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Countdown to Winter 2017-2018 Thread

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20 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

1717 Tossed. Everyone was 4'10" and they rode around on ponies. Misguided measuring from skewed perspectives.

'Twas 119 days of sleighing. Snow reached the height of Mr. Smith's tailor shop fence on a level.

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Just now, dendrite said:

'Twas 119 days of sleighing. Snow reached the height of Mr. Smith's tailor shop fence on a level.

"churning butter became impossible as it became solid as thy horse's shoe."

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57 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

"churning butter became impossible as it became solid as thy horse's shoe."

Coitus was interrupted by a tremendous gale of snow.

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One piece of info from 1717 does make me pretty sure they had some amazing depths...the Puritans weren't going to church on Sundays for 2 weeks during that. You know it was bad if the Puritans said "ah screw it" for church.

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1 minute ago, ORH_wxman said:

One piece of info from 1717 does make me pretty sure they had some amazing depths...the Puritans weren't going to church on Sundays for 2 weeks during that. You know it was bad if the Puritans said "ah screw it" for church.

But did it stop them from killing Indians and taking their land?

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4 minutes ago, dendrite said:

But did it stop them from killing Indians and taking their land?

The Pequot War might be more suited for hurricane of 1635 discussion. Water up to thy knickers prevented good use of the yoke fortnight.

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7 hours ago, tamarack said:

Then it settles even more by the next day.  My biggest storm here, 24.5" on 2/22-23/09, had 1.89" LE for a 13:1 ratio.  It fell atop a solid 27" pack and when the accum ended late morn there was 50-51" at the stake (which was plastered so I couldn't tell.)  By my 9 PM obs time the depth was 49" (right on that rule of thumb), and 24 hr later with temps 25/9 it had settled to 43".  By the 27th the depth was 37", meaning the big storm's pow had settled to 5:1, helped by late Feb sun, but 4-5 to 1 is about where I've seen packs naturally set up in the absence of thaws and/or significant IP/ZR. 
 

 

Huh, that's definitely lower than I think happens but I guess its a discussion of time and depth that isn't linear.

My general rule is that snow likes to settle out to 10:1 ratio in my findings of fluffy snow but that's assuming bare ground to start.  Like if we get 15" of 15:1 snow, within a day or two it'll be pretty darn close to 10".  Say 3" of 30:1 ratio snow falls on the driveway and I don't clear it...a day or two later it'll be around 1".  I do think within 72 hours any higher ratio snow likes to find its way towards a 10:1 ratio.

In long term snowpack sense, yeah I guess you are right as I'll have say 48" of snowpack at the ski area with say 10-12" of liquid which makes it around that 5:1 level.

The higher the snowpack though, the more it settles so its hard for me to put a single value on it.  I do think in say storms under 18" you'll still see it evens out pretty close to 10:1 if it was above that, and won't settle very much at all if its under that. 

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 0:51 PM, powderfreak said:

There's definitely some skewed perception...likewise up here I thought last winter was the best thing since sliced bread just because we got above normal snow, forget retention or low el snowpack.  

We got spoiled by 2000-2011 and then entered a string of tougher winters that weren't even that bad, a bit below normal except for 15-16 which was record bad...but coming off a good streak those winters of like 80% of normal seem much worse than they should be.

 

Yeah, your points on perception are well taken.  I’ll typically point out that this past season was the first one with above average snowfall out of the last six for our area in the Northern Greens, but it’s not as if those other five were all horribly below average.  The 2011-2012 season was definitely poor according to my data at 76.1% of average snowfall, and clearly 2015-2016 was horrendous at 47.7% of average - is less than 50% of average snowfall even possible around here?  The other three seasons, while below average, we more in that 90%-ish of average range, so certainly nothing to complain about.  It was really the five year “streak” of not being able to break above average snowfall that was puzzling/spurious, especially when it was certainly not a region-wide phenomenon.  Last season’s 123.1% of average did a fantastic job of putting the smack down on that trend… I’d say with plenty of style in that February/March period.  The six-year stretch still sits at less than 90% of average snowfall based on my numbers, so we’ve still been in a bit of a rut during the period, but having a season like this last one gives one a bit more faith in Mother Nature reaffirming her averages.  Assuming 2010-2011 is part of this decade, I’ve got the 2010’s running at 94.6% of average snowfall around here using my numbers.

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14 hours ago, powderfreak said:

Huh, that's definitely lower than I think happens but I guess its a discussion of time and depth that isn't linear.

My general rule is that snow likes to settle out to 10:1 ratio in my findings of fluffy snow but that's assuming bare ground to start.  Like if we get 15" of 15:1 snow, within a day or two it'll be pretty darn close to 10".  Say 3" of 30:1 ratio snow falls on the driveway and I don't clear it...a day or two later it'll be around 1".  I do think within 72 hours any higher ratio snow likes to find its way towards a 10:1 ratio.

In long term snowpack sense, yeah I guess you are right as I'll have say 48" of snowpack at the ski area with say 10-12" of liquid which makes it around that 5:1 level.

The higher the snowpack though, the more it settles so its hard for me to put a single value on it.  I do think in say storms under 18" you'll still see it evens out pretty close to 10:1 if it was above that, and won't settle very much at all if its under that. 

Some of the difference is likely due to the higher initial density of snow in my area - I've had major storms, some at well below 32 and w/o taint, that were under the 10:1 as the last flakes were falling.  Some examples include 12/15/03, VD07, the Jan 15 blizz, and this past March; the 1st 3 had ratios 8.5 to 9.2 and temps teens (singles for 2015) while 3/17 ratio was 7.3 with low 20s for temps.  Also, as storm after storm is added, there's not just settling but also crushing of the lower levels.  A core thru a 40" pack with 9" LE might be 6:1 in the top 10" and 3.5:1 at the bottom.  Below are my numbers for the Feb snowblitz and shortly after, which may illustrate how pack behaves here:

2/6     27   10                    19
2/7     13     7    .26   3.2    22   Storm #1, 5.2", final 2" mainly IP
2/8     45     7    .49   2.0    22   
2/9     25     5    .42   4.6    27   Storm #2, 4.6"  Small flakes, N edge of larger event
2/10     9    -4     T     T      27
2/11     9    -5    .23   7.5    33  Storm #3. 8.0" on 0.26" LE of near-calm feathers.  1st 7" was 35:1.
2/12    15    9    .40   4.5    34
2/13    19   14  1.47  17.0   47  Storm #4. 21.0" on 1.84" LE.  14" from 1.14" LE with mod. wind, then 7" from 0.70" with near-blizz wind.
2/14    25   -4                    44
2/15    28     1    .37    4.5   46  Storm #5, 6.2"   Forecast 24 hr before storm had been 14-18", jack moved south.
2/16    29    16    .19   1.7   46
2/17    28    19                   44
2/18    38    25                   41   Moving into the late-month thaw

There were no clear days, but partial sun on 6th, 8th (afternoon), 10th, 14th, and maybe 18th.

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Running the numbers from a local (and very good) COOP nearby....the avg snow numbers are staggering lol. Just taking the last 30 yrs, 20 yrs, 10 yrs...oye vey. However taking into account the time of recording data..1960, with a few Ms in the snow category...it's a solid 50.9". Of course that encompasses two snow "peaks" and one lull from the late 70s through early 90s.

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11 hours ago, CoastalWx said:

Running the numbers from a local (and very good) COOP nearby....the avg snow numbers are staggering lol. Just taking the last 30 yrs, 20 yrs, 10 yrs...oye vey. However taking into account the time of recording data..1960, with a few Ms in the snow category...it's a solid 50.9". Of course that encompasses two snow "peaks" and one lull from the late 70s through early 90s.

Yeah it would prob be a bit lower if it went back to around 1930 or so because the '30s were a really lean decade and the 1950s were pretty ugly too...even with some good seasons late in the decade. It's still prob mid to high 40s though even taking those into account.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Yeah it would prob be a bit lower if it went back to around 1930 or so because the '30s were a really lean decade and the 1950s were pretty ugly too...even with some good seasons late in the decade. It's still prob mid to high 40s though even taking those into account.

 

 

The overall 30yr mean is pretty good for that place near the water. Higher than BOS....although I'm sure if youngranted the margin of error at both locales...it would be in the same realm. But anyways, the last 20 years certainly have been a gift to the snow weenies. 

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11 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

The overall 30yr mean is pretty good for that place near the water. Higher than BOS....although I'm sure if youngranted the margin of error at both locales...it would be in the same realm. But anyways, the last 20 years certainly have been a gift to the snow weenies. 

Yeah the margin for error is really probably something like plus or minus 10%...though for a pristine coop like Hingham vs a first order station like BOS, it's probably a bit lower.

Some of the cruddy coops are not even usable when it comes to snowfall. As an example, most of them on the Cape are like that...just unusable. The best one close by was ACK back when it was actually a first order FAA site, but it went defunct in 1980 I believe. You'll get these coops that average like 24" per year on the Cape, but I know they are wrong...not just because I have studied snowfall climo for so long, but even if you just look at a pristine site like ACK was before it was disbanded, they averaged nearly 30" per season and they are quite a bit less favorable than most of the Cape. East Wareham is probably the only other solid coop nearby and they have averaged just over 35 inches.

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10 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Yeah the margin for error is really probably something like plus or minus 10%...though for a pristine coop like Hingham vs a first order station like BOS, it's probably a bit lower.

Some of the cruddy coops are not even usable when it comes to snowfall. As an example, most of them on the Cape are like that...just unusable. The best one close by was ACK back when it was actually a first order FAA site, but it went defunct in 1980 I believe. You'll get these coops that average like 24" per year on the Cape, but I know they are wrong...not just because I have studied snowfall climo for so long, but even if you just look at a pristine site like ACK was before it was disbanded, they averaged nearly 30" per season and they are quite a bit less favorable than most of the Cape. East Wareham is probably the only other solid coop nearby and they have averaged just over 35 inches.

It's too bad the Cape has crap for records. There's definitely no way they avg 25". I mean James in Yarmouth avgs at least 60". All kidding aside, wish there was better data there. I'll have to ask Phil what he had this year, but he got into a decent winter this year snowfall wise. 

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12 hours ago, CoastalWx said:

Running the numbers from a local (and very good) COOP nearby....the avg snow numbers are staggering lol. Just taking the last 30 yrs, 20 yrs, 10 yrs...oye vey. However taking into account the time of recording data..1960, with a few Ms in the snow category...it's a solid 50.9". Of course that encompasses two snow "peaks" and one lull from the late 70s through early 90s.

Here are the calendar-year decades for the nearest long-term co-op (records 99%+ complete, except for depth), with the first (1893-99) and the current being only 7 years:

1890s     100.4
1900s      91.8
1910s      80.5
1920s     101.9
1930s      83.4
1940s      80.2
1950s      84.9
1960s      95.4
1970s     103.1
1980s      75.6
1990s      87.8
2000s      96.6
2010s      88.9

1893-on   89.5

Highest calendar year:  166.2 in 1969.  Lowest:  38.2 in 2006

Highest CY decade:  112.2 in 1969-78   Lowest:   the following 10 years, 74.4 in 1979-88

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25 minutes ago, 40/70 Benchmark said:

I'm mobile right now, so won't post it, but the ENSO guidance held serve after cooling steadily this summer....warm neutral....but just  a hair below Nino threshold.

I'll post it for you:

 

 

figure4-2.gif

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Whether we are slightly positive or slightly negative, it does appear that ENSO will be a fairly weak factor this season...though the differences from weak Nino to weak Nina aren't trivial. I think we'd want a weak Nino all things equal...but we will see other factors increase in their influence with a weaker ENSO signal.

 

It appears the QBO is going to be negative...which has produced pretty good results for the most part in our area over the past 20 years. There's really only been one dud winter with a -QBO in that time...that was 2011-2012...2005-2006 was sort of meh....but more than offset by 2000-2001, 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2014-2015. Granted, not all QBO signs are created equal, its influence changes on whether it is strengthening or weakening and it can easily be overcome by other factors.

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3 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Whether we are slightly positive or slightly negative, it does appear that ENSO will be a fairly weak factor this season...though the differences from weak Nino to weak Nina aren't trivial. I think we'd want a weak Nino all things equal...but we will see other factors increase in their influence with a weaker ENSO signal.

 

It appears the QBO is going to be negative...which has produced pretty good results for the most part in our area over the past 20 years. There's really only been one dud winter with a -QBO in that time...that was 2011-2012...2005-2006 was sort of meh....but more than offset by 2000-2001, 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2014-2015. Granted, not all QBO signs are created equal, its influence changes on whether it is strengthening or weakening and it can easily be overcome by other factors.

Common denominator amongst 2006 and 2012 was a PAC fire hose.

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Just now, 40/70 Benchmark said:

Common denominator in 2006 and 2012 were PAC fire hoses.

Yes...2007-2008 sort of was too, but it had enough hints of split flow up in NW Canada that it still allowed for a lot of colder air to filter down into the CONUS from time to time...which produced a good result, at least for northern areas of the country, it was almost a classic -PDO winter out of the early '70s....PAC firehose plus decent cold (or lack of torch) in northern tier plus SE ridge equals very active pattern with good baroclinic zones. Didn't stay boring for long that winter.

I've been waiting for a reason to forecast a -NAO again, but don't see one yet. I'd like to see the massive blob of frigid ice water in the north Atlantic get out of there before I feel good about a -NAO. That thing has been obnoxiously persistent in the past 4 years and seems to only get worse rather than shrink in size/intensity.

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12 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Yes...2007-2008 sort of was too, but it had enough hints of split flow up in NW Canada that it still allowed for a lot of colder air to filter down into the CONUS from time to time...which produced a good result, at least for northern areas of the country, it was almost a classic -PDO winter out of the early '70s....PAC firehose plus decent cold (or lack of torch) in northern tier plus SE ridge equals very active pattern with good baroclinic zones. Didn't stay boring for long that winter.

I've been waiting for a reason to forecast a -NAO again, but don't see one yet. I'd like to see the massive blob of frigid ice water in the north Atlantic get out of there before I feel good about a -NAO. That thing has been obnoxiously persistent in the past 4 years and seems to only get worse rather than shrink in size/intensity.

You have to wonder if its part of some hemispheric paradigm that also resulted in the PAC warm blob....interesting.

Its nuances with regard to the QBO that may be paramount this season given that its base state will be negative and ENSO will likely be neutral. Almost akin to the NAO in which its not just about the mode, but rather the modulation .. ie we don't simply want a static NAO, but one in transition in order to maximize big ticket efficiency.

Well, the negative modality of the QBO may not be sufficient to induce a predominately negative seasonal AO/NAO, but given the N ATL cold pool and meek ENSO signal, we may require an intensifying neg QBO, rather than a rising one.

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13 minutes ago, 40/70 Benchmark said:

You have to wonder if its part of some hemispheric paradigm that also resulted in the PAC warm blob....interesting.

Its nuances with regard to the QBO that may be paramount this season given that its base state will be negative and ENSO will likely be neutral. Almost akin to the NAO in which its not just about the mode, but rather the modulation .. ie we don't simply want a static NAO, but one in transition in order to maximize big ticket efficiency.

Well, the negative modality of the QBO may not be sufficient to induce a predominately negative seasonal AO/NAO, but given the N ATL cold pool and meek ENSO signal, we may require an intensifying neg QBO, rather than a rising one.

Yeah....the difficulty in piecing together all the variables while they are moving targets is inherently what makes it so difficult to forecast the outcome of the seasonal pattern.

 

I really do wonder what the hell causes those blobs in the ocean to persist for years. They don't seem to be forecast very well (though I'll give some mild credit to the HADGEM model from Hadley on the north Atlantic cold pool...it did predict it, but not as intense as what actually happened) and their longevity is unknown. The warm blob in the PAC which has since dissipated after the super nino was likely partially responsible for the big shift in PDO from negative to positive which nobody predicted. We all assumed -PDO would be dominant for at least another decade. It still may shift back that way...we don't know. But it shows that you can get these multi-year breaks in a seemingly decadal cycle rather than just one winter in an El Nino...we did see a somewhat similar break in -PDO during the 1957-1960 period...but the current one was more intense and has lasted a bit longer. We do seem to be slowly descending now...so perhaps we will re-enter -PDO soon.

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2005-2006 was sort of meh

All wx is local, and for this area honoring 2005-06 with "sort of meh" is way too generous.  It's right in the mix with 09-10 and 15-16 for worst winters here - 2nd worst for snowfall, worst by far for SDDs, mildest January of 19, and only 7.8" Feb 1 onward.  Biggest storm was 5.9", making it the only winter in 44 1/2 years here in Maine to not produce a 6" event.  However, the average of all 6 of the cited winters is just fine for here: 100.6", which is 113% of average, mainly because 00-01 and 07-08 are the two snowiest.

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3 minutes ago, 40/70 Benchmark said:

I jackpotted with about 16" in the notorious 12/9/05 event.

We also got enough of the decaying leftovers of 2/12/06 to get over a foot. I got 17" back in ORH...it was closer to a foot for eastern areas. Prob could have removed that 17" with a broom and a few sneezes.

Then again, it would have been gone in 3 days if I did nothing...most low-impact KU ever. Occurred on a Sunday morning to boot.

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2 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

We also got enough of the decaying leftovers of 2/12/06 to get over a foot. I got 17" back in ORH...it was closer to a foot for eastern areas. Prob could have removed that 17" with a broom and a few sneezes.

Then again, it would have been gone in 3 days if I did nothing...most low-impact KU ever. Occurred on a Sunday morning to boot.

Yea, I had about a 1'.

Tough to complain about a season that deals two 1'+ers on the CP.

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12/9/05 really did help with the meh winter. I mean that thing was a big bag of WTF. We hashed it out a million times...but holy sh*t. 

 

That winter at least had entertaining events in Jan and Feb. Definitely could have been worse. We also had the super inside runner back in Jan that was probably the strongest winds I can recall from the south.

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