Jump to content
  • Member Statistics

    15,470
    Total Members
    7,904
    Most Online
    Greenmachine1123
    Newest Member
    Greenmachine1123
    Joined
Sign in to follow this  
mreaves

NNE Winter Part 3

Recommended Posts

Vermont State Police dashcam caught lightning during the storm the other night in Weathersfield, VT...  pretty cool.

 

1:03am, pitch black at 52 seconds.

 

1609879_10151943671942896_946052247_n.jp

 

One second later its bright as day.

 

1619560_10151943671952896_494665854_n.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday, via social media, the VT State Police issued a statement warning of possible avalanches in the Green Mountain backcountry from this previous storm.   Well, lo and behold, today, there were numerous reports of avalanches in Smugglers Notch (some running a few hundred feet in the rockslide gullies).

 

 

I've read various reports of numerous avalanches, even in the forests of Vermont today from people out doing ski touring.  These ones are usually a little less dangerous than in the steeper rock slides, but can still pose a problem for folks as these accelerate quickly and can flush you into trees.  It happens really fast. 

 

Here are photos of one such slide a friend set off today in this area.

 

1623748_10101809454415710_171770107_n.jp

 

 

 

1662627_10101809467539410_721272565_n.jp

 

 

This last one was a slide that occurred in Smugglers Notch and ran roughly 150 feet with debris pile around 4-5 feet deep (deep enough to bury).  This is at the top of one of the rockslide chutes and the photo doesn't do the pitch justice.  This is at the top of the chute, which probably runs like 750 vertical feet to the road below.

 

1795549_10203018301803078_951692218_n.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool stuff, PF.  It's definitely a 'breakable' snow and with slick frozen solid ground underneath, there's isn't a lot of friction on the steeper slopes.

 

Picked up about a half-inch so far today.  Fits & spurts.  Presently in snowing at a quicker clip than it has in several hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Powderfreak- Was out in your area today for some cross country skiing. Fantastic conditions today!

 

Sweet!  Yeah its pretty darn good out there.  The snow had just the right density to it...it was overall pretty thick, as one would expect from a storm that delivered 8:1 ratios for the first 0.75" of QPF, and then got fluffier towards the back end.  Perfectly layered and while upslope fluff is fun, this stuff has much more use in building supportable base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get ready for a slew of AWTs.

 

Even after this recent storm we’re still 20” behind average snowfall pace here in the valley, and the mountains are probably behind by double that amount; Bolton Valley should typically be approaching 200” of snowfall by this point in the season, and they’re reporting just 126”.  Heck, resorts in Central and even Southern Vermont that average less than 200” a season are already reporting higher season totals than that.  The “as we thoughts” can probably wait until at least something near average is approached, especially in the overall context of the snowfall that the Northeast has seen this season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I was just musing through the CoCoRAHS reports from this past storm, and something interesting stands out for yesterday morning's reports after the overnight burst of precip.

 

There are like two distinct areas even locally here and I'm not sure what would cause this, but southeastern areas on this map seemed to have much better ratios (10:1 or higher) than northwestern side.  The overall QPF wasn't all that much different (although there are a couple reports of 1.0+ melted), with 0.7-0.9" melted at a lot of stations.

 

 

Now look at the snowfall amounts...notice how Stowe (southern Lamoille), Waterbury on the Chittenden/Washington border, as well as everyone west of the Spine (even down in southern Addison County on this map) all had about 0.7-0.8" QPF...with only 6-7" of snow.  Then to the east, a lot of the stations reporting in had more like 12-16:1 ratios.  Take Waitsfield for example, had 0.8" liquid and 12.0" of snow.  They got less than a tenth more liquid at that time of the storm, but had doubled our snowfall.

 

 

Any idea what would cause this?  The more I look back at the storm, I was surprised at how low the snow totals were through yesterday morning when the models had that big slug of QPF move through.  As it turns out, the QPF was there at pretty much every location with widespread 0.7-1.0" down by 12z, but the ratios appear to have played a large difference in the storm total variations.

 

Probably the biggest differences reside with the Waitsfield or Warren station coming in with 0.80" and 12.0" of snow, while on the west slope in southern Addison and southern Chittenden County, two stations had 0.78" but only 6.5" of snow. 

 

It makes me wonder if the upslope/downslope couplet played a role in flake size?  But Mansfield doesn't really get downsloped per se, and even at the summit of the mountain it was pouring the smallest flakes I've ever seen.  Meanwhile, I've seen photos from just south of here where large dendrites were ripping.  Fascinating system locally for that reason.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even after this recent storm we’re still 20” behind average snowfall pace here in the valley, and the mountains are probably behind by double that amount; Bolton Valley should typically be approaching 200” of snowfall by this point in the season, and they’re reporting just 126”.  Heck, resorts in Central and even Southern Vermont that average less than 200” a season are already reporting higher season totals than that.  The “as we thoughts” can probably wait until at least something near average is approached, especially in the overall context of the snowfall that the Northeast has seen this season.

 

Oh yeah, we (northern Green Mountains and adjacent towns) are almost certainly coming in with the lowest percentage relative to average in the northeast if this pattern continues.  The southern New England coastal plain will come in with the highest as they just keep getting destroyed, and it looks like they'll get the next little system early in the week much better than up here.  Its funny because February has felt "snowy" at the mountain, but looking over the data and comparing it to the past 5 years, we are dead on average for February snowfall.  So we aren't losing ground on the mountain right now, but we aren't gaining any.  All it'll take is a week or so of snowless weather and we'll drop back again.

 

Its so funny watching the media talking about how much of a broken record it has been in the northeast with just "storm after storm after storm" and I just heard on the national news about "several whopping snowstorms so far this season for everyone in the northeast" and I'm thinking, :unsure: .   We'll get to a point where the mountains just can't possibly make it all up.  I mean take Bolton at 126" right now.  They usually only report during their operating season (and still average over 300") and they usually close in early April.  So to get to average, it has to snow like 180-200" between now and early April, lol.  At Stowe, we exactly halfway to our average annual snowfall, so to hit average, we'll have to accumulate 160" in exactly two months from today (where as we've had 160" in the first 3 months of winter). 

 

I've got no complaints right now though, we've got a snowpack now and the woods are skiable.  It would just be nice to be able to share in the "epic" snowfall departures of places further south.  That's what made 2010-2011 fun, as I think everyone was solidly above normal that winter.  But its good for the coastal SNE weenies to rack it up while they have the pattern.  We know that the worm will turn and one of these winters will feature a bunch of slop storms down there while we are getting crushed or something.  Maine and New Hampshire will just continue to snow in all winter patterns, haha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I was just musing through the CoCoRAHS reports from this past storm, and something interesting stands out for yesterday morning's reports after the overnight burst of precip.

 

There are like two distinct areas even locally here and I'm not sure what would cause this, but southeastern areas on this map seemed to have much better ratios (10:1 or higher) than northwestern side.  The overall QPF wasn't all that much different (although there are a couple reports of 1.0+ melted), with 0.7-0.9" melted at a lot of stations.

 

attachicon.gifFeb_14_QPF.gif

 

Now look at the snowfall amounts...notice how Stowe (southern Lamoille), Waterbury on the Chittenden/Washington border, as well as everyone west of the Spine (even down in southern Addison County on this map) all had about 0.7-0.8" QPF...with only 6-7" of snow.  Then to the east, a lot of the stations reporting in had more like 12-16:1 ratios.  Take Waitsfield for example, had 0.8" liquid and 12.0" of snow.  They got less than a tenth more liquid at that time of the storm, but had doubled our snowfall.

 

attachicon.gifFeb_14_snow.gif

 

Any idea what would cause this?  The more I look back at the storm, I was surprised at how low the snow totals were through yesterday morning when the models had that big slug of QPF move through.  As it turns out, the QPF was there at pretty much every location with widespread 0.7-1.0" down by 12z, but the ratios appear to have played a large difference in the storm total variations.

 

Probably the biggest differences reside with the Waitsfield or Warren station coming in with 0.80" and 12.0" of snow, while on the west slope in southern Addison and southern Chittenden County, two stations had 0.78" but only 6.5" of snow. 

 

It makes me wonder if the upslope/downslope couplet played a role in flake size?  But Mansfield doesn't really get downsloped per se, and even at the summit of the mountain it was pouring the smallest flakes I've ever seen.  Meanwhile, I've seen photos from just south of here where large dendrites were ripping.  Fascinating system locally for that reason.   

I didn't measure water content (lazy), so this anecdotal rather than empirical,  but the 6 inches of snow was some of the densest snow I've seen for a 23 degree snowfall.  The flakes were just tiny, and they packed in pretty tight.  Normally, a six-inch snowfall is fairly easy to shovel off the pond, but this stuff was borderline heavy, and my shoulders can testify.  The snow even had a blue tinge to it, which was also surprising given the temperature.  Very wide ranging results in snow depth, but somewhat consistent reported water content throughout the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea on ground truth, but tiny sliver of a band right now over the immediate eastern side of the Spine and cutting over J.Spin's location in the I89/Winooski Valley corridor.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current radar isn't very encouraging.  Unless there's a major westward expansion as LP bombs, we'll end up way short of advisory level - like maybe getting 1".  At present it's very light snow and about 0.3" (in 4 hr.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea on ground truth, but tiny sliver of a band right now over the immediate eastern side of the Spine and cutting over J.Spin's location in the I89/Winooski Valley corridor.

 

I saw echoes building on the radar and had been meaning to check, so thanks for the heads up.  The flakes were small, so it was just a couple of tenths down.  Snow had actually abated there for a bit, but now it’s back, with much bigger flakes and more intensity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got a lot of snow. I'd give a measurement but the yard stick is lost in the snow. I hopped into the woods at one point today, and my skis sank upper thigh deep. Had do pop out of my bindings and dig them out. Good times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That latest pulse of brighter echoes that’s just moving into the area has brought some much larger flakes with it – upslope-style with diameters close to an inch.  It’s still fairly light in intensity at this point, but when you have flakes like that they can build up rather quickly.

 

15FEB14A.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey pf- what u guys got last night??? Is it possible sb got 18" at the summit??? Or am I reading the snow report wrong

Ok-corrected. 1". Makes more sense.

1-2" here. Breezy so it's more like 0-6" haha.

Question for you, I saw yesterday SB had only 5" at the base but 18" at mid mountain and summit in the previous 24 hours. This wasn't really an elevation dependent storm so I was wondering what you experienced. It just seemed like a wide range to go from 5-18" in like 1500ft vertical. I'd believe the 18" more than the 5", but did you see that drastic of a difference from upper half and lower half?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current radar isn't very encouraging.  Unless there's a major westward expansion as LP bombs, we'll end up way short of advisory level - like maybe getting 1".  At present it's very light snow and about 0.3" (in 4 hr.)

 

Finished with 1.4" at 8-to-1 ratio, tiny flakes.  Hancock/Washington Cty reports 15"+ and a bit more to come.  Forecast was right on target there, but about 50 miles too far west on our side of Penobscot Bay.  Sharp-cutoff storms are nasty to predict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1-2" here. Breezy so it's more like 0-6" haha.

Question for you, I saw yesterday SB had only 5" at the base but 18" at mid mountain and summit in the previous 24 hours. This wasn't really an elevation dependent storm so I was wondering what you experienced. It just seemed like a wide range to go from 5-18" in like 1500ft vertical. I'd believe the 18" more than the 5", but did you see that drastic of a difference from upper half and lower half?

I just edited the prior post. Corrected to 1". That 18 made no sense and there wasn't 5 at the base either.

I decided to sleep late and go to the mtn at 8:30. When I woke up at 6:30 and saw the 18" report, I jumped out of bed and went out to investigate. Cold, windy and little snow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Event totals: 1.6” Snow/0.05” L.E.

 

The upslope snow from yesterday evening and overnight came in dry as one would expect, averaging a bit over 3% H2O.  It should be a nice topping for the local slopes, and I’ve included the available snowfall totals for this event from the Vermont ski areas below the weather observations:

 

Details from the 12:00 A.M. Waterbury observations:

 

New Snow: 1.3 inches

New Liquid: 0.04 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 32.5

Snow Density: 3.1% H2O

Temperature: 20.8 F

Sky: Light/Moderate Snow (2-15 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 18.5 inches

 

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

 

New Snow: 0.3 inches

New Liquid: 0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 30.0

Snow Density: 3.3% H2O

Temperature: 11.3 F

Sky: Partly Cloudy

Snow at the stake: 18.5 inches

 

The north to south listing of available snowfall totals from the Vermont ski areas for this latest event; 24-hour totals were generally in the 2-4” range:

 

Jay Peak: 4”

Burke: 1”

Smuggler’s Notch: 2”

Stowe: 2”

Bolton Valley: 3”

Mad River Glen: T”

Sugarbush: 1”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 2”

Okemo: 2”

Bromley: 1”

Magic Mountain: 1”

Stratton: 2”

Mount Snow: 3”

 

The BTV NWS discussion indicates that the next potential opportunities for snow are a light event on Tuesday, and then a mixed event on Thursday:

 

.LONG TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY/...

AS OF 436 AM EST SUNDAY...ECMWF AND GFS MODELS SHOWING SOME TIMING DIFFERENCES TUESDAY NIGHT WITH THE ECMWF MODEL HAVING A LOW PRESSURE AREA OVER EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS EARLY TUESDAY NIGHT... WHILE THE GFS MODEL HAS THIS FEATURE ALREADY APPROACHING THE CANADIAN MARITIMES. HAVE OPTED TO GO WITH THE SLOWER EMF SOLUTION AND WILL KEEP A CHANCE FOR SOME LIGHT SNOW ACROSS THE REGION EARLY TUESDAY NIGHT.

 

EMF AND GFS MODELS SHOWING A WARM FRONT APPROACHING THE REGION THURSDAY NIGHT. HAVE GONE WITH LIKELY POPS THURSDAY NIGHT. IT LOOKS LIKE THE REGION WILL SEE A MIX OF PRECIPITATION TYPES THURSDAY NIGHT WITH RAIN...SLEET AND SNOW. A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE REGION FRIDAY MORNING... SO WILL KEEP IN A CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We really whiffed on the Midcoast, pretty surprised by that. I always knew PWM was in trouble for our totals, but the Midcoast looked pretty much a lock even on the driest models.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always tell when it is a beautiful day in NNE, there are no posts in our thread. Just got back from a 40 mile snowmobile ride. Couldn't ask for better weather. Bluebird skies, mid-teens for temps and a lot of fresh snow. Would have stayed out longer but the trails were getting bumped up. Unlike skiers, we don't like moguls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just edited the prior post. Corrected to 1". That 18 made no sense and there wasn't 5 at the base either.

I decided to sleep late and go to the mtn at 8:30. When I woke up at 6:30 and saw the 18" report, I jumped out of bed and went out to investigate. Cold, windy and little snow.

 

No I meant from yesterday's report with the 18" at summit and mid-mountain and only 5" at the base.  Its just now the 48-hour snowfall:

 

48 hrs: 18-18-5"  

 

72 hrs: 30-30-15"

 

I know you skied yesterday and was just curious what you saw.  I believe it but find that stuff fascinating as to why the snowfall would triple in depth from the base to mid-mountain in a synoptic event.  The difference between 5" and 18" is note-worthy... that's one helluva gradient, like 1" per every 80 vertical feet on the lower half of the mountain, with no difference between mid-mtn and summit.  I would be absolutely fascinated if I saw something like that and you guys wouldn't hear the end of it if I had measured just 5" at the base but had 18" halfway up the mountain, haha.  We couldn't even pull off that type of gradient in the early November elevation dependent upslope event, but I'm a weenie who loves that nerdy stuff about "why" or "how" it could happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spent the last few days in the BC on both the west and East side of the Greens.  

 

The recent snow of North and Central VT around 24" really showed.  On the East side, down around Warren/Waitsfield, you could really notice how much they picked up in the last storm cycle- it was more than up around the western and eastern slopes around Mansfield during the last storm cycle- at least where I was.

 

However the snowpack in both areas was roughly equal- with the edge given to the western slope of Mansfield overall.  Coverage there seemed best- and it's open season in the backcountry in N VT. It's been a great 3 days of touring around the Greens.

 

On another note, lots of thwumping in the snowpack- that substantial, denser snowfall of recent laying on top of the fluffy upslope makes for an (enjoyable) upside down snowpack, and lots of tensional cracking abounds on steeper pitches and rollovers.  A few soft, thick slabs slid short distances around switchbacks on our ascents.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was some isolated avalanche activity in Smuggler's Notch on some of those steep chutes/drainages.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spent the last few days in the BC on both the west and East side of the Greens.  

 

The recent snow of North and Central VT around 24" really showed.  On the East side, down around Warren/Waitsfield, you could really notice how much they picked up in the last storm cycle- it was more than up around the western and eastern slopes around Mansfield during the last storm cycle- at least where I was.

 

However the snowpack in both areas was roughly equal- with the edge given to the western slope of Mansfield overall.  Coverage there seemed best- and it's open season in the backcountry in N VT. It's been a great 3 days of touring around the Greens.

 

On another note, lots of thwumping in the snowpack- that substantial, denser snowfall of recent laying on top of the fluffy upslope makes for an (enjoyable) upside down snowpack, and lots of tensional cracking abounds on steeper pitches and rollovers.  A few soft, thick slabs slid short distances around switchbacks on our ascents.  I wouldn't be surprised if there was some isolated avalanche activity in Smuggler's Notch on some of those steep chutes/drainages.  

 

See this post I made yesterday... relatively a lot of avalanche activity in this area:  http://www.americanwx.com/bb/index.php/topic/40780-the-2013-2014-ski-season-thread/?p=2804391

 

This one in Smugglers Notch ran from the cliffs almost down to RT 108.  The photo doesn't do the steepness justice.

 

1795549_10203018301803078_951692218_n.jp

 

Regarding the storm snow... without a doubt the areas south of here got more, and likely more up near the Canadian border too.  We must've just been between bands or something, but the MPV and Sugarbush latitude got smoked.  They had the QPF and snow growth.

 

I will admit I'm surprised the west slope of Mansfield has more snowpack, as they almost melted out completely during the last couple of January rain storms.  There were days in January where the Underhill web cam on BTV's cam page was showing only very patchy snow cover, when even here in the valley on the east side we had full cover.  I think I remember Nittany posting that one a couple times to show the lack of snow when we were all hanging from the rafters... so the western slope must've caught up nicely since then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×