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klw

NNE Winter 2013-14 Part 2

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Not looking good with the models all going west with the cutter of death next week:

 

HIS WESTERN TRACK NOW FAVORED BY ALL MODELS...AND SEEMS
REASONABLE GIVEN THE POSITION OF THE LARGE UPPER LOW/TROUGH ALONG
WITH INDICATIONS THAT THE UPPER TROUGH WILL TAKE ON A NEGATIVE
TILT FOR A TIME SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING. GIVEN THE
PROJECTED LOW TRACK AND DEEP SOUTHERLY FLOW ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA
SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY MORNING...LOOK FOR PRECIPITATION TYPE TO BE
AN ISSUE WITH THIS STORM. TEMP PROFILES SUGGEST A PROLONGED PERIOD
OF MIXED PRECIPITATION...TRANSITIONING IN MOST OF THE AREA FROM
SNOW/SLEET TO RAIN...WITH A PERIOD FREEZING RAIN POSSIBLE. AS LOW
LIFTS OUT TO OUR NORTH-NORTHEAST DURING MONDAY...PRECIPITATION
CHANGES BACK TO SNOW BEFORE TAPERING TO SNOW SHOWERS.

 

It doesn't sound like any back end snows will be all that helpful on the back of this thing.

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Temp was consistent overnight - light snow and -12 at 9 last evening, light snow and -12 at 7 this morning, total 1.8" on 0.16" LE over about 23 hr.  Might've gotten another 1-2 tenths after I headed in to work.  Though not much for accum IMBY, it was the coldest snowstorm I've experienced, with temps -8 to -12 (unless it dipped under that between 9P and 7A) throughout the snowfall. 

In Ft.Kent we had a couple much larger events where the first 2-3" came with temps 20-25 below, followed by a "warm-up" into the teens or 20s as the major accum took place.  We had 0.5" at -25 on Jan 4, 1981, a day when we never got above -20.  That was also CAR's coldest daily max on record, with -16.  They missed it by 1F yesterday, while FVE topped out at -18. 

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11.4"/0.63" final. Sun trying to peak through.

2.8F

Whats your depth up to? I'll be up st my uncles in Andover Sunday so I'm curious what they have otg.

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Well ahead of last year to date over here: had 34" last year by the morning of 1/3, 48" so far this year.

We are well behind last season up here, haha. We got like 6 feet in the last two weeks of Dec last year. Sugarbush had like 110" last Dec alone, and they are near 80" for the season right now even with a solid Nov that last year didn't have.

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We are well behind last season up here, haha. We got like 6 feet in the last two weeks of Dec last year. Sugarbush had like 110" last Dec alone, and they are near 80" for the season right now even with a solid Nov that last year didn't have.

True dat!

Last year at this time I was doing woods with deep powder. Oh how I yearn!

Can't always be so lucky and I'm trying to be patient, but I'm no mood for a cutter. Gonna switch up some things and put on my rally cap for the drive back up this afternoon.

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Brunswick Maine Storm Total: 8.3", Liquid 0.45", Avg Ratio of 18:1


 


It appears all ASOS stations in Coastal Maine, Coastal NH and Coastal Mass that were under Blizzard Warnings did not meet the criteria of the warnings. Some stations like Hyannis were at Blizzard conditions periodically but were not for the 3hr minimum. 


 


Sandwich Mass CoOp station had 3hrs of 35+ mph winds but the station doesn't report precip or visibility therefore an incomplete. 


Personal opinion is that station probably experienced actual blizzard conditions. 


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Here's BTV's snowfall accumulations map...

 

I'd be curious to see J.Spin's list of ski resort snowfall for this... but all resorts I've looked at have snowfall amounts that make sense based on the nearby spotter reports... with the exception of one.  Any guesses?

 

These are the type of systems that make folks scratch their heads... the ski areas follow the usual south to north lowering of totals with a foot in southern VT, 9" Killington, 6" Sugarbush, 2-3" in the Bolton/Stowe/Smuggs area, and then somehow goes back up to 5" at Jay Peak.  Magical place up there at Jay, when cirrus leads to 5".  The thing for me is this was all synoptic driven at a higher level than what orographics would help you out with.  Being on a mountain just didn't really matter in this event as orographics played a very little part, especially with NE winds.  So Jay being that much different from all surrounding communities makes me puzzled.  Maybe  I'm just jealous  ;)

 

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I put together the updated version of the Mt. Mansfield 24” stake plot a couple of weeks back, but hadn’t had a chance to get a post out.  Here it is now, with the green star representing this season’s date (Dec 16th) and the red star representing last season’s date:

 

1314-24-inchstakeplot.jpg

 

This season was right around average, and was notably earlier than the previous two.

 

Today is apropos for getting this post done though, because as of yesterday evening’s measurement, the stake has just now regained the 24” level after the consolidation of the past couple of weeks.

 

03JAN14A.jpg

 

I typically don’t worry about snowpack consolidation below the 24” mark (which I see in a number of the seasons in the Mt. Mansfield snowpack data) with respect to gauging the start of tree skiing, because in general, decreases in the Mansfield snowpack at that stage are due to consolidation, and may even represent an increase in the liquid equivalent in the snowpack.  Thus, the state of the tree skiing often may not regress much.  I’d say that’s the way things have gone over the past couple of weeks.  Although the depth of the snowpack may have gone down a bit in the interim, liquid equivalent in there has probably gone up.  That sort of leaves the tree skiing at status quo, and from my experience out in the Northern Greens over the past couple of weeks, that’s what I’ve seen; we’re still at the stage where only that appropriate early terrain is ready, but at least that terrain is available.

 

One can see from the SkiVT-L snowpack plot that the recent trend now represents a substantial deficiency in snowpack depth.  Snowfall was running along in the average range until mid-December, but with no gains since then, it’s fallen woefully behind that pace.  As a clear indication of that, based on reports I’ve been hearing, some valley areas may have snowpack depths that rival or even exceed what is up near 4,000’ on Mt. Mansfield.  Presumably there’s a lot of liquid in Mansfield’s 24” snowpack, but its depth is definitely low.

 

Another example of the relative Mt. Mansfield snowpack deficiency can be seen with comparison to the stake at our own site in Waterbury.  As of this morning, it was at 10.0”.  That’s a little low according to my data, but really not that far off from the average I have (12.9”).

 

Presumably, with this next storm offering up more mixed precipitation, it will likely add a good shot of liquid equivalent to the snowpack, but not a lot of depth.  It seems like there’s going to be quite a snowpack foundation there for when the snowfall gets going though.

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Whats your depth up to? I'll be up st my uncles in Andover Sunday so I'm curious what they have otg.

20-21" or so maybe? I'll check again when I get home. The top of the snow is creeping up to the bottom of my precip detection sensor so it's around that.

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20-21" or so maybe? I'll check again when I get home. The top of the snow is creeping up to the bottom of my precip detection sensor so it's around that.

Pretty sweet. I'll take a few weenie measurements and see how he compares. Probably pretty close, you cant be more than 10 miles away.

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I'd be curious to see J.Spin's list of ski resort snowfall for this... but all resorts I've looked at have snowfall amounts that make sense based on the nearby spotter reports... with the exception of one.  Any guesses?

 

These are the type of systems that make folks scratch their heads... the ski areas follow the usual south to north lowering of totals with a foot in southern VT, 9" Killington, 6" Sugarbush, 2-3" in the Bolton/Stowe/Smuggs area, and then somehow goes back up to 5" at Jay Peak.  Magical place up there at Jay, when cirrus leads to 5".  The thing for me is this was all synoptic driven at a higher level than what orographics would help you out with.  Being on a mountain just didn't really matter in this event as orographics played a very little part, especially with NE winds.  So Jay being that much different from all surrounding communities makes me puzzled.  Maybe  I'm just jealous  ;)

 

Thanks for reminding me PF, since this event was somewhat minor up here in terms of actual totals (liquid amounts were actually something to note, but depths were low due to ratios) I’d forgotten about it.  I did my best to try get what seem to be the storm totals, and the north to south listing for the Vermont ski areas is below.  The far south seemed to be the place, with Stratton reporting 18”.

 

Jay Peak: 5”

Burke: 2”

Smuggler’s Notch: 3”

Stowe: 3”

Bolton Valley: 2”

Mad River Glen: 8”

Sugarbush: 7”

Middlebury: 6”

Suicide Six: 5”

Pico: 9”

Killington: 9”

Okemo: 11”

Bromley: 12”

Magic Mountain: 9”

Stratton: 18”

Mount Snow: 15”

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Here's BTV's snowfall accumulations map...

 

I'd be curious to see J.Spin's list of ski resort snowfall for this... but all resorts I've looked at have snowfall amounts that make sense based on the nearby spotter reports... with the exception of one.  Any guesses?

 

These are the type of systems that make folks scratch their heads... the ski areas follow the usual south to north lowering of totals with a foot in southern VT, 9" Killington, 6" Sugarbush, 2-3" in the Bolton/Stowe/Smuggs area, and then somehow goes back up to 5" at Jay Peak.  Magical place up there at Jay, when cirrus leads to 5".  The thing for me is this was all synoptic driven at a higher level than what orographics would help you out with.  Being on a mountain just didn't really matter in this event as orographics played a very little part, especially with NE winds.  So Jay being that much different from all surrounding communities makes me puzzled.  Maybe  I'm just jealous  ;)

 

attachicon.gifsnowfalltotals.JPG

 

 

They use the friday ruler PF

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This might bode well for the mountains on the back end of the cutter:

 

gfs_namer_084_850_temp_mslp_precip.gif

 

 

 

Yeah, that’s some of the potential that can come from those types systems, and why I’d prefer to be in the storm track and get those, vs. being high and dry with storms riding through Washington D.C.  From these sort of storms, the mountains can typically get at least contributions to the liquid in the snowpack, and sometimes even direct snowpack increases on the front or back ends.  But, we can never build the snowpack if the storms totally miss.

 

I was interested in seeing what the ECMWF had for the upcoming system as well, but when I checked the WunderMap®, it wasn’t even there as an option at the moment.  I wonder if their model offerings there are going to change as of the new year.

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Pretty brutal out there. -1F/-13F with winds gusting to near 20mph.

 

Max was 5.6F this afternoon. Should push -15F tonight.

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I put together the updated version of the Mt. Mansfield 24” stake plot a couple of weeks back, but hadn’t had a chance to get a post out.  Here it is now, with the green star representing this season’s date (Dec 16th) and the red star representing last season’s date:

 

This season was right around average, and was notably earlier than the previous two.

 

Today is apropos for getting this post done though, because as of yesterday evening’s measurement, the stake has just now regained the 24” level after the consolidation of the past couple of weeks.

 

03JAN14A.jpg

 

I typically don’t worry about snowpack consolidation below the 24” mark (which I see in a number of the seasons in the Mt. Mansfield snowpack data) with respect to gauging the start of tree skiing, because in general, decreases in the Mansfield snowpack at that stage of due to consolidation, and may even represent an increase in the liquid equivalent in the snowpack.  Thus, the state of the tree skiing often may not regress much.  I’d say that’s the way things have gone over the past couple of weeks.  Although the depth of the snowpack may have gone down a bit in the interim, liquid equivalent in there has probably gone up.  That sort of leaves the tree skiing at status quo, and from my experience out in the Northern Greens over the past couple of weeks, that’s what I’ve seen; we’re still at the stage where only that appropriate early terrain is ready, but at least that terrain is available.

 

One can see from the SkiVT-L snowpack plot that the recent trend now represents a substantial deficiency in snowpack depth.  Snowfall was running along in the average range until mid-December, but with no gains since then, it’s fallen woefully behind that pace.  As a clear indication of that, based on reports I’ve been hearing, some valley areas may have snowpack depths that rival or even exceed what is up near 4,000’ on Mt. Mansfield.  Presumably there’s a lot of liquid in Mansfield’s 24” snowpack, but its depth is definitely low.

 

Another example of the relative Mt. Mansfield snowpack deficiency can be seen with comparison to the stake at our own site in Waterbury.  As of this morning, it was at 10.0”.  That’s a little low according to my data, but really not that far off from the average I have (12.9”).

 

Presumably, with this next storm offering up more mixed precipitation, it will likely add a good shot of liquid equivalent to the snowpack, but not a lot of depth.  It seems like there’s going to be quite a snowpack foundation there for when the snowfall gets going though.

 

Great post, J.Spin.

 

Yeah we've just hit a brick wall the past few weeks with regards to building up a natural base.  My snowpack in the yard has been sitting between like 5-8" for what seems like a month now, lol.  It goes down a few inches in the thaw, then goes up a few inches when we get these light events, rinse and repeat.  This is like our 5th week of snowpack (maybe even the start of the 6th week?) in town and we haven't gone over 10" and haven't really gone below 3", haha.  Just stable at that sort of "its winter out there, but not really deep winter."  You guys got a bit more snow in that one synoptic system and also had more help from the cold oozing out of the Champlain Valley during the rain/ice storm, so no surprise you're running a couple inches ahead (I'm at 8" right now). 

 

Mansfield really hasn't seen a significant (like 0.75" QPF or more) synoptic snowstorm yet this season and I think that's what it is.  I start doing snow cores I think in the next week or two for NOAA, so I'll be curious to see how much liquid is in the pack.  I bet there's an obscene amount of water for 24" of snowpack though. 

 

Of note, is that equally the snowpack is suffering at 1,550ft with only around 10" (which makes any lower elevation tree skiing completely out of the question)... and looking at the BTV snow depth map, you can see how 10" is fairly standard around the Mansfield-Bolton stretch below 2,000ft.

 

 

 

Southeastern VT is taking it home right now...and that sounds like it continues over towards Dendrites' area and a lot of the southern half of New Hampshire.  The only other time I can remember lower elevation areas rivaling Mansfield's upper elevation snowpack was in January 2011.  A bunch of SNE spots came up into the 35-40" range and I remember that being about equal to what was at the Mansfield stake at that time.  It takes a special pattern of jackpotting (plus the northern Greens getting shafted) over several events to get lower elevation areas south or east of here to rival the big mountain's snow depth.  That's what we've got now though.

 

What's also interesting to me is that we haven't really had a true upslope event since the several we had in November.  December was almost completely devoid of a true, decent upslope event.  Those often make up for missing the synoptic storms, as that's the bread and butter up here when synoptic events haven't been working out.  Sure we've had the like 2-4"/3-5" type fluffers, but there hasn't been any true 10+ type events that can seem to happen at least once every few weeks.

 

I think the progressive pattern and jet stream has really been hurting us there...as low pressure systems haven't been able to wrap up and park themselves anywhere to our northeast.  They've been mainly open waves with weak to no closed circulations to advect Atlantic moisture on cyclonic flow back into the area for the terrain to work with.  And if we do get an upslope window, its really pretty short as the fast flow keeps the systems moving very quickly...and duration is certainly one of the main variables of a decent upslope event. 

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it'll be nice to get some more QPF into the snowpack for sure.  That Sun/Mon event should help with that somewhat.  

 

On the other side of things, went down to Red Rocks park on Lake Champlain.  ~2" of fresh over thick ice crust, ~6" total on the ground.  Cool phenomenon was the sub-zero temps and the sunlight hitting the lake- creating dancing waves of steam off the lake surface.  Some of these formed a sea of ascending funnels/steam devils- a few of which went dozens of feet into the air  reaching over the tops of the trees on Shelburne point (a few looked to be 100ft! but without a solid frame of reference, I could be mistaken). These things streched out across Shelburne Point and into the main lake- and as the sunset, this phenomenon ceased.

 

 Lots of hoar frost everywhere down by the lake and super thick ice spray on the rocks on the shore.  Worth a walk here in the woods if you can stand the cold temps.

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Event totals: 3.0” Snow/0.31” L.E.

 

A final tenth of an inch finished off our latest event this morning; very close to 10% H20 density for the entire event.

 

Details from the 6:00 P.M. Waterbury observations:

 

New Snow: 0.1 inches

New Liquid: 0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 10.0

Snow Density: 10.0% H2O

Temperature: -8.3 F

Sky: Clear

Snow at the stake: 10.0 inches

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Tonight I drove and found a -22F spot in a bit of a hollow (where the cold can settle nicely). This is now my new personal record of coldest felt :weenie: . I did this at home tonight for better results than earlier today as it was quite a bit colder:

 

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it'll be nice to get some more QPF into the snowpack for sure.  That Sun/Mon event should help with that somewhat.  

 

On the other side of things, went down to Red Rocks park on Lake Champlain.  ~2" of fresh over thick ice crust, ~6" total on the ground.  Cool phenomenon was the sub-zero temps and the sunlight hitting the lake- creating dancing waves of steam off the lake surface.  Some of these formed a sea of ascending funnels/steam devils- a few of which went dozens of feet into the air  reaching over the tops of the trees on Shelburne point (a few looked to be 100ft! but without a solid frame of reference, I could be mistaken). These things streched out across Shelburne Point and into the main lake- and as the sunset, this phenomenon ceased.

 

 Lots of hoar frost everywhere down by the lake and super thick ice spray on the rocks on the shore.  Worth a walk here in the woods if you can stand the cold temps.

 

Living right next to red rocks park I get to see the seasons change there...have to say this winter the park has been particularly pretty. Cool report. 

 

So is this winter going to feature arctic outbreaks punctuated by cutting storms. #awesome!

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I wish I went down there to see the steam devils etc. Anyway the cutter doesn't appear to offer any snows of consequence on the back end. Maybe a bit of upslope in the higher terrain. Afterwards I don't see any chance at a big snow anytime soon

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