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NNE Spring 2012


ctsnowstorm628

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Event totals: 1.37” L.E.

The rain gauge here at the house contained another 1.20” of liquid at 6:00 A.M. this morning, and there’s been an additional 0.10” since then, so liquid for this storm is at 1.37” at counting down here in the valley. I stopped in at Mt. Mansfield for a few turns this morning, and here’s the rundown on accumulations I found in the Nosedive area:

1,300’: T

1,600’: 2”

2,000’: 11”

2,500’: 24”

3,000’: 24”

3,700’: 24”

The precipitation was rain all through the mountain valleys this morning, with temperatures in the upper 30s F, and it was pouring at times. Snow started to mix in with the rain up around 1,200’ or so, and quickly changed over to all snow within another couple hundred feet of elevation gain. Precipitation on the mountain was steady snow, at times up to 1”/hr, but fairly small flakes (1-3 mm diameter) in the lower elevation. As the data above indicate, snow depth increased incredibly rapidly as I ascended the bottom half of Mt. Mansfield, basically going up by an inch every time I ascended 100 feet. I thought it was going to be up around 4 feet at the top, but after 2,500’, the snow depth leveled out. The snow did get drier, and the flakes definitely got bigger up above 3,000’. It was a classic Pacific Northwest-style dump though, with lower elevation wet snow gradually morphing into dry, but still dense snow at elevation. The best skiing was up above 2,500’, and even above 3,000’ it was still increasing in quality. With the appropriate amount of time, the best strategy would be to run laps above those elevations and come back down at the end of the day. I added a few pictures below:

10APR12A.jpg

10APR12B.jpg

10APR12C.jpg

10APR12D.jpg

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I just got home... measured the same as J.Spin.

24-25" at 3,625ft top of the Gondola "Cliff House"

23-24" at 3,000ft High Road near where I winter snow board is.

Current radar. It was snowing hard again when we left the top.

Wow man, awesome, just awesome... wish I were there.

Just curious for you die-hards... how long does it take for you to skin up to the top?

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Wow man, awesome, just awesome... wish I were there.

Just curious for you die-hards... how long does it take for you to skin up to the top?

Today took around an hour and 15 minutes but it was slow going and I was stopping to take pics. The other morning for the Sunrise Service I made it up in 45 minutes not taking pictures or anything. If its firm snow or spring corn (ie not fresh) you can move very quickly with skins. 2,000 vertical feet up in 45 minutes is a decent change. The fastest guys can do it in about 40 minutes.

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I wonder if we can hit 30-36" at the summit by tomorrow. Very possible as that snow that's there now is not settling anytime soon.

.NEAR TERM /UNTIL 7 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING/...

AS OF 133 PM EDT TUESDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY SKIES WITH PERIODIC LIGHT

RAIN SHOWERS TO PERSIST THIS AFTN THRU TONIGHT.

VERTICALLY STACKED/CLOSED LOW REMAINS QUASI-STATIONARY ACROSS SRN

QUEBEC PROVIDING FOR A MOIST WLY FLOW ACROSS THE NORTH

COUNTRY...WITH STRONG OROGRAPHIC PRECIPITATION SIGNATURES

CONTINUING. CHARACTER OF PRECIPITATION ECHOES ON RADAR HAVE

PROGRESSIVELY BECOME MORE CELLULAR WITH DAYTIME HEATING AND

SHALLOW INSTABILITY DEVELOPING. CORRESPONDING SUBSIDENCE AROUND

THESE CELLS WILL CREATE FOR A FEW BRIEF BREAKS IN THE CLOUDS AWAY

FROM THE WESTERN SLOPES OF THE MTNS. UPSLOPE PCPN MOST EVIDENT

ACROSS WRN SLOPES OF THE NRN/CENTRAL GREEN MTNS AND ACROSS THE WRN

SLOPES OF THE ADIRONDACKS. SNOW LEVELS HAVE CLIMBED ABOVE 2000 FT

WITH DAYTIME INSOLATION EFFECTS. COULD STILL SEE SEVERAL INCHES OF

ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS AT THE SUMMIT LEVELS...BUT WITH

PERIODS OF RAIN/RAIN SHOWERS FOR MOST POPULATED LOCATIONS THRU THE

AFTN HRS. SIMILAR TO YESTERDAY...A SHARP QPF GRADIENT WL

OCCUR...WITH AMOUNTS RANGING FROM A COUPLE HUNDREDTHS CHAMPLAIN

AND CT RIVER VALLEYS... TO 0.25" ACRS THE MTNS OF NNY AND PARTS OF

THE GREENS FROM SUGARBUSH TO MOUNT MANSFIELD TO JAY PEAK BY LATE

TONIGHT. TEMPS TODAY WL BE VERY SIMILAR TO YESTERDAY WITH HIGHS

RANGING FROM THE MID-UPR 30S IN THE MTNS TO UPPER 40S AND LOWER

50S IN THE VALLEYS.

BY TONIGHT...WEAK SFC BOUNDARY APPROACHES OUR NORTHERN CWA BY 00Z

AND ENTERS OUR CENTRAL ZNS BY 06Z. THIS WL HELP IN PRODUCING WEAK

LLVL CONVERGENCE AND SOME REDEVELOPMENT OF LIGHT RAIN/SNOW

SHOWERS...ESPECIALLY ACRS THE MTNS. HOWEVER...THE BEST QPF RETURNS

AND RH PROFILES WL BE ACRS OUR NORTHERN ZNS...WITH LIMITED IMPACTS

ACRS SOUTHERN VT. WL CONT TO MENTION LIKELY/CAT POPS WITH SOME

ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATION POSSIBLE ABOVE 1800 FEET POSSIBLE.

TEMPS WL RANGE FROM NEAR 30F MTNS TO L40S VALLEYS.

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Mount Mansfield Co-Op Data

Storm total liquid: 3.56"

Snowfall: 21.5"

Snow Depth: 49"

Knowing how the co-op has trouble measuring snow or fully catching it, thats an impressive total from them.

Over 3.5" of QPF is pretty nuts too...easily finishing with over 4" liquid when this is done. We are closing in on 2" down in town.

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Mount Mansfield Co-Op Data

Storm total liquid: 3.56"

Snowfall: 21.5"

Snow Depth: 49"

Knowing how the co-op has trouble measuring snow or fully catching it, thats an impressive total from them.

Over 3.5" of QPF is pretty nuts too...easily finishing with over 4" liquid when this is done. We are closing in on 2" down in town.

BTV WRF FTW

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BTV WRF FTW

Yeah and to think that 2.12" total it had for Mansfield may end up being like 50% of actual QPF, haha.

Over 36 hours now of solid upslope. Cut-offs in the spring FTW.

When J.Spin or I post these composite radars, remember that with strong westerly or northwesterly winds there's quite a bit of east drift to the actual precipitation... ie. echos over Burlington are actually landing much further east, and heaviest returns on the western slopes are actually landing on the Spine/county line. That's why BTV is always looking like its in the precip when its actually not. Just like how it looks like Stowe should be dry right now but we are raining as those echos of the county line (spine) are hitting the surface over here.

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Very interesting evolution to the now 36+ hour upslope event... the inversion must be lowering because the flow is getting blocked now. We are only seeing mist/drizzle now in Stowe and it looks like it may have even moved away from the mountain a bit. I'm guessing the inversion right now is right at ridgetop/Spine level (4,000ft) as the precipitation has backed all the way into BTV land.

As that inversion lowers, and causes more "blocking" we'll see that precipitation band move even further west. The lift is now probably occurring from speed convergence off the lake as the westerly winds encounter the friction with the shore.

Even as the band of precip backs to the west, Mansfield is still showing its muscle as the strongest echos continue to be upstream of Vermont's largest mountain.

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Day 3.

Same story.

Had breaks of sun yesterday PM here in the valley. Clouds lifted to reveal the base of Jay for 20 minutes. Such a cool looking snowline.

She's covered again. Still laying down snow/sleet/stryrofoam balls(what are those called?)

Wish there were more web cams shooting at jay peak ... Anybody got any pictures of jay ?

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Wish there were more web cams shooting at jay peak ... Anybody got any pictures of jay ?

This is about as good as it has been. Undulating cloud levels up to 2800' but for the most part covering her completely. I'll grab a pic of the range up here once the cycle blows out.

IMG_2926.jpg

There were a couple holes that allowed views up to 3000', very sporadic.

NIce pics everyone. Been fun walking up the mountain the past few days, song birds running around down low with ice covered rattling branches, variable snow texture with every 20 steps, full on raging wind (albeit warm) with the kitchen sink coming from the sky. Pretty much every weather condition avaliable from dooryard to summit.

Been some really nice cloud trains to watch to our east, lot of breaks in the clouds away from the range.

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This is about as good as it has been. Undulating cloud levels up to 2800' but for the most part covering her completely. I'll grab a pic of the range up here once the cycle blows out.

IMG_2926.jpg

There were a couple holes that allowed views up to 3000', very sporadic.

NIce pics everyone. Been fun walking up the mountain the past few days, song birds running around down low with ice covered rattling branches, variable snow texture with every 20 steps, full on raging wind (albeit warm) with the kitchen sink coming from the sky. Pretty much every weather condition avaliable from dooryard to summit.

Been some really nice cloud trains to watch to our east, lot of breaks in the clouds away from the range.

Yes - thanks appreciate the Jay shots too. It gets a little more cellular today slightly convective flare up's and inbetween may reveal the top of Mount Mansfield and Jay if we're lucky should be an awesome sight

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Imagine if the BTV WRF was always 50% too dry with QPF. Mansfield would average like 1500" of snow per year lol.

lol... yeah that may be a low estimate, too.

These type of events are why I love upslope precipitation... its so difficult to forecast accurately. Well let me rephrase that... its very easy to see the signs that some sort of event will take place. Very similar to lake effect off the Great Lakes... you can say, "of course we're going to get some response" but the big question is "how much?" Basically all you can do is say this looks like a light event, moderate event, or very significant event.

I know synoptic storms are not easy to forecast, but the chances of being surprised one way or another is much higher in these meso-scale situations. I usually like to take 75% of the WRF, sometimes 66%, just like one would with the NAM in a synoptic snowstorm. But its always hard to know when that will buck the trend.

I never would have thought we'd have gotten 1.5-2.0" of rainfall down here below 1,000ft either. That's a lot of liquid for a 4,000ft mountain to cause to fall miles away... with near 4" at the summit.

Still brings me back to what cpick told me... I don't know why I never really thought of it like this, but its the type of weather suspense I remember as a kid before we had access to all of this information. Synoptic snowstorms don't surprise me like they used to... you know when the TV weatherman says its going to snow and you just don't know how much or how it will play out. You go to sleep as a kid and keep looking out the window to see whats happening. Now I feel like we have enough model data that we can analyze a synoptic storm to death and pretty much have a good idea of how much will fall (minus one or two rogue bands). On this board, we can analyze a synoptic snowstorm to death from 7 days out.

Living under the upslope, you always go to bed not knowing exactly what will play out... could be 1" or it could be a foot. I've seen partly cloudy turn into 10" overnight and it happens at least once a winter. That doesn't happen elsewhere unless you get a January 2000 coastal or something.

Even without snow in the forecast, I wake up to a snow covered car a lot more than I should with the type of weather data we have access too. Its that feeling you get when you aren't expecting anything, and you look out your blinds in the dark to a land of white with flakes falling steadily in the streetlight.

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I think the magnitude of this storm was a little surprising given how the local WRF has busted with the "over" all winter long. This time it was spot on. Like it was last winter.

Looking like we might get some clearing in the next 24 hours which should be nice. Sunny days with cold nights will do wonders for this snow pack. Corn might be the order of the day.

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