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klw

NNE Spring 2013 Thread

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Chilly morning here, down to low 20s under clear and calm, though snow is down to widely scattered patches.  Cocorahs obs from Temple this morning included 13.5" OG, which I find amazing, as they're less than 10 miles west of MBY and perhaps 270' higher at 650'.  Plowpile?  Even Mile Hill, at 800', is down to about half the ground still snow covered.

 

Maybe a warm rain later this week - the first worm-drowner?  Things are muddy, as is inevitable this time of year (unless it's 2007), but stream levels are quite modest.

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Among the reasons I tend to gravitate towards the east of Chittenden County and ski area regions. Most of the "Disneyland" areas still retain some character, you just have to look for it harder in those areas.

Yeah well I will say for as much of a tourist trap that it is, Stowe does have some redeeming VT qualities like nice village center, big 150ft white steeple community church on Main Street, tons of zoning laws that prohibit things like fast food & large overly flashy signs for the commercial properties, etc. it seems more like a VT town than a resort area like Killington or something.

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Hit 57F here today. Nicest day of the spring. Ruined by a horrible tragedy though.

Yes 57F here too, highest temp since last November.  Was in downtown Plymouth today and nice to see the grass turning green at the low elevations!  Still quite a few patches of snow up here on the hill   but pastures are now  bare..  Newfound Lake is getting close to ice out.  Maybe by late week or this weekend?.

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So today being Tuesday, it was time for the bi-weekly snow/water analysis.... still a ridiculous amount of snow/water locked up in the mountains.

 

I didn't have accesse to the usual High Road location, so I sampled an area at a similar elevation around 3,200ft (1,000ft below the summit ridge) on the east side in the Rim Rock/Nosedive Glades area where the other end of the old High Road connects.

 

I found a ridiculous amount of water (it has been steadily going up over the past month with all the precipitation/snow we've been receiving)... anywhere from 24-26 inches of liquid in 60-65" of snowpack.

 

The 5-foot sampler just barely worked as I would have to jam it way down, then step on it and hope I didn't lose it in the snowpack.  Then I would need to dig it out and attempt to pull the whole thing out.

 

You can just barely see the top of the 60-inch tube on the right side of this photo were I was stepping it down to make sure all the snow stayed in the tube.

 

 

64-65 inches estimated.

 

 

This spot only had around 60 inches of total depth.

 

 

The cores were fantastic though in this soft mushy snow... pretty much fully loaded tubes with no issue of losing it all out the bottom as I pulled it up. 

 

 

Picking them up, I immediately knew it would be a ton of water in this because it was really quite heavy.  Heavier than anything I've seen in the past two years.  Sure enough, the three good cores I had were just about maxing out the scale.

 

24" of L.E.

 

 

This one ended up fully maxing out the scale, and went all the way around the dial and back to 1"... so this was 26" of liquid equivilent. 

 

 

That's gotta be close to like at least 90% of the total QPF for the whole winter up there... I've recorded 287" of snowfall, and its giving me a 24-26" liquid amount.  Given that a decent amount of snowfall does come in high ratio snow, it seems any liquid events probably off-set that. 

 

I found it interesting that the total snowfall of 287", divided by the total liquid in the snowpack at the end of the season, comes in at roughly 10-12:1 ratio.  Your standard snow/water ratio.  All those 30:1 fluff snowfalls mixed with 0:1 rain events evens out over time, haha.

 

Down at 1,500ft the snowpack is still holding at 15"...though I bet this is not the same at other 1,500ft elevations in VT.  Mansfield's east side definitely retains snow very well, as well as gets a lot of it (this spot has had 174" to date).

 

 

6.5" of liquid in those 15" of snow... both this stuff and the stuff up high are just saturated and waterlogged this time of year.

 

 

 

Greg Hanson, the senior hydrologist at BTV just emailed me that the total COOP liquid at Mansfield since November has been 26.32".... so the 24-26" liquid equivalent would lead one to believe that all the QPF that fell out of the sky this winter, still remains up on that mountain for now.

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So today being Tuesday, it was time for the bi-weekly snow/water analysis.... still a ridiculous amount of snow/water locked up in the mountains.

 

I didn't have accesse to the usual High Road location, so I sampled an area at a similar elevation around 3,200ft (1,000ft below the summit ridge) on the east side in the Rim Rock/Nosedive Glades area where the other end of the old High Road connects.

 

I found a ridiculous amount of water (it has been steadily going up over the past month with all the precipitation/snow we've been receiving)... anywhere from 24-26 inches of liquid in 60-65" of snowpack.

 

The 5-foot sampler just barely worked as I would have to jam it way down, then step on it and hope I didn't lose it in the snowpack.  Then I would need to dig it out and attempt to pull the whole thing out.

 

You can just barely see the top of the 60-inch tube on the right side of this photo were I was stepping it down to make sure all the snow stayed in the tube.

 

attachicon.gifsnow_tube.JPG

 

64-65 inches estimated.

 

attachicon.gifGlades_depth.JPG

 

This spot only had around 60 inches of total depth.

 

attachicon.gifGlades_depth3.JPG

 

The cores were fantastic though in this soft mushy snow... pretty much fully loaded tubes with no issue of losing it all out the bottom as I pulled it up. 

 

attachicon.gifGlades_core.JPG

 

Picking them up, I immediately knew it would be a ton of water in this because it was really quite heavy.  Heavier than anything I've seen in the past two years.  Sure enough, the three good cores I had were just about maxing out the scale.

 

24" of L.E.

 

attachicon.gifGlades_24inches.JPG

 

This one ended up fully maxing out the scale, and went all the way around the dial and back to 1"... so this was 26" of liquid equivilent. 

 

attachicon.gifGlades_27inches.JPG

 

That's gotta be close to like at least 90% of the total QPF for the whole winter up there... I've recorded 287" of snowfall, and its giving me a 24-26" liquid amount.  Given that a decent amount of snowfall does come in high ratio snow, it seems any liquid events probably off-set that. 

 

I found it interesting that the total snowfall of 287", divided by the total liquid in the snowpack at the end of the season, comes in at roughly 10-12:1 ratio.  Your standard snow/water ratio.  All those 30:1 fluff snowfalls mixed with 0:1 rain events evens out over time, haha.

 

Down at 1,500ft the snowpack is still holding at 15"...though I bet this is not the same at other 1,500ft elevations in VT.  Mansfield's east side definitely retains snow very well, as well as gets a lot of it (this spot has had 174" to date).

 

attachicon.gifBarnesCamp_depth.JPG

 

6.5" of liquid in those 15" of snow... both this stuff and the stuff up high are just saturated and waterlogged this time of year.

 

attachicon.gifBarnesCamp_liquid.JPG

 

 

Greg Hanson, the senior hydrologist at BTV just emailed me that the total COOP liquid at Mansfield since November has been 26.32".... so the 24-26" liquid equivalent would lead one to believe that all the QPF that fell out of the sky this winter, still remains up on that mountain for now.

Great stuff Scott, nice pictorial.

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Greg Hanson, the senior hydrologist at BTV just emailed me that the total COOP liquid at Mansfield since November has been 26.32".... so the 24-26" liquid equivalent would lead one to believe that all the QPF that fell out of the sky this winter, still remains up on that mountain for now.

 

 

 

 

Gonna be a long mud season  :cry:

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Not surprised at the high LE. When I took cores last month IMBY (with much much less snowpack!) I found 35% water in early March, over 40% three weeks later. Generally, when the snowpack reaches 40% it's ready for major melting (unless it's full of IP/ZR from midwinter.) When it approaches 50%, I've heard the term "ripe" being used, and flash-melting becomes more of a possibility given the right sensible wx. (Cue up 1987 - snowpack LE somewhat above the avg, a warm last week of March, 4-7" of 50s RA on 3/31-4/1, Kennebec peaks 22 ft above flood stage in Augusta. Not enough snow in Maine for a repeat, though that much rain in early spring would be trouble even with very modest snowpack.)

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Cool stuff, Freak.

And yeah, there's no place around here at 1500' that has anywhere near 15" still on the ground....

Yeah this isn't a very good representation of that elevation in Vermont, so for like hydro concerns you can't assume 1550ft has 6.5" of liquid sitting on it. The adjacent southwest facing slope off Sterling Ridge across the little valley is visibly bare/very patchy at that elevation. It's just that this is the east slope literally under the spine. The warm afternoon sun just isn't there at all, blocked by the 4,000ft above....whereas west facing gets direct sunlight during the warmest part of the day. That makes a huge difference with a late-August sun angle.

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Powderfreak i take it you measure somewhere away from where any snow guns have been this year?

Oh yeah...absolutely no way snowmaking would influence these spots. I mean its not hard up there to find anywhere from 4-6 feet of waterlogged snow up there above like 2,700ft.

And this snowpack is above average but nothing near historical.

April 15, 2007 had 100" on the ground at the COOP instead of 78" this year. That's the recent best year. 2007 was just epic with 300" falling after early January, including like 5 feet in April.

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Not surprised at the high LE. When I took cores last month IMBY (with much much less snowpack!) I found 35% water in early March, over 40% three weeks later. Generally, when the snowpack reaches 40% it's ready for major melting (unless it's full of IP/ZR from midwinter.) When it approaches 50%, I've heard the term "ripe" being used, and flash-melting becomes more of a possibility given the right sensible wx. (Cue up 1987 - snowpack LE somewhat above the avg, a warm last week of March, 4-7" of 50s RA on 3/31-4/1, Kennebec peaks 22 ft above flood stage in Augusta. Not enough snow in Maine for a repeat, though that much rain in early spring would be trouble even with very modest snowpack.)

We were talking about that at the ski area...the flash melting potential. It reminds me of April 2011 when we had an awesome snowpack from that stormy winter....then we hit that point where it was starting to release. I'll have to look it up but there was one night I remember it started raining harmlessly enough, but quickly turned convective. We got like 2"/3hrs of rain on the ripe snowpack which then led to Stowe PD evacuating the Moscow area of town along the river at like 2am. The river came up like 6-8 feet very rapidly.

It's not a big river and it drains all of Mansfield's east side...right now there is a chunk of land the size of a lake that is holding water that's 2 feet deep in the form of snow. If there was some event that released all that water very suddenly, it would certainly get interesting from the base of the ski resort down into the village.

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50 and sunny.

Should make it to 59-61 or so. Nicest day of the year up here.

 

I agree, one of the nicest here too (western slopes of the Greens).

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I agree, one of the nicest here too (western slopes of the Greens).

 

Yeah, ditto for down in town on this side.  Up on Mansfield we saw more clouds than I expected, but then again with upslope flow and high pressure building in, I guess that's to be expected.    The clouds would mostly dissipate by the time they got over town though and we seemed to see a little east side downslope compressional warming in the village. 

 

Looks like 53F is the high so far at MVL...56F at BTV and 52F at MPV. 

 

But with sunshine, it feels a lot warmer than those numbers would indicate.

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Forecasts called for upper 50s to low 60s today...but it's 43F at Morrisville and 39F up at the base of the ski resort now at 1pm.

Might have a decent temp bust at this rate.

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Forecasts called for upper 50s to low 60s today...but it's 43F at Morrisville and 39F up at the base of the ski resort now at 1pm.

Might have a decent temp bust at this rate.

Sneaky 60F down here.

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Sneaky 60F down here.

 

I spoke wayyyy too soon... NWS FTW, me FTL haha.

 

We went from 43F at 1pm to now 59F at 6pm.  It was like a switch was flipped on the mountain... it was cold, raw, but calm.  Then the wind picked up and its actually blowing pretty good right how down in town (well gusting over 30mph at least, haha), but you could feel the warmth advecting in this afternoon.

 

The summit was holding at 35-36F most of the day and then in the past 2 hours has jumped to 45F and climbing.  That H85 WAA is cranking and I doubt the summit falls at all tonight.  Will probably be mid-upper 40s in the morning with continued WAA. 

 

Tomorrow looks interesting with forecasts call for 40-50mph gusts possible in the valleys with 60mph+ at the summits.  Strong WAA will be necessary to bring us from the 30s at midday today, to mid 70s tomorrow... and it looks like that wind will accomplish that.

 

Mountain is ripe for snowmelt, so it should be interesting to see what happens as far as loss of snow in this little warm up.  Given that almost 50% of the snowpack is liquid, that's about as ripe as it gets before it just starts to release quickly.  Tamarack mentioned flash melting, and I wonder if a 65-75F day tomorrow will do quite a number on the snow.  Should see the snow line continue to move up.  Its at about 1,300ft right now when you start hitting more consistent snow cover, but I wonder if that jumps to like 1800ft by the time the cold gets here Saturday afternoon/night.  With 6.5" of liquid in the 15" of snow at 1,550ft, if that elevation releases over the next 24-36 hours, the river here in town should come up sharply.  That'd be like a localized 6" rainstorm at the headwaters.

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