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Mercurial

Snowpack pics

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19 minutes ago, beavis1729 said:

Beautiful!  Looks like you're one of the few areas of the country that has had a decent winter.  What has your coldest temp been so far?

About -30 I think... we don't have an official recording station where I am.  Warmest has been about 35-37; we edged up above freezing a couple times so far this winter.  Our temp anomaly in Jan was about -10, and December was -6.  Feb is -15 so far, but things look torchy for the remainder of the month.  

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15 minutes ago, Mercurial said:

About -30 I think... we don't have an official recording station where I am.  Warmest has been about 35-37; we edged up above freezing a couple times so far this winter.  Our temp anomaly in Jan was about -10, and December was -6.  Feb is -15 so far, but things look torchy for the remainder of the month.  

Great photos.

Isn't 33" an unusually large snowfall for the Flathead Valley? What is the average seasonal snowfall?

I spent a summer in St. Mary, it's amazing out there. I didn't realize winters were that cold on the west side of the Glacier Natl Park. -30F is pretty extreme, and barely getting above freezing must be highly unusual. Are you in an elevated part of town?

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1 minute ago, nzucker said:

Great photos.

Isn't 33" an unusually large snowfall for the Flathead Valley? What is the average seasonal snowfall?

I spent a summer in St. Mary, it's amazing out there. I didn't realize winters were that cold on the west side of the Glacier Natl Park. -30F is pretty extreme, and barely getting above freezing must be highly unusual. Are you in an elevated part of town?

 

Yeah I'm 1,600 feet above the valley floor now lol... near the base area of Big Mountain resort.  We're about 5-7 degrees colder than the valley floor typically, except during inversions.  Even the valley floor got about 20 inches spaced out between Friday and Monday; it was an unusually large system.  The northern Flathead Valley averages 65-80" per year but where I am it's probably more like 150".  

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54 minutes ago, Mercurial said:

 

Yeah I'm 1,600 feet above the valley floor now lol... near the base area of Big Mountain resort.  We're about 5-7 degrees colder than the valley floor typically, except during inversions.  Even the valley floor got about 20 inches spaced out between Friday and Monday; it was an unusually large system.  The northern Flathead Valley averages 65-80" per year but where I am it's probably more like 150".  

I suspected you must have elevation to get such large snowfalls and avoid any days in the 40s. The lower elevations of Montana can get pretty mild, though that's mostly east of the mountains.

Elevation makes a particularly big difference in the semi-maritime climates like the Pacific NW. 5-7F colder is a lot for 1600ft.

Does snow ever really melt at your elevation in winter? Or does it just accumulate from November through March? What is the current depth?

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1 hour ago, nzucker said:

I suspected you must have elevation to get such large snowfalls and avoid any days in the 40s. The lower elevations of Montana can get pretty mild, though that's mostly east of the mountains.

Elevation makes a particularly big difference in the semi-maritime climates like the Pacific NW. 5-7F colder is a lot for 1600ft.

Does snow ever really melt at your elevation in winter? Or does it just accumulate from November through March? What is the current depth?

This is my first winter at this elevation, although I spent a lot of time here last winter too... snow doesn't seem to melt much until March, particularly once the snowpack starts to pack down.  This area is also very overcast in the winter (almost to the point of obscenity lol) and the sun angle is quite low at these latitudes as well, which probably helps with pack retention.  I'm guessing we will get above 40 some time in February, at least.  In a more normal winter, we'd have eclipsed 40 a couple times by now, but this is a top 5 cold winter so far.

 

On one hand, NW Montana doesn't really get chinooks, but on the other hand most our storms are warm Pacific storms, so sometimes we get rain in the middle of winter, and I think that's true even at my elevation although it's yet to occur this year.  We may get some light rain over the next couple days actually, mixed in with the snow.

 

Current snow depth is about 50".  

 

Also I should point out that the 5-7 degree difference only really applies during daylight hours and on days with good mixing... the valley floors are probably similarly cold at night, so the avg temp differential is probably more like 2-4.  

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Wow, 50", that's awesome.

I spent a summer living in St. Mary and working at the Park Cafe. We had snow mixed with rain on June 16th. It's a very cold climate, and Logan Pass still had 4-5' snowpack on July 4th. This year may be another slow melt given the climate we are in. 

The PAC NW has been the one region of the US having a colder than normal winter. I suspect the big trough means that storms have tracked further south than normal, so you haven't gotten those rainstorms that you've mentioned as you've stayed north of the mean storm track.

When does the snow usually melt completely there? April in the Flathead Valley and May up at your elevation? Does any survive the summer in shaded areas near the ski resort?

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Does anyone have experience converting digital photographs into a canvas? I'd like to expand, print, then hang a couple of my photographs for prosperity. I'm not 100% confident that they're worth the investment though (resolution, lighting, etc...). Here are 2/6 of my prospects :):

I'm not too fond of these 2 photos, but people seem to really like them.

fullsizeoutput_a.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_36.jpeg

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