J.Spin

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Everything posted by J.Spin

  1. I don’t really track temperatures, my primary focus is snowfall, but I do also have snowpack data for our site. From what I’ve heard, temperatures have been above normal recently as mreaves indicated. I think Powderfreak said our area was +7 F for January? He, or others that follow temperatures, may have some other numbers to fill you in here as well if they get the chance. As long as they don’t drastically affect snowfall/snowpack/snow quality, warmer midwinter temperatures are a plus in my book – that’s especially the case in January around here. Our average winter temperatures in January are cold enough, and below average is brutal if you’re going to be out on the slopes (or just living everyday life). I believe November temperatures were below average in this area though. That’s a good time to have below average temperatures around here, and it was likely a plus in terms of snowfall as I’ll mention below. I don’t track snowpack in too much detail, but I have our daily depth data since I report it to CoCoRaHS. Using my current data set, mean snow depth days (SDD) through Feb 17 at our site are 786.4, and currently we’re at 585.0, which is 74.4% of average. That’s pretty in line with how it’s felt with respect to snowpack. Although our continuous winter snowpack did start on the early side (November 8th) this season, probably aided by the below average November temperatures, the depth has felt well below average until just recently when we got that shot from Winter Storm Kade earlier this month. It took a storm like that, with 17.0” snow/1.86” liquid to get things back to average. Currently our snowpack depth is reading 15.5”, which is actually just a few inches below average, and it’s generally been hanging around that mark for the past week or so. I’ve added a plot below that gives one sense of how the season’s snowfall has been around here. It shows the running deviation in snowfall (± inches) relative to the cumulative seasonal average for our site. November snowfall here was actually only a few inches above average, but a good chunk of it came so early (7.1” from a storm on 11/7, and then another 5.1” from Winter Storm Caleb on 11/10) that it put us well ahead of average as the positive deviation spike in early November shows in the plot. December snowfall was slightly below average overall, so you can see that the positive deviation spike hung on, but faded toward the end of the month. January snowfall was a bit below average, but overall not bad, and you can see that the notable negative deviation spike developed at the end of the month into the start of February. So far February has sort of been like the other months, keeping things about average overall with just a slight drop below average as of late. Average snowfall for our site through today is 106.3”, and we’re just a couple of inches behind that.
  2. Event totals: 0.7” Snow/0.02” L.E. This first event has always been shown as fairly weak in the modeling, but when I heard the plow go by this morning I assumed we’d picked up something. I found 0.7” of fluffy snow on the boards, and the BTV NWS forecast discussion assigned it to a weak cold front traversing the area. I’m not sure exactly when the snow fell, but I could tell that the accumulation had settled a bit from what it had initially been – the overall surface still had the subtle ridges and valleys that come from irregular accumulations or larger flakes and flake clusters, but it had the smoothed over look in the way that initially dendritic accumulations settle down. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.7 inches New Liquid: 0.02 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 35.0 Snow Density: 2.9% H2O Temperature: 22.5 F Sky: Partly Cloudy Snow at the stake: 15.5 inches The next system is still expected to affect the area in the Tuesday/Wednesday time period, with 2-4” in the point forecast here. Beyond that through the weekend, the BTV NWS says to watch for a couple of upper level shortwaves traversing overhead, but in general the weather will be quieter. My records indicate that we’ve just passed the two-thirds point in the snowfall season, so at this point we’ve got roughly a third of the way to go on average. A check on seasonal snowfall here shows the mean for today at 106.3”, and we’re just a bit behind that pace at 104.4” with this morning’s snow included in the total.
  3. Indeed, snowfall and snow depths are nothing outrageous at the moment, but they’re right around average, and average is pretty nice this time of year. We headed up for some turns at Bolton yesterday afternoon once temperatures warmed up, so I can pass along a snowpack/conditions report and some images. We’ve had roughly five systems go into the snowpack at this point above the main subsurface, starting with Winter Storm Kade that brought the bulk of it, and then four additional events which included the snows from Winter Storm Lamont and Winter Storm Mabel. For powder depths above the old base, our checks generally revealed depths of 20 to 22 inches. There was a breakable crust present within the snow from some mixed precipitation that occurred during Winter Storm Mabel. In some areas the crust was absent altogether, and in others it was anywhere from 2 to 8 inches down in the snowpack. The presence and depth of the crust depended on things like aspect, wind effects, and protection from that part or the storm by trees or other terrain features. Overall the powder skiing was good, although of course not up to the level of last Saturday with the fresh snow from Winter Storm Kade. The crust is thin enough that it’s breakable, and buried enough that it’s inconsequential in many spots, but it definitely makes the powder skiing variable enough that you have to be on your toes and you can’t expect to be floating through bottomless champagne on every turn. So the off piste powder skiing is certainly good, but that variability and the fact that the bulk of it isn’t super “fresh” right now means that it’s not really absolute top tier. With roughly 60 inches at the stake, base depths are excellent, and it looks like we’ve got a chance for a bit of snow today into tomorrow, and then a slightly larger system in the Tuesday timeframe. I’ve got a few shots from yesterday below, and the full report can be access via the text links.
  4. I was just checking on the NOHRSC plots for our site, and on the SWE plot you can really see how the past week or so has provided an impressive injection of liquid into the snowpack. I set the start date for the plot at 1/29, the last time I did an actual coring of the snowpack, and the SWE was 2.08” at that point. I haven’t cored since then, but the modeling shows that the SWE has almost doubled thanks to Winter Storm Kade and the subsequent smaller events: Mean snowpack depth at our site for this date is close to 20”, so the current depth is just a bit on the low side, but well within one S.D. of the mean. Snowfall for the month thus far is 21.5”, which is just shy of average pace, so overall it’s been a decent first half of the month.
  5. Event totals: 1.0” Snow/0.14” L.E. There’s still a bit of arctic dust falling this morning, although I’m not sure if that will result in any substantial accumulation beyond a trace. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.3 inches New Liquid: 0.02 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 15.0 Snow Density: 6.7% H2O Temperature: 1.9 F Sky: Light Snow (1 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 15.5 inches
  6. Event totals: 0.7” Snow/0.12” L.E. Details from the 5:00 P.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.5 inches New Liquid: 0.08 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 6.3 Snow Density: 16.0% H2O Temperature: 32.5 F Sky: Light Snow (2 to 10 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 16.0 inches
  7. I don’t follow temperatures that closely, so it was very surprising when you posted how the area was +7 for January and that’s still below freezing for the average high temp. I guess that shows how cold the average temperatures are up here. We’re still running right around average with respect to snowfall, so it doesn’t seem like the above average temperatures were overly detrimental to the snowfall. I much prefer these types of winters where the temperatures may be more marginal, but the storm track is nearby. We’ve had the occasional taste of subzero temperatures to keep things interesting, but they’ve moved on pretty quickly to get us back to something more comfortable for skiing.
  8. Event totals: 0.2” Snow/0.04” L.E. I found 0.2” of snow on the boards this morning in association with this next system, which has been named Winter Storm Mabel. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.2 inches New Liquid: 0.04 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 5.0 Snow Density: 20.0% H2O Temperature: 31.8 F Sky: Light Snow (1 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 16.0 inches
  9. Early this morning I received a text about an upcoming Winter Weather Advisory for our county. There’s actually quite a patchwork of advisories out there in the area, with what looks like the lower valleys omitted. Our point forecast suggest a storm total somewhere in the 3-5” range, which seems consistent with the BTV NWS map.
  10. Event totals: 1.1” Snow/0.04” L.E. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.6 inches New Liquid: 0.03 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 20.0 Snow Density: 5.0% H2O Temperature: 29.5 F Sky: Mostly Cloudy Snow at the stake: 16.5 inches
  11. Event totals: 0.5” Snow/0.01” L.E. The BTV NWS forecast discussion indicates that tonight’s snow is from the next northern stream shortwave, so this is being recorded as a different event from the one earlier today. Details from the 12:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.5 inches New Liquid: 0.01 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 50.0 Snow Density: 2.0% H2O Temperature: 31.1 F Sky: Light Snow (2 to 8 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 16.5 inches
  12. Event totals: 0.3” Snow/0.03” L.E. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.3 inches New Liquid: 0.03 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 10.0 Snow Density: 10.0% H2O Temperature: 33.1 F Sky: Cloudy Snow at the stake: 16.5 inches
  13. Event totals: 1.3” Snow/0.07” L.E. Our next round of snow came into the area starting late last night with the current system known as Winter Storm Lamont. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 1.3 inches New Liquid: 0.07 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 18.6 Snow Density: 5.4% H2O Temperature: 29.5 F Sky: Light Snow (1 to 2 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 18.5 inches
  14. Here’s a snow update and a few pics from Bolton Valley yesterday. They reported a storm total of 22”, and we generally found about 18” of powder atop the base at most elevations. My son probed the total snowpack depth off piste down near the Timberline Base at ~1,500’ and found roughly 30” of snow. Using the Mt. Mansfield Stake as an estimate for snowpack near ridgeline elevations of 3,000’ to 4,000’, it’s probably up near the 60” mark. The only read downside to yesterday was the cold – it sounded like temperatures were just above 0 F down at the main base at ~2,100’, and up above 3,000’ you could really feel that it had dropped off even more. I’d guess it was several degrees below 0 F up there. Winds weren’t bad, but we still spent most of our time down in the Timberline elevations because the temperature was notably better and the snow was just as good.
  15. I just checked on the snow depth at the Mt. Mansfield Stake, and it looks like Winter Storm Kade was just what was needed to finally catch things up to average: It seems like the potential is there for some additional snowfall this week with multiple systems in the queue, so hopefully Mother Nature can keep at least the usual snow depth increases going over the next several weeks.
  16. The BTV NWS has a 24-hour snowfall totals map out for Winter Storm Kade – note that this is only for the second part of the storm though, so it doesn't include the first part from Thursday:
  17. Below is the north to south listing of available snowfall totals from the Vermont ski areas that I’ve seen for Winter Storm Kade. It appears that Smugg’s topped the list with 29”. There are a few curious numbers relative to nearby resorts, but the biggest head scratcher is probably the ‘bush reporting 12” while MRG right next door is reporting 22”. Jay Peak: 19” Burke: 13” Smuggler’s Notch: 29” Stowe: 19” Bolton Valley: 22” Mad River Glen: 22” Sugarbush: 12” Middlebury: 18” Suicide Six: 4” Pico: 8” Killington: 8” Okemo: 4” Bromley: 11” Magic Mountain: 9” Stratton: 6” Mount Snow: 4”
  18. Intermediate totals and observations are in the NNE thread, but the final numbers here at our site for Winter Storm Kade were: 17.0” Snow/1.86” L.E.
  19. Event totals: 17.0” Snow/1.86” L.E. We’ve partly cleared out and the radar is quiet, so these snow and L.E. values appear to be the final totals for Winter Storm Kade here at our site. Details from the 6:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 0.8 inches New Liquid: 0.01 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 80.0 Snow Density: 1.3% H2O Temperature: 6.8 F Sky: Partly Cloudy Snow at the stake: 20.0 inches
  20. Event totals: 16.2” Snow/1.85” L.E. Details from the 12:00 A.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 4.1 inches New Liquid: 0.13 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 31.5 Snow Density: 3.2% H2O Temperature: 14.9 F Sky: Light Snow (4 to 20 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 21.0 inches
  21. I just did an intermediate check, and it looks like the snowfall this evening is running just shy of 1”/hr – at 9:00 P.M. there was 2.6” of snow that had accumulated since the 6:00 P.M. clearing.
  22. You could really see the main part of the storm pretty much drying up on the radar, but instead of totally disappearing here, it just seemed to transition right over to northwest flow: I just had to pick up my son from work at Shaw’s here in town, and the visibility is still essentially as low as it was this afternoon. The snowfall probably isn’t quite as intense with respect to total liquid coming out of the sky, but the flakes are much larger, giving roughly the same result.
  23. Event totals: 12.1” Snow/1.72” L.E. With this latest round of observations, the current system (Winter Storm Kade) has become the largest of the season with respect to snow accumulation at our site, passing the system we had in mid-January that brought 11.8” of snow. This one had already far surpassed that storm with respect to liquid equivalent though, as that one only had a total of 0.65” L.E. Details from the 6:00 P.M. Waterbury observations: New Snow: 5.2 inches New Liquid: 0.48 inches Snow/Water Ratio: 10.8 Snow Density: 9.2% H2O Temperature: 20.1 F Sky: Snow (2 to 15 mm flakes) Snow at the stake: 17.0 inches
  24. Actually, I just checked and the flakes are notably larger now. I see on the radar that the flow has shifted to much more westerly, so that may be part of the change.
  25. It’s been similar here – I just checked and we’ve got 4 inches out there since I cleared, so that’s 7 inches for this part of the storm. The flakes have generally been on the smaller side, so it seems like the snow is coming in at a typical synoptic density.