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klw

NNE Spring 2013 Thread

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Only 0.02" as of 7 AM.  Of course, it didn't begin until 6.  Unless that area in NNY holds together (and doesn't slide to the north), I might wind up with under half an inch.  I just watched the 30 dbz area stubbornly remain a couple miles west of MBY for about 40 minutes.

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It has been absolutely pouring all last night and this morning... my crude garden rain gage is showing almost 1.5" of total rain now.

 

This is 24-hour precipitation as of 7am... but we've added at least another half inch since then (0.5-0.6" last 6 hours at BTV and MVL).

 

 

The river out back that drains Mount Mansfield's east slope is at bankful... about a foot away from real issues.  This can be down to ankle deep at times but right now you could raft down it.

 

 

 

 

 

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From the mountains to the lake this evening (First time using Camera Raw and why the hell didn't I do that sooner!)

 

Wow nice sunset pics!

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It has been absolutely pouring all last night and this morning... my crude garden rain gage is showing almost 1.5" of total rain now.

 

This is 24-hour precipitation as of 7am... but we've added at least another half inch since then (0.5-0.6" last 6 hours at BTV and MVL).

 

 

 

The river out back that drains Mount Mansfield's east slope is at bankful... about a foot away from real issues.  This can be down to ankle deep at times but right now you could raft down it.

 

 

Stopped raining here.  Hopefully I'll be able to get my 9 holes in tonight.  Our course drains amazingly well so as long as we get a break in the precip I'll be able to play.

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BTV picked up another 0.2" last hour...they've gotta be closing in on 2" so far. 

 

More rains moving in from the Adirondacks, and looks like some decent downpours might be in there, so we'll have to see how much more rain we get this evening.  The 12z ECM lingered precip along the upslope areas for a good chunk of the night.

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Stopped raining here. Hopefully I'll be able to get my 9 holes in tonight. Our course drains amazingly well so as long as we get a break in the precip I'll be able to play.

Well, that didn't work out. Got 2 holes in before the rain returned. The Dog river was running pretty high and fast. There will be no getting golf balls back out it for a couple of days.

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Apparently I moved to Washington and Lake Champlain is now the Pugeot Sound near Seattle. It feels like the rain will never end LOL.

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Apparently I moved to Washington and Lake Champlain is now the Pugeot Sound near Seattle. It feels like the rain will never end LOL.

upslope is only a good thing in winter

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upslope is only a good thing in winter

 

Pretty classic blocked flow orographics going on to some effect now... almost up to 2" here in Stowe now but BTV has been higher this evening. 

 

Froude Number of 0.476 shown at the bottom of the image brings heaviest precip into the Champlain Valley near BTV. 

 

It has been raining now every hour since yesterday at like 7pm.

 

 

 

Froude_number_June11.jpg

 

 

Radar confirms...

 

June%2011.gif

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I'm getting irritable.

 

LOL, I was just about to post something along these very lines.  I'm taking this week off from work and the first few days were pretty good but the last two, not so much.  I fared well yesterday expecting a rainy day but the low clouds and tenacious drizzle this morning has gotten under my skin a bit.

 

I don't know if there's any truth to this but it seems more and more that we get stuck in weather ruts that take a long time to break down and change--either direction.  The weeks of clear dry weather we had in late April and the first half of May on one hand and the rather wet pattern we've had ever since.

 

Anyway, picked up another 0.94" yesterday bringing this event total to 1.69".

 

The well is nice and full at least.  :flood:

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Event total 1.22" as of 7 AM, still -RA/dz and breezy. Yesterday's afternoon high was 54 - obs at 9:01 previous evening was 60, thus high for the day. Still not sure if we get rain or merely cool clouds in the foothills on Friday.

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After my bitching, yesterday afternoon turned out pretty decent--the low clouds and drizzle finally lifted and by evening, we actually had some blue skies and setting sunshine.

 

Chilly low of 44 this morning under clearish skies but clouds already moving in.

 

Curious to see how this puppy over Ohio tracks.  Crazy looking radar--looks like a horseshoe.

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Dz and -RA contiued well into yesterday evening, and the high was a woodstove-worthy 56. Month to date is now +1.2, and today should be a couple degrees below my avg, as the early sun is slowly fading behind the cirrus and it's denser relatives. Despite all the rain since mid-May, I'm still -1.4" for YTD. Rather make that up with Dec snow than more garden-stifling cool rain.

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Apparently I moved to Washington and Lake Champlain is now the Pugeot Sound near Seattle. It feels like the rain will never end LOL.

 

 

upslope is only a good thing in winter

 

 

Yes it is :)

 

Actually, outside the snowfall season, I have found at least a few benefits to the added clouds and precipitation of living in the upslope zone.  You really don’t have to worry as much about watering the garden, and forget about ever having to deal with watering the lawn during dry spells (like the current drought) unless you’re trying to grow new grass or something.  Also, there’s little concern about the water table getting low enough to cause issues for wells.  Without a doubt the biggest inconvenience I’ve found about the upslope zone is trying to get windows of appropriately dry weather for mowing the lawn.  I’ve learned to jump at those chances now when they arise.

 

With the recent weather patterns, I actually would have thought that the Southern New England states had higher annual precipitation numbers than the northern areas, but at least based on the map below that I found on the BTV NWS website, that’s not suggested to any great degree with the ranges they use.  The only places that really seem to stand out are the upslope regions in the western and especially northern parts of the region.  What is notable though, is that once one gets far enough away from the coast toward the Champlain Valley, New York State, and northern Maine, the annual precipitation certainly does drop off.  Even with the relatively broad precipitation categories though (10”), the dramatic changes in precipitation numbers along the spine of the Northern Greens still stand out to me.  Looking at the area around the “V” in Vermont, one can see how in the span of roughly 10 miles, the annual precipitation spans the entire scale covered by that map.  It’s also interesting to note that there are some similarly extreme gradients in northern New Hampshire and western Maine – we just don’t hear much about the upslope there because the population is quite sparse relatively to the Burlington Metropolitan Area.  I’ve only got three full years of total precipitation data for our site so far (2010-2012), but for that period it’s been 56.20 ± 7.12”/yr (S.D.), and even if it’s been a bit wet based on BTV’s numbers relative to their average, I suspect the average annual precipitation would still fall in the elevated range represented by that light yellow shading.

 

NEannualprecip.jpg

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Actually, outside the snowfall season, I have found at least a few benefits to the added clouds and precipitation of living in the upslope zone.  You really don’t have to worry as much about watering the garden, and forget about ever having to deal with watering the lawn during dry spells (like the current drought) unless you’re trying to grow new grass or something.  Also, there’s little concern about the water table getting low enough to cause issues for wells.  Without a doubt the biggest inconvenience I’ve found about the upslope zone is trying to get windows of appropriately dry weather for mowing the lawn.  I’ve learned to jump at those chances now when they arise.

 

With the recent weather patterns, I actually would have thought that the Southern New England states had higher annual precipitation numbers than the northern areas, but at least based on the map below that I found on the BTV NWS website, that’s not suggested to any great degree with the ranges they use.  The only places that really seem to stand out are the upslope regions in the western and especially northern parts of the region.  What is notable though, is that once one gets far enough away from the coast toward the Champlain Valley, New York State, and northern Maine, the annual precipitation certainly does drop off.  Even with the relatively broad precipitation categories though (10”), the dramatic changes in precipitation numbers along the spine of the Northern Greens still stand out to me.  Looking at the area around the “V” in Vermont, one can see how in the span of roughly 10 miles, the annual precipitation spans the entire scale covered by that map.  It’s also interesting to note that there are some similarly extreme gradients in northern New Hampshire and western Maine – we just don’t hear much about the upslope there because the population is quite sparse relatively to the Burlington Metropolitan Area.  I’ve only got three full years of total precipitation data for our site so far (2010-2012), but for that period it’s been 56.20 ± 7.12”/yr (S.D.), and even if it’s been a bit wet based on BTV’s numbers relative to their average, I suspect the average annual precipitation would still fall in the elevated range represented by that light yellow shading.

 

 

 

I love these types of discussions...and I think we'd be in the 40-49" range here in Stowe, though likely near the high end of that.  I've figured during the course of a year, we pick up about 5" less than you under the spine, though we are often very close in the precipitation department.

 

I use the Stowe 0.2sw observations for precip as my garden rain gage is usually spot on with his numbers.  I tend to run a little higher than him in the snowfall department but I think that may be due to more diligent measuring...more on this in a minute.

 

But here's the to-date precipitation amounts so far since January 1st this year (2013)....I always compare the Underhill station (I believe that one is a NWS met, so very reliable) on the west side of the mountain, with Stowe village on the east side of the mountain, and J.Spin's station along the Spine axis.

 

We are all in the same ballpark as far as liquid is concerned through the first half of the year...

 

 

Now to take a side tangent, I was just looking back at the snowy stretch back in Dec/Jan this year when at least a trace of snowfall fell on 22 straight days with measurable on 20 out of the 22 days. 

 

What I found interesting about this period is my personal records show roughly 42" of snowfall during this same period while the Stowe 0.2 guy had 33".  I think he just measures every morning at 6-7am or something, as his ratios are pretty low compared to the other stations. 

 

But if you look at this snowy period, the liquid amounts (actual amount of precipitation that fell out of the sky) are pretty much identical between Stowe Village and J.Spin's area...but J.Spin recorded 20 inches more snowfall.  The Underhill station had almost an inch less of precipitation but still picked up a foot of more snowfall during those 20 days. 

 

So I'm not sure if this is the difference between much better loft building from the snowflakes or more diligent measuring (maybe also why I ended up with more snow, as I tend to measure at least twice a day). 

 

At the end of the entire snowy period, all three spots are within an inch of each other in snow depth and the total liquid precipitation is the same, despite 12-24 inches of additional recorded snowfall at Underhill/Waterbury.  Very interesting to look at and think about, as well as compare the ratios (which are much lower at Stowe in general)...but like I said originally, I tend to record a decent bit more snow by measuring at least twice a day, so it makes me wonder if the guy is just measuring once every 24 hours and that gives him the low ratio snowfall.

 

Just overall its an interesting comparison between how much actual liquid falls from the sky vs. how much snowfall is recorded vs. similar snow depths...

 

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Actually, outside the snowfall season, I have found at least a few benefits to the added clouds and precipitation of living in the upslope zone.  You really don’t have to worry as much about watering the garden, and forget about ever having to deal with watering the lawn during dry spells (like the current drought) unless you’re trying to grow new grass or something.  Also, there’s little concern about the water table getting low enough to cause issues for wells.  Without a doubt the biggest inconvenience I’ve found about the upslope zone is trying to get windows of appropriately dry weather for mowing the lawn.  I’ve learned to jump at those chances now when they arise.

 

With the recent weather patterns, I actually would have thought that the Southern New England states had higher annual precipitation numbers than the northern areas, but at least based on the map below that I found on the BTV NWS website, that’s not suggested to any great degree with the ranges they use.  The only places that really seem to stand out are the upslope regions in the western and especially northern parts of the region.  What is notable though, is that once one gets far enough away from the coast toward the Champlain Valley, New York State, and northern Maine, the annual precipitation certainly does drop off.  Even with the relatively broad precipitation categories though (10”), the dramatic changes in precipitation numbers along the spine of the Northern Greens still stand out to me.  Looking at the area around the “V” in Vermont, one can see how in the span of roughly 10 miles, the annual precipitation spans the entire scale covered by that map.  It’s also interesting to note that there are some similarly extreme gradients in northern New Hampshire and western Maine – we just don’t hear much about the upslope there because the population is quite sparse relatively to the Burlington Metropolitan Area.  I’ve only got three full years of total precipitation data for our site so far (2010-2012), but for that period it’s been 56.20 ± 7.12”/yr (S.D.), and even if it’s been a bit wet based on BTV’s numbers relative to their average, I suspect the average annual precipitation would still fall in the elevated range represented by that light yellow shading.

 

NEannualprecip.jpg

The gradient between Mount Mansfield and Burlington is the tightest gradient in the US east of the Mississippi.

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The gradient between Mount Mansfield and Burlington is the tightest gradient in the US east of the Mississippi.

The gradient between Mt Washington and Randolph/Jefferson sure looks a whole lot tighter. That spot in western Maine, too.

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The gradient between Mt Washington and Randolph/Jefferson sure looks a whole lot tighter. That spot in western Maine, too.

I don't know enough of specifics to comment on the gradient, but on a climo note, I'm really surprised at how low the precipitation amounts are depicted on the northwest flank of the Whites into western Maine.

I would think they'd clean up during all the NW-flow events, at least off-setting the SE flow downslope.

But it looks like by that map that the SE flow areas are the yearly winners in NH/ME.

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I don't know enough of specifics to comment on the gradient, but on a climo note, I'm really surprised at how low the precipitation amounts are depicted on the northwest flank of the Whites into western Maine.

I would think they'd clean up during all the NW-flow events, at least off-setting the SE flow downslope.

But it looks like by that map that the SE flow areas are the yearly winners in NH/ME.

 

I think it's because the NW flow events don't carry the same moisture content that the west flow upslope does for the Greens. That upstream lakes connection is huge for the big totals.

 

They can surely clean up when the conditions are right, but it's just not as consistent as the westerly lakes connection or the southeast upslope.

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I think it's because the NW flow events don't carry the same moisture content that the west flow upslope does for the Greens. That upstream lakes connection is huge for the big totals.

 

They can surely clean up when the conditions are right, but it's just not as consistent as the westerly lakes connection or the southeast upslope.

 

NW flow though can often be very moist during the more climo favored set-ups bringing North Atlantic/Maritime moisture back down in cyclonic motion...but yes in general they are much lower QPF than the SE flow events, even if they can produce more actual snowfall.  I wonder if an annual snowfall map looks different than precip map with regards to the max/min locations, just based on the fluffier nature of NW flow snow.  Regarding the Greens, you are definitely right that having the lakes to the west helps...we do get quite a bit of winter-time stuff on westerly flow from the lakes.  Sometimes its not a complete continuous lake effect streamer all the way into VT, but it certainly helps having those lakes to add low level moisture into the mix (moistening up the most important atmospheric level for upslope).  I guess in a yearly precipitation commentary, what the Spine does best is just take the multitude of light or moderate precipitation events (like clippers and FROPAs) and take them up a notch from the orographics.  Those really add up during the course of a year. 

 

Back in NH/ME...the closer I look at that map, I see there's an area of heavier annual precip right on the immediate US/Canadian border.  I've never really looked at a topo map in that area, but it almost looks like that terrain right on the actual international border might get the NW upslope enhancement. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is it looks like there's a lull between the NW flow upslope enhancement and the SE flow upslope areas...with a dead space between that apparently gets like 10-20 less inches of annual precipitation.

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NW flow though can often be very moist during the more climo favored set-ups bringing North Atlantic/Maritime moisture back down in cyclonic motion...but yes in general they are much lower QPF than the SE flow events, even if they can produce more actual snowfall.  I wonder if an annual snowfall map looks different than precip map with regards to the max/min locations, just based on the fluffier nature of NW flow snow.  Regarding the Greens, you are definitely right that having the lakes to the west helps...we do get quite a bit of winter-time stuff on westerly flow from the lakes.  Sometimes its not a complete continuous lake effect streamer all the way into VT, but it certainly helps having those lakes to add low level moisture into the mix (moistening up the most important atmospheric level for upslope).  I guess in a yearly precipitation commentary, what the Spine does best is just take the multitude of light or moderate precipitation events (like clippers and FROPAs) and take them up a notch from the orographics.  Those really add up during the course of a year. 

 

Back in NH/ME...the closer I look at that map, I see there's an area of heavier annual precip right on the immediate US/Canadian border.  I've never really looked at a topo map in that area, but it almost looks like that terrain right on the actual international border might get the NW upslope enhancement. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is it looks like there's a lull between the NW flow upslope enhancement and the SE flow upslope areas...with a dead space between that apparently gets like 10-20 less inches of annual precipitation.

 

There is definitely a double peak (so to speak) in elevation for northern NH and western ME. Obviously, the absolutely height of the Whites is higher, but there is certainly some robbery of moisture going on by the first upslope zone. Pittsburgh, NH is a place that routinely gets crushed in NW upslope.

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At the end of the entire snowy period, all three spots are within an inch of each other in snow depth and the total liquid precipitation is the same, despite 12-24 inches of additional recorded snowfall at Underhill/Waterbury.  Very interesting to look at and think about, as well as compare the ratios (which are much lower at Stowe in general)...but like I said originally, I tend to record a decent bit more snow by measuring at least twice a day, so it makes me wonder if the guy is just measuring once every 24 hours and that gives him the low ratio snowfall.

 

Just overall its an interesting comparison between how much actual liquid falls from the sky vs. how much snowfall is recorded vs. similar snow depths...

 

Great data table PF; a difference immediately jumps out if you look at the ratios of total snow to total liquid for each of the three sites during the period, with Underhill and Waterbury relatively similar at 12.73 and 12.02 respectively, and Stowe at a quite disparate 7.54.  It’s presumably a combination of loft (which I guess could relate to both flake structure and how sheltered each collection site is) and measurement frequency, especially if you suspect the Stowe observer is only measuring in 24-hour intervals.  Like you, I typically try to get in at least my two daily measurements, one with my standard CoCoRaHS observations at 6:00 A.M. and then another after work/skiing at 6:00 P.M, but I’ll fit in others as time permits during actively stormy periods, especially since those additional observations provide an even better look at snow density changes throughout the storm.  The table also reveals that aside from collection frequency, indeed the snow’s inherent loft/wind protection plays a huge part in the ultimate numbers as well – the data from December 30th (highlighted in yellow below) show the results of snowfall from the December 29th storm.  With only about a tenth of an inch more liquid equivalent, the Underhill and Waterbury snowpacks increased dramatically to the 18”-19” range, while the Stowe snowpack barely budged to 13.5”.  Although the 5.9” reported at my Waterbury site that morning was actually derived from three collection intervals (2.1”, 1.1” and 2.7”; see the December 29th storm summary for details) that morning snowpack value should be independent of any differences in collection intervals, since observers report the snowpack depth just once a day in the morning.  You can see the snowfall reported at each station that day (2.9” at Stowe, 5.9” at Waterbury, and 7.7” at Underhill), and that alone already represents several inches of the total snowfall differential for the period.  Put several of those occurrences together, and it’s easy to see how those snowfall differences add up:

 

14JUN13A.jpg

 

I’m guessing it’s tough with your current winter work schedule, but it would be great to have you reporting to CoCoRaHS someday PF as another Stowe observer.

 

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Back in NH/ME...the closer I look at that map, I see there's an area of heavier annual precip right on the immediate US/Canadian border.  I've never really looked at a topo map in that area, but it almost looks like that terrain right on the actual international border might get the NW upslope enhancement.

Those high precip border towns in Maine are almost all over 2,000' elev. The lowest point on Oxbow Twp (in Oxford Cty, not Oxbow Plt in Aroostook) is something like 2,400' and much acreage in that and surrounding towns is 3,000'+. The wettest areas of Maine no surprisingly run right up the taller mts, Mahoosucs to Saddleback to Sugarloaf/Bigelow, some lesser wet spots near Greenville, then the Baxter mts.

Looks to me that the sharpest gradient is from Katahdin to the under-40 color about 5 miles to its SW.

The northern Maine dry area comes from its more extreme continental climate plus a lack of big mts. Like other +continental climes, the coldest months are also driest (though fall storms give the numbers a "lag"), with CAR averaging 2.4"/mo Jan-Apr and 3.5"/mo the rest of the year. Jan-Feb are their driest months, July-Aug the wettest.

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The gradient between Mt Washington and Randolph/Jefferson sure looks a whole lot tighter. That spot in western Maine, too.

May be but there's no stations there in that small of a distance so that's all estimated precip. Burlington to Mansfield is observed.

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Great data table PF; a difference immediately jumps out if you look at the ratios of total snow to total liquid for each of the three sites during the period, with Underhill and Waterbury relatively similar at 12.73 and 12.02 respectively, and Stowe at a quite disparate 7.54.  It’s presumably a combination of loft (which I guess could relate to both flake structure and how sheltered each collection site is) and measurement frequency, especially if you suspect the Stowe observer is only measuring in 24-hour intervals.  Like you, I typically try to get in at least my two daily measurements, one with my standard CoCoRaHS observations at 6:00 A.M. and then another after work/skiing at 6:00 P.M, but I’ll fit in others as time permits during actively stormy periods, especially since those additional observations provide an even better look at snow density changes throughout the storm.  The table also reveals that aside from collection frequency, indeed the snow’s inherent loft/wind protection plays a huge part in the ultimate numbers as well – the data from December 30th (highlighted in yellow below) show the results of snowfall from the December 29th storm.  With only about a tenth of an inch more liquid equivalent, the Underhill and Waterbury snowpacks increased dramatically to the 18”-19” range, while the Stowe snowpack barely budged to 13.5”.  Although the 5.9” reported at my Waterbury site that morning was actually derived from three collection intervals (2.1”, 1.1” and 2.7”; see the December 29th storm summary for details) that morning snowpack value should be independent of any differences in collection intervals, since observers report the snowpack depth just once a day in the morning.  You can see the snowfall reported at each station that day (2.9” at Stowe, 5.9” at Waterbury, and 7.7” at Underhill), and that alone already represents several inches of the total snowfall differential for the period.  Put several of those occurrences together, and it’s easy to see how those snowfall differences add up:

 

14JUN13A.jpg

 

I’m guessing it’s tough with your current winter work schedule, but it would be great to have you reporting to CoCoRaHS someday PF as another Stowe observer.

 

 

I was going to mention that time period as the one that stood out the most... I figured you would catch that one.  Great example of upslope snow fluff as the snow depths jump up, only to settle back a few days later.  Your station and the Underhill station (which by the way I think is at 1,300ft if its the NWS employee site), definitely have more erratic ups and downs in the snow depth, which is definitely a trademark of frequent fluffy snowfall and then settling.  Looking at the obs from the day after on the 31st is also interesting... 0.01" LE provided just a 0.4" dusting for Stowe, while you had 0.03" (not much more liquid in the grand scheme) but 2.6" of snowfall.  That's some big loft!  And you can tell that is very fluffy snow because the snowpack settled 4" even while adding 2.6" of snowfall.    I find this stuff fascinating and it fits with what I think of climo here... out in Stowe Village we definitely get less snowfall than along the Spine and it can be hit or miss with the west slope depending on the pattern.  This past year we had similar snowfall just because of a lot of E or SE flow events and a lack of NW flow upslope.  And those NW flow events seemed to have high Froude Numbers so Underhill was never really able to pull away from Stowe Village like they did in 2010-2011 where they had 220" vs. 150" in Stowe. 

 

Another time period that caught my eye was the December 23-24... on the 23rd, the Stowe guy had 0.18" liquid to 4.2" of snow, and the snow depth increased 4" (which is why sometimes I think he is only measuring once)...meanwhile at Waterbury you had 0.3" liquid and 9.3" of snow, but snow depth increased 6".  Underhill actually got less liquid than Stowe on that date, but measured 5.5" and had a snow depth increase of 6".  Again, Stowe came in with a  lower ratio (around 20:1 instead of 30:1) during that period. 

 

Those two days came in with 11.5" at Waterbury (0.38" LE), 8.5" at Underhill (0.29" LE), and 5.7" at Stowe (0.24" LE).

 

Then you look at the snow depth changes and Waterbury spikes to 7" during the storm, but the day after the snowfall, Stowe and Waterbury are back at 5.5" while Underhill saw the most depth increase up to 9". 

 

This probably gets back to what Allenson always talks about when he drives through that area and can't believe it gets 150-200" of snow a year...the fluffy nature (and probably measurement technique to some extent to accurately capture the fluffy snow) leads to things like starting at 1" of depth, then getting almost a foot of snowfall, and while snow depth spikes during the event, the day after almost a foot of snowfall the depth is 5.5".  

 

I see it all the time on the mountain when we get into the fluffy snowfall pattern of Dec/Jan... especially up at like 3,000ft.  I can get snow board measurements that total like 30" over the course of a week, but the snowpack only increases like 6-8" because the stuff just keeps compressing on itself.  Sometimes its laughable when I show up at the snow plot, find 8" of champagne, and then look at the depth and see that it did not change at all!  But just because its not shown on the ground, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

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