 Discussion

    Yeah, Stanley is an incredible/unique location. Unless it’s socked in or something and you can’t see the surroundings, it’s really impossible to head through there and not have some sort of WTF exclamation. The town is in the 6,000’ – 7,000’ elevation range and surrounded by mountains in all directions, including the dramatic Sawtooths at 10,000’ – 11,000’. That area is pretty extreme when it comes to the dry climate and diurnal range we’ve been talking about. Even up at that elevation, it looks like they only get about 12 inches of precipitation a year, and if you check out the average minimum temperatures they’re within just a few degrees of freezing throughout the entire summer. So, frost/freeze is possible essentially any day. Not that it really matters unless you’re trying to grown your own food, but I’m not sure if they really have much of a growing season. It’s hard to figure out why the town is even there though, (I guess tourism nowadays), but it looks like the population at the most recent census was 63, down from 100 at the previous census. It’s certainly a unique place.
  13. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    I just ran across a piece from REI that came out just after your trip - it discusses the RASTA model for BC skiing access, and it was neat to hear how people in other states in the Northeast are starting to follow their lead. It also puts some numbers to the positive economic benefits (although $230,000 from 171 users on one day must somehow incorporate a lot of ancillary benefits). The article notes that they’re in the process of getting approval to expand the Brandon Gap terrain into Chittenden Brook Bowl. I’m not sure exactly where the terrain is, but Chittenden Brook itself appears to be across Route 73 on the opposite side of the gap. https://www.rei.com/blog/snowsports/the-new-blueprint-for-backcountry-skiing-in-the-northeast
  14. J.Spin

    June 2019 Discussion

    Yeah, our valley in MT was only in the 3,000’ – 4,000’ elevation range. If you go up in elevation, you essentially knock down both the low and high temperatures, and that makes the upper end much more appealing. With Steamboat Springs at 7,000’, that will have a noticeable effect. I’m not a huge fan of the zero clouds for such long stretches, although going up in elevation can help with that as well. It looks like annual precipitation there is about 24 inches, so roughly twice what we got in Hamilton. All in all we actually have it pretty good here in the mountain valleys of the Northern Greens in terms of a summer mountain climate, but for folks who want that drier climate with big diurnal range, Steamboat is pretty sweet. The lower annual precipitation in the major intermountain/front range valleys out there (Salt Lake, Denver, Missoula, etc.) means that we typically crush them with respect to snowfall and snowpack, but Steamboat is getting up there with respect to valley elevation. I’m seeing snowfall numbers reported in the 150” to 180” range, so that certainly contends with the valleys of the Northern Greens. There’s probably less overall moisture in that snow though, since our average winter precipitation here at our site is as much as Steamboat’s precipitation for an entire year.
  15. J.Spin

    June 2019 Discussion

    It’s one of the huge appeals of a mountain climate like we have in many parts of NNE, and why so many people love the summers in the intermountain west. It was quite pronounced when we lived in Montana, where it would typically drop into the 40s F at night throughout the summer. The cooling at night was perfect for getting a great night’s sleep. There was a big diurnal temperature range, but it was produced by a more pronounced effect on both ends though, and the daytime effect was less appealing. Yeah, sure, it’s a “dry” heat, but going for what seemed like weeks on end with blazing sun and temperatures around 90 F was tough. The average annual rainfall in town was 13 inches, so as you can imagine, you’re not getting a ton of precipitation days for relief from the heat. If I do a quick check on July high/low temperature averages it’s easy to see that bigger diurnal range in MT. Here in Waterbury, VT the averages are 79°/56° whereas where we lived in Hamilton, MT it’s 85°/50°. You can see there’s essentially a 6 F extension on each end. If your average high is 85 F though, it’s going to be fairly easy to get up toward 90 F on a lot of days, so stretches of hot and dry are common. I guess holding onto heat and dews is something to look for if you’re keen on hosting a late night pool party, but in general, night warmth and high dews seems like a hassle. That’s literally a recipe for breeding bugs and requiring air conditioning. The beauty of the cool nights is that you just leave those windows open and let the cool mountain air waft right in and do its’ thing. If you’re outside you just pop on a sweatshirt or whatever and let the fire pit blaze. It’s a mountain climate/culture thing that’s appealing to a lot of folks, but it seems like the same sort of thing that takes place on the beach for people in that environment.
  16. J.Spin

    What Are Your AMWX/ Eastern, etc. Snow Stats?

    Here are the numbers and associated links for those data at our site (VT-WS-19): Largest one time snowfall: 41.0” (3/14/17 – Winter Storm Stella) Deepest snow depth in a season: 40.5” (3/7/11) Longest number of days with measurable snow on the ground: 163 (2018-2019) Largest seasonal snowfall (entire season): 203.2” (2007-2008) Smallest seasonal snowfall (entire season): 72.2” (2015-2016) All time snowfall Average (include the number of years that you have been a part of this community): 155.9 ± 37.4” (13 years) I’ve added below the running table we have that summarizes a few of the key snow-related parameters we track at our site, but we’ve got tons of information as I mentioned in my earlier post, and I’ll be happy to pull anything up if people have requests.
  17. J.Spin

    What Are Your AMWX/ Eastern, etc. Snow Stats?

    So I looked into this one when I had a moment, first checking on when there was at least snow on the ground for the three holidays in the same season. Having snow on the ground for Thanksgiving is fairly common, with an occurrence of 61.5% in my data set. Snow on the ground for Christmas is certainly the norm (>90%), with only the very aberrant 2015-2016 season not having snow until the 28th of December. Snow on the ground at Easter is running at 46.1%, so a bit lower than Thanksgiving. Checking for where things line up gives five seasons: 2007-2008, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 with snow on the ground for all three holidays in my 13-year data set. That’s an occurrence of 38.5%. Having actual accumulating snowfall on those holidays is definitely going to be a rare bird, at least based on what I’ve seen in my data thus far. The toughest one appears to be Easter. There’s only one Easter (2014-2015) with accumulating snowfall on the actual holiday in my data set, so that’s an occurrence of 7.7%. It’s much easier to get snowfall on Thanksgiving. That’s a rather snowy time of year around here, with close to a 50/50 chance (46.1%) of having accumulating snowfall on the day. All things being equal, Christmas should probably be the strongest contender for having snowfall on the holiday, but there have also been a number of holiday periods in recent years that have been rather blasé with respect to winter weather. In any event, Christmas still does appear to come out on top with a snowfall occurrence of 53.8%. Assuming no correlation between the occurrences (I guess there could be a bit between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Easter is so far from those two that it’s likely none), the odds of getting snowfall on all three holidays in a season is around 2% for our site. I’m not sure what the chances are at other sites, but it’s pretty low here. So did an occurrence of accumulating snowfall on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter in a single season pop up in my 13-year data set? No. The closest contender was, not surprisingly, 2014-2015 – the only season where we had snowfall on Easter itself. That season even had snowfall on Thanksgiving, but ironically, it was Christmas that season that didn’t have any snowfall.
  18. J.Spin

    What Are Your AMWX/ Eastern, etc. Snow Stats?

    That holiday one is probably the only snow-related one in your list that I don’t typically track – it’s a bit tougher to track easily because the dates of Thanksgiving and Easter vary each year. That will be fun to look into though – I’m interested to see if it’s happened at our site. As for other stats, Tamarack and I have a million of them (I don’t track temperatures, but I’ve added a number of snow stats through the years as I learn about them from Tamarack). We’ve been discussing them in the NNE thread over the past few weeks as we often do at the end of the season. Tamarack will likely enjoy this thread as well though, he loves weather stats. Here are some of the snow-related stats that I track: October snowfall November snowfall December snowfall January snowfall February snowfall March snowfall April snowfall May snowfall Total season snowfall Number of storms Number of ≥6” storms Number of ≥10” storms Number of ≥12” storms Number of ≥15” storms Number of ≥18” storms Number of ≥20” storms Number of ≥24” storms Average inches of snowfall per storm Largest snowstorm Starting date of largest snowstorm Max snow depth Date of max snow depth Snow depth days Earliest frozen precipitation Earliest accumulating snowfall Start of continuous snowpack Latest accumulating snowfall Latest frozen precipitation Last day of continuous snow at stake Last day of continuous snow in yard Days with continuous snow at stake Days in yard continuous snowpack season Days in yard snowfall season Total liquid during accumulating snowfall season Snow+Sleet L.E. during accumulating snowfall season Total Snow/Total Water (Snow/Water Ratio) Average water content of all precipitation Total Snow/Snow+Sleet L.E. (Snow/Water Ratio) Average water content of snow/sleet Days with trace snowfall or greater Snowfall by date Snowpack depth by date
  19. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    That’s impressive considering we’re just about at the solstice, and that’s not even a high elevation spot. You can even see how the grasses in the area are just waking up as the snow melts back.
  20. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    That’s absolutely my thinking. This past season was certainly strong on total snowfall, but even in my archive of only 13 seasons, it still comes in third. The stats speak to it being a notch down from the very top as well – it’s right at 1 S.D. above the mean, putting it in the top 15-20% of seasons, but certainly not top 5-10%. A strong December or February would likely have pushed it into that upper echelon. So it’s probably in that A/A- range with respect to snowfall, but I’d say it’s got to get that bump to a straight A because it now leads my stats in so many snow-related categories, and in some cases by a large margin: Snow-Depth Days (SDD) blew every other season out of the water and was a very impressive 1.75 S.D. above the mean. That puts it in the top 4-5% of seasons for that parameter. The start of the continuous winter snowpack on November 10th was again tops in the database and 1.67 S.D. ahead of the mean. That puts the season in the top 4-5% of seasons for that parameter as well. The duration of the snowpack at 163 days was tops in the data set and 1.4 S.D. above the mean, putting it in the top 10% of seasons. The 64 accumulating winter storms we had here this past season easily puts it easily in first place. That’s 1.72 S.D. above the mean and means it’s in the top 4-5% of seasons. I recorded 114 days with a trace or more of snowfall this season. I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising with the high number of storms we had, but I felt like we’ve had “snow-globier” winters, so it wasn’t immediately obvious to me. In any case, this season was well in first place for that parameter, 1.51 S.D. above the mean and in the top 10% of winters. So despite being third place with respect to overall snowfall, this season topped the stats in a number of related categories, and it’s hard to not give it the bump to the straight A. I agree, especially if snowfall, the holiday season, and occurrence of mixed precipitation systems are factored in, that this season shouldn’t get to the A+ level. I’m guessing A+ would be something like 2000-2001? I know it was pretty solid from living it and skiing it and seeing the Mansfield snowpack data for the season (green trace in the plot below), even if I wasn’t tracking the winter weather here or paying nearly as close attention to it as I do now. I’m assuming 1968-1969 would also qualify? I wasn’t alive then, but I’ve heard great things and the Mansfield depth plot (orange trace in the plot below) sort of speaks for itself. At least at our site, 2007-2008 would probably get some consideration for the A+ category because it tops all seasons for snowfall and broke the 200” barrier here. Its Mansfield snowpack data (red trace in the plot below) certainly doesn’t crush the others, but, I seem to recall it being very consistent with the snowfall and we were right in the storm track, even if we did get some mixed events. That consistency I remember, as well as a strong December (almost 70” of snow here) and holiday season sort of give it a bit of consideration for me.
  21. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    I was looking at one of my reports and followed a link to the NNE thread, eventually running into the post above from PF. You can see from PF’s comment why I was just a bit hesitant to immediately lock in a grade of “A” for the season. PF is pretty objective, so when he says that December was “bad”, that certainly gives one pause. It can be tough to think back and factor in some of those slower periods from early in the season, especially when the overall tenor was decent, but it shows how helpful the NNE thread can be in an archival sense.
  22. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    I honestly can’t see anything less than something in the A range either. I still like to leave the option open though because I don’t track the rain events that don’t give any accumulation, so I don’t have a great record of those down periods. (The skiing is usually poorer at that point, so it’s a chance to check out and get other stuff done anyway) A time that does come to mind though is a long stretch around the holiday period. Between December 18th and January 5th I skied once. The lack of skiing wasn’t due to family/personal/work obligations or anything like that, it had to be due to questionable snow conditions. That’s 17 days, more than half a month, with just a single day of skiing, and it spans the entire holiday break when I was off from work. As I look back at my report from December 27th, it actually took four storms (they were small) to get the snow back to the point where I considered it worth venturing out. The final third of December had just a half foot of snow at our site, which is definitely lean for our area. It’s not as if the snowpack disappeared or anything, but I’m sure it had picked up a serious crust or something. For me, snowfall is the biggest factor in grading, and with two other seasons already having more snowfall than this past one, that kind of puts an A+ off the table. Periods like the one above certainly put a chink in the armor as well. Snowpack does matter though, and it was so good (and so early) this season that it’s hard to see the grade going below a straight A.
  23. J.Spin

    June 2019 Discussion

    LOL, I’m not sure what year the incessant heat trolling started, but it’s seems to be pretty much a given at this point. I guess DIT adding a second account to pile it on was sort of new this year, but it still seems like the same pointless exercise. Yes… we get it already – the forum needs to be constantly told of the impending heat and humidity, and then due to the stochastic nature of weather, it actually happens 5 to 10 percent of the time. Duh.
  24. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    Indeed, that was a really solid stretch of snow. The fact that the snowfall was backed up by such an impressive snowpack made it even more notable. As Tamarack and I have been discussing, it was a really good winter for snowpack, with the coverage running 163 continuous days here. That’s even more than 5 months. I’ll have to put together some graphics in that area at some point Actually, as I was writing that I realized that I hadn’t even thought about the grading thing yet, but the winter is likely to be somewhere in the “A” range when all is said and done. It’s not immediately a slam dunk because we certainly did have our share of mixed storms, rain etc., but factoring in almost 200” of snow, 5 to 6 months of continuous snowpack that contained over 10” of liquid in it at one point, and being hit by 64 storms has to push the score pretty high.
  25. J.Spin

    NNE Warm Season Thread

    I’ve generated this season’s graph of monthly snowfall for our site. January immediately jumps out of course – the snowfall was, not surprisingly, above average, and it was certainly a notable contributor to the overall above average snowfall for the season. What’s not obvious from the graph is that it was the first above average January for snowfall here in eight seasons. So, I guess one could say we were due for a recovery at some point. Another interesting point of note is that snowfall in November was higher than it was in December, February, or March. That’s certainly not the norm. It speaks to the strong November we had, but it also indicates that snowfall wasn’t quite there in those other months. March was actually about average, but December and February, certainly two of our strongest snowfall months here, had surprisingly low snowfall for such a strong season.
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