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powderfreak

NNE Winter Thread

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Cool!  Well it certainly won't be like 2 years ago... December 2012 was the most epic holiday week I can remember since at least 2004.  We never get big snowstorms during the holiday week, and I think we had two good snowstorms that week.  Most of the rest of the time it seems to like to rain during that time, so that 2012 holiday week was something special.  That winter wasn't going all that great into mid-December then I think it snowed like 80" in pretty much 2 weeks.  I remember Sugarbush had over 100" that December alone, mostlly in the second half of the month.  They got hit a little harder than us up north,

 

With all honesty, I'm not sure if its the weather pattern relaxing around this time or what, but I'd wager we seem to get more rainstorms than snowstorms during the holiday week on average over the past 10 years.  I'm going to have to do some research, but getting a snowstorm during the week like in 2012 is very hard to do.

Totally agree. I've been up in vt for probably 20 of the last 25 years for New Years. First in southern vt and the last 12 years in the mrv. It is one of the reasons I now go this far north. Xmas week is very dicey and rarely good. Can't swear to it, but think I went 10 years in a row without a good one in there. We've actually been uncharistically lucky lately. We had one year where we got a 28" upslope surprise on 12/27.

I've made my peace with it. Today was spectacular. Easily top ten day of the year. Got plenty of fresh in the woods. Left all I had out there. Ran the kids into the ground. We start over on xmas. And hope we get lucky before New Years. So be it.

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Totally agree. I've been up in vt for probably 20 of the last 25 years for New Years. First in southern vt and the last 12 years in the mrv. It is one of the reasons I now go this far north. Xmas week is very dicey and rarely good. Can't swear to it, but think I went 10 years in a row without a good one in there. We've actually been uncharistically lucky lately. We had one year where we got a 28" upslope surprise on 12/27.

I've made my peace with it. Today was spectacular. Easily top ten day of the year. Got plenty of fresh in the woods. Left all I had out there. Ran the kids into the ground. We start over on xmas. And hope we get lucky before New Years. So be it.

 

lol yeah I have no idea what it is about that week.  It just seems to like to rain for that vacation period.  I remember it growing up too...we spent every Christmas vacation week with family friends who owned a cabin in the middle of the Adirondacks and we'd ski at Gore and Whiteface.  I remember tons of rainy weeks that turned into pure ice skating rinks...and I really can't ever remember being at their cabin in any true snowstorms over like 15 years.  We always went to the mountain anyway, because well, you plan on it and that's what you are there for, but it seems like all good starts to winter tend to buckle around that time.  It must be mother nature is like we'll give 'em 3-6 weeks of good winter, then take a break in late December and early January.  Its sort of like the "January Thaw", just earlier.

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Here's another one I took today for you optically smart guys.

 

What the heck is causing the horizon today to be all messed up?  At times it looked like we had the Red Rocks area of Utah on the horizon.

 

We've seen some crazy stuff this month.

 

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lol yeah I have no idea what it is about that week.  It just seems to like to rain for that vacation period.  I remember it growing up too...we spent every Christmas vacation week with family friends who owned a cabin in the middle of the Adirondacks and we'd ski at Gore and Whiteface.  I remember tons of rainy weeks that turned into pure ice skating rinks...and I really can't ever remember being at their cabin in any true snowstorms over like 15 years.  We always went to the mountain anyway, because well, you plan on it and that's what you are there for, but it seems like all good starts to winter tend to buckle around that time.  It must be mother nature is like we'll give 'em 3-6 weeks of good winter, then take a break in late December and early January.  Its sort of like the "January Thaw", just earlier.

Actually it was 12/29/11.

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I don't ever recall seeing a mirage of mountain peaks like that.   If Weatherwise magazine still had there weather photo contest that picture would do well since its so interesting.

 

Watching my brother's Aspen webcam.  Their point and click has 15-30" falling in the next storm.  They need the snow.  Were going to need it more with this pattern coming up, especially the NH mountains.  The wildlife will get a break with bare ground patches.  Fairly late in the season for that.

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Looks like a fata morgana type deal with the strong inversion in place.

 

That's a good description to google, haha. 

 

I don't ever recall seeing a mirage of mountain peaks like that.   If Weatherwise magazine still had there weather photo contest that picture would do well since its so interesting.

 

Watching my brother's Aspen webcam.  Their point and click has 15-30" falling in the next storm.  They need the snow.  Were going to need it more with this pattern coming up, especially the NH mountains.  The wildlife will get a break with bare ground patches.  Fairly late in the season for that.

 

Yeah out west has been dry lately....but they have that climate of like nothing for 2 weeks, then 30" of snow.  Then a dry spell, then a big dump.  It would be an interesting climate to live in...either blue skies or snowing in the winter. 

 

Here's my nod to NH with the view to Mount Washington...the views were awesome today.  The Presidential Range is one big hunk of rock.

 

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Well I didn't get to ski today because I was working but on a break I had to catch the rime ice in the sun before disappeared. These were taken around 3pm this afternoon at Bolton:

 

10838138_10102307808914349_6363229584309

 

10865884_10102307808719739_5616099704188

 

10849093_10102307808749679_4048479537796

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As usual, we tend to see pretty different opinions on things up here in the NW New England zone (if you guys are having a great time, we are often "meh", and likewise the other way around).  I can't complain about this month...even this start of the winter.  Have had pretty steady snow cover since mid-November, the really only main melt-out was after we got that 11" of pixie dust from the Thanksgiving storm, which then left with the next thaw.  But that was quickly replenished. 

 

On top of that, we've seen some ridiculous views and phenomena like that.  I can't remember such stout undercast for several days either.  Been a good month for photos that's for sure, haha.

 

Have 10" on the ground here which isn't that impressive, but you can walk on the first 8" with no trouble as it is rock hard with moisture.  The top 2" is like sandy powder from Thur/Fri's little event.  I think this will hold up to the Xmas eve event...it won't look pretty but I can't imagine torching this firm of a pack completely away in like 24 hours.

 

attachicon.gifsnowdepth.jpg

 

I'm not talking about SNE though, I was planning on enjoying the snow and doing all sorts of activities relates to snow/snowpack, but it's going to be crap. I'm not skiing, but intended to do other things.

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Does Rime ice because of its bonded quality melt slower than ice from freezing rain or is it the ice melts above 32 no matter the composition physics.

There is some air trapped in rime ice, so in theory that should melt faster I think.

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There is some air trapped in rime ice, so in theory that should melt faster I think.

Yeah...I would think it sublimates pretty quickly. I can usually lose most of the hoarfrost on my windshield driving before the defroster warms it enough to melt.

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I can't complain about this month...even this start of the winter.  Have had pretty steady snow cover since mid-November, the really only main melt-out was after we got that 11" of pixie dust from the Thanksgiving storm, which then left with the next thaw.  But that was quickly replenished.

 

Yeah, it has definitely been a decent kick off to the season – we almost had an 11/14 snowpack start here at the house, which would have beaten the previous earliest start in my records by four days, but there was that break in the snowpack from 11/24-11/26 as you mentioned.  It's still been a better than average start in that department though.  Snowpack depth here actually looks to be a touch below average right now based on my numbers, but there's so much liquid in it that it's probably ahead of the mark in terms of total mass.

 

With the semester finally over, I'm starting to catch up on some other local snowpack related data, and I've got a couple of data plots to pass along.  One is the usual plot for the date of reaching 24 inches of snowpack at the Mt. Mansfield Stake, and now I've also got a plot for the start date of the winter snowpack there as well.

 

The first plot is for the date of snowpack start on Mt. Mansfield.  The mean start date is 11/15, and this season was ahead of that by about a week (11/7, green star).  This is actually quite similar to last season (11/8, red star).  They are both well within 1 S.D. (~14 days), but these past couple of seasons have been starting off in a pretty timely manner.

 

1415-snowpackstartstakeplot.jpg

 

The second plot is the date for attaining 24 inches at the stake, and this season it happened during that big cutoff low pressure system (12/10, green star).  This is slightly ahead of the average date of 12/12, and ahead of last season (12/16, red star).  Both these past couple of seasons have been close to that mean value though.

 

1415-24-inchstakeplot.jpg

 

In terms of the start of off piste skiing around here associated with that 24-inch mark, the subtleties hardly mattered this time around because the depth rocketed right up to 30 inches, and they were 30 dense inches.  Last Saturday we skied the Chapel Glades at Stowe and they were very well covered.  That's pretty typical for early season, but more notable was yesterday when I found that Lost Boyz at Bolton Valley was easily skiable.  That's a steep, ledgy trail, and it's pretty low in elevation, so it really speaks to how much liquid has been put down on those slopes so far this season.

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There is some air trapped in rime ice, so in theory that should melt faster I think.

 

Yeah it typically melts faster but most of where I shot was in the shade with temps below freezing being on the NW facing side of the mountain. Really it took until this time in the afternoon for a lot of it to get in the sun. I am sure it took a hit and you could see some of it going away as compared to the day before when I was there skiing.

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Yeah it typically melts faster but most of where I shot was in the shade with temps below freezing being on the NW facing side of the mountain. Really it took until this time in the afternoon for a lot of it to get in the sun. I am sure it took a hit and you could see some of it going away as compared to the day before when I was there skiing.

 

Looks sweet though. 

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Was surprised we got into the mood snow action today, picked up 0.4" so far.

 

I have a 6" hold my weight snow pack, will be interesting to see what happens to it this week.

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We still have essentially a full cover here with some micro flakes here and there, and I mean micro LOL. We all know what's coming though.

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Still snowing at a good clip.  Looks like a summer thunderstorm as the line moves east through NH and it backbuilds towards the SW. Large parachutes right now.

 

Nice! Enjoy it now :)

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Wife and I were going to ski wildcat, but opted for a quick snowshoe jaunt at pinkham notch. Nothing extreme like Jayhawk. Lol. Good snowpack, but drops off quick heading down 16 towards north conway. Did little bit of Jackson Trail then the Liebeskind Loop. Nice bowl of chili after.

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