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powderfreak

NNE Warm Season Thread

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9 minutes ago, tamarack said:

Shades of 2010, when the 13 weeks ending May 7 featured just 13 with BN temps and that quarter year ran nearly +8°, causing my apple trees to be in full bloom that early.  Then May 11-13 had minima of 22,26,25, not only killing every blossom but also toasting all the ash and oak leaves plus some (usually hardy) sugar maple.  Most damaging late freeze I've seen.

I remember that.  The oak leaves even got it.

Meanwhile 2pm.   30F Moderate snow Mt Washington   43.5F here moderate rain

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Just now, wxeyeNH said:

I remember that.  The oak leaves even got it.

Meanwhile 2pm.   30F Moderate snow Mt Washington   43.5F here moderate rain

Had a sprinkle an hour back here in Augusta, but radar says some more significant stuff is now arriving.  Temp near 50 and probably about to slide down a few. 

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Yesterday took the kids swimming to a local lake--pretty shallow so water temp was somewhat tolerable--beautiful day.  

Today, heat blasting in the house and car mid afternoon--45F with gusty E/SE winds blowing rain and leaf debris sideways...lucked out with those 3 holiday weekend days.

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Tough, nasty day for working outdoors.  Thoroughly soaked, and the chill landed like punch in the gut.  0.75 inches of rain, now sitting at 47°F.  Thankfully, this is short term.

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0.82" +RA and 43F

This has to be in the top 3 all time for worst afternoons for this time of year.

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Although this may be worse...frozen at CON on 5/26.

CON,1967-05-26 12:00,KCON 261200Z 01010KT 10SM -RA OVC/// 05/01 A//// RMK SLP119 P0005 T00500011
CON,1967-05-26 15:00,KCON 261500Z 01012KT 8SM -RA OVC/// 05/02 A//// RMK SLP126 P0005 T00500017
CON,1967-05-26 18:00,KCON 261800Z 35011KT 5SM -RAPL OVC/// 05/02 A//// RMK SLP132 P0005 T00500017
CON,1967-05-26 21:00,KCON 262100Z 36010KT 10SM -RA SCT/// OVC/// 06/03 A//// RMK SLP139 P0001 T00610028

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As I was leaving the gym, off to west there was one small open spot in the clouds. Judging by the direction, it looked to be just about right over PF’s head. Otherwise pure misery mist and the car thermo bottomed out at 41f on the way home. 

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0.83 inches of rain yesterday.

As miserable as yesterday was, I'll take this weather over last year's just about any time.  For comparison:

April 2018, 4.46 inches
May 2018: 1.07 inches, BTV temp departure: +5.9F

April 2019: 4.71 inches
May 2019: 4.90 inches, BTV temp departure: -1.8F
 

The dry and warm 2018 led into an extended drought, with my area receiving only 3 inches of rain in June and again in July, and only 2.66 inches in August.  That was rough.

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14 hours ago, dendrite said:

Although this may be worse...frozen at CON on 5/26.

CON,1967-05-26 12:00,KCON 261200Z 01010KT 10SM -RA OVC/// 05/01 A//// RMK SLP119 P0005 T00500011
CON,1967-05-26 15:00,KCON 261500Z 01012KT 8SM -RA OVC/// 05/02 A//// RMK SLP126 P0005 T00500017
CON,1967-05-26 18:00,KCON 261800Z 35011KT 5SM -RAPL OVC/// 05/02 A//// RMK SLP132 P0005 T00500017
CON,1967-05-26 21:00,KCON 262100Z 36010KT 10SM -RA SCT/// OVC/// 06/03 A//// RMK SLP139 P0001 T00610028

Recall well that event, though it was mainly on the 25th in NNJ - not all that much RA but strong winds taking down newly leafed-out trees and low 40s.  High at NYC was 46, about 30° below the norm for the date.  And the snowy cold winter of 1960-61 also had a near-solstice surprise - on 5/27 we had cold RA at low 40s and a few pingers.

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On ‎5‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 10:51 AM, powderfreak said:

The local Stowe 0.2SW CoCoRAHS station in the lower village is at 7.75" on the month, should make 8" total by the time the month ends.

PF, I just checked the CoCoRaHS precipitation totals for the state as of this morning’s reports, and seven sites (including Stowe 0.2 SW) have now passed the 8” mark.  Our lawn has definitely been loving this weather as it wakes up from its winter slumber.

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I am envious of your cool weather as we bake under the death ridge. I miss it up there for sure. I did escape to the mountains for a day in NC though and it was nice to hang out at 6,000ft for a bit where it was much cooler (low 60's).

61239207_10106237015946959_7243178559034

61507911_10106237016046759_1909560365520

61481851_10106237016176499_2623037446513

61239037_10106237023891039_6977873756236

61251431_10106237016705439_8635699040496

 

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23 hours ago, eyewall said:

I am envious of your cool weather as we bake under the death ridge. I miss it up there for sure.

It’s nice to see some eyewall pictures in the thread – we certainly miss your reports and all your great photos.  I was watching TWC the other morning and heard about the day after day of 90s F in the southeast and realized how lucky we were to be out of that up here.  Despite the faux HHH trolling by the usual suspects in the main threads, I think most folks around here appreciate the fairly cool weather we typically get throughout the summer, especially in NNE.

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May totals: Trace Snow/8.22” L.E.

May is over, so I’ve added the month’s precipitation totals above.  There was no accumulating snow, but we did have some mix in during that mid-month snowstorm, so that put us at a trace.  Total liquid was roughly three inches above average, and the generally cool, showery regime has been very good for the lawn.

We’ve never had snow down at our location in June that I’ve seen, so I typically make June 1st the end of the snowfall season for our site.

Season snowfall ended at 193.2”, which was above average, but certainly not a record.  With a strong start, 2018-2019 held the lead on cumulative snowfall at the beginning of the season after more than three feet of snow in October and November.  It generally hung with the top dogs throughout the season, but it could never quite pull ahead and wound up third in terms of snowfall over roughly the past decade.

This season did certainly have some claims to fame though.  It was very strong with respect to snowpack and total number of storms.  It had the highest SDD of any season, and topped my data set with 64 accumulating winter storms, 6 more than I’d seen in any season before.  As time permits, I’ll put some analyses of the data here in the thread for archiving, analysis, off-season discussion, etc.

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On 5/30/2019 at 9:13 AM, eyewall said:

I am envious of your cool weather as we bake under the death ridge. I miss it up there for sure. I did escape to the mountains for a day in NC though and it was nice to hang out at 6,000ft for a bit where it was much cooler (low 60's).

61239207_10106237015946959_7243178559034

61507911_10106237016046759_1909560365520

61481851_10106237016176499_2623037446513

61239037_10106237023891039_6977873756236

61251431_10106237016705439_8635699040496

 

 

Wow, gorgeous mountains! 

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22 hours ago, J.Spin said:

May totals: Trace Snow/8.22” L.E.

May is over, so I’ve added the month’s precipitation totals above.  There was no accumulating snow, but we did have some mix in during that mid-month snowstorm, so that put us at a trace.  Total liquid was roughly three inches above average, and the generally cool, showery regime has been very good for the lawn.

We’ve never had snow down at our location in June that I’ve seen, so I typically make June 1st the end of the snowfall season for our site.

Season snowfall ended at 193.2”, which was above average, but certainly not a record.  With a strong start, 2018-2019 held the lead on cumulative snowfall at the beginning of the season after more than three feet of snow in October and November.  It generally hung with the top dogs throughout the season, but it could never quite pull ahead and wound up third in terms of snowfall over roughly the past decade.

This season did certainly have some claims to fame though.  It was very strong with respect to snowpack and total number of storms.  It had the highest SDD of any season, and topped my data set with 64 accumulating winter storms, 6 more than I’d seen in any season before.  As time permits, I’ll put some analyses of the data here in the thread for archiving, analysis, off-season discussion, etc.

Closest I've come to having measurable in June was 6/9/1980, when flurries turned our grass to lime-green.  If we'd been at 970' in the back settlement (moved there 9/81) instead of in town at 530', we'd probably have had an inch or so, based on what co-workers had to contend with west of Allagash.

This past winter had continuous 1"= cover from Nov. 10 thru April 20, total of 162 days.  Had one day with an inch in October for 163 total, both numbers tops here by about 2 weeks.  Number 2 for SDDs with 3,443, over 600 above #3 but well back of the 3,835 in 07-08.  Top depth was 41" on 3/10, 7th winter reaching 40" and 6th in the past 12 years (after having only 00-01 reach the mark in my first 9 winters here.)

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13 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

20 acre landslide in the Cottonbrook area of Stowe.  Over 9" of rain since May 1st.  Impacting the popular recreation area off Nebraska Valley road.  Cottonbrook Road closed. 

https://www.wcax.com/content/news/Major-landslide-damages-Mt-Mansfield-State-Forest-trail-510776551.html

IMG_3434.JPG.9fb5435ce31e0e192104f438e4d0c05b.JPG

Could be a major impact to snowmobile trails etc in the area.  Cotton Brook is a main access point to a pretty extensive trail network.  You can access them from the Little River/Waterbury side but it is still a big blow.

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23 hours ago, J.Spin said:

As time permits, I’ll put some analyses of the data here in the thread for archiving, analysis, off-season discussion, etc.

Below I’ve got the list of this season’s accumulating winter storms that affected our site, along with a bit of analysis.

As noted in my earlier post, being affected by 64 storms makes this season the highest in that category, easily surpassing 2013-2014, which previously held the record with 58 storms.

16 of the storms affecting our site were named storms via TWC methodology, and those are indicated in the description section of the table.

In terms of large storm occurrence, on the lower (6-10”) and higher (18”+) end of the spectrum, the frequency was fairly typical, but it trended above average a bit in the middle (10-15”) range.  The number of storms in each category this season is listed below, with averages following in parentheses.

6”+: 7 (7)

10”+: 5 (4)

12”+: 5 (3)

15”+: 3 (2)

18”+: 1 (1)

20”+: 1 (1)

14APR19A.jpg

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Using your event steps (and adding 8"-ers), here's 21 winters' worth.

Amount    Freq.%   Avg    18-19    Max; winter
6"             95%      4.6       4         9; 07-08
8"             95%      3.1       2         6, 07-08 & 13-14
10"           76%      1.9       2         5; 13-14
12"           67%      1.3       0         4; 00-01
15"           43%      0.8       0         3; 00-01 & 16-17
18"           38%      0.4       0         2; 16-17
20"           24%      0.3       0         2; 16-17

Average for winter's largest:  14.97"

Edit:  Correction of previous post - only 6 winters reached 40", with 5 coming in 07-08 on.
 

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58 minutes ago, tamarack said:

This past winter had continuous 1"= cover from Nov. 10 thru April 20, total of 162 days.  Had one day with an inch in October for 163 total, both numbers tops here by about 2 weeks.  Number 2 for SDDs with 3,443, over 600 above #3 but well back of the 3,835 in 07-08.  Top depth was 41" on 3/10, 7th winter reaching 40" and 6th in the past 12 years (after having only 00-01 reach the mark in my first 9 winters here.)

I do see that 1” snow cover metric used a lot, but I’ve never been a big fan of it because I find it too arbitrary – especially in the spring with the heterogeneous nature of the melting.  It feels like a bit of a misrepresentation when the site of one’s stake has melted to zero, but half the yard still has 6 to 12 inches of snow in it.  It’s even more frustrating and artificial when the stake itself is the only reason that spot has melted out, such as when the heat absorbed by the stake has melted out a two-foot circle of snow in its immediate vicinity, while substantial snowpack remains all around it.  Even at the Mt. Mansfield Stake, in its highly sheltered location out of the sun, this appears to be a bit of an issue as PF noted in his post on Sunday.

I did read in the CoCoRaHS literature that when you’ve got disparate coverage throughout your property/observations area, you’re supposed to make an effort to estimate an average depth and report that.  That seems like a very logical (albeit hard to quality control) approach.  There’s an issue I have with the averaging technique though.  All winter long while we’ve got this deep snow cover, most of us aren’t roaming around our property measuring total snow depth in numerous spots and getting an average.  We’re just reporting the depth at our main stake, which is hopefully in a reasonably representative spot.  The part I find challenging is in the spring, when the snow melts out at the stake and one has to potentially make a transition to the averaging technique.  What I observe typically happening is that the snow at my stake slowly dwindles in the spring, and I report those depths, and eventually the depth there gets to zero.  If I suddenly switch to the averaging method at that point, say with a foot of snow in half of the yard, and none in the other half, I report six inches of depth.  So, my snow depth report would go from zero one day, to six inches the following day.  That clearly seems to be a poor representation of what’s happening to have the snowpack report suddenly jump up like that.

Here’s what I’ve done to address the challenges in some of the snowpack depth reporting that I’ve encountered.  As soon as I see that the snow is melting out prematurely in the immediate vicinity of my stake relative to the surrounding snowpack in the spring, I start reporting the depth outside the sphere of influence of the stake, still using the stake as reasonable point of reference.  I then report that depth in the region around stake.  If that starts to break into patches I’ll do some averaging with manual ruler/yardstick measurements of that region, since at that point the snowpack is typically malleable and it’s very easy to do manual measurements.  Finally, when all the snowpack in the general region of the stake (this may be within a diameter of 20, 30, or 40 feet from the stake depending on how the snowpack broke up) is gone, but snowpack remains in the yard, I simply report that snowpack is at a trace.  The actual area covered by snowpack is small enough at that point that it won’t have a huge impact on organizations using the data to estimate water in the snowpack for hydro concerns, and the data don’t get a sudden spike as it would if I was to start averaging in new areas.

With the issues associated with measurement at the stake (especially at the fringes of the season) the snowpack “time” metric I like to use instead of days with 1” or greater snowpack is “days with continuous snowpack”.  I restrict it to just my property, so there is some arbitrary component there, but I figure an acre is a reasonable chunk of snowpack reporting area to be representative.  I find that easy to quantify because there’s either snow present at observations time somewhere in that geographical area or there isn’t, and our driveway gets plenty of sun so none of the potential plow piles ever wind up being the last spot with snow.  This parameter isn’t really relevant for CoCoRaHS and hydro organizations, but they’ve got my daily snow depth reports for their purposes.  I like this “continuous snowpack” parameter because it is extremely rare for our site to melt out once the snowpack is in place, so it gives a good sense of the snowpack duration over the season.

So this season’s period of continuous snowpack was November 10th though April 21st, a duration of 163 days, which is the longest I’ve recorded at our site by about a week (vs. 2013-2014).  There were three additional days with snow coverage at CoCoRaHS reporting time that lie outside that continuous snowpack stretch.  So that’s 166 days with some sort of coverage, but that includes any detectable coverage, no necessarily reaching the 1” threshold.

I am putting together a new stake setup this off season that will be entirely white (aside from the depth numbering) and as thin as possible (1.5-2” cylinder) to hopefully minimize the snowpack melting effects that I see with my current stake.  I’m designing it in the format I see PF use for his daily measurement boards on the mountain, with a pole coming out of the center of board.  I like this setup because you can just put it down and you immediately gave a nice flat surface below the stake instead of grass etc.

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35 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

I do see that 1” snow cover metric used a lot, but I’ve never been a big fan of it because I find it too arbitrary –

Measuring snow - storm totals or pack - will always somewhat arbitrary due to the nature of the material.  The difference at my stake between total and consecutive days with 1"+ is but 5", 122" vs 117", and in 10 of 21 winters the difference has ranged zero to 2 days.  And it's not always related to total snowfall - 2002-03 with its 67.8" but lots of sustained cold had 1"+ for 4 days longer than 2007-08 with 142.3" snowfall.  Unless there's major late-winter thaws like 2010 and 2012, the #1 key to long-duration cover is November snow followed by cold.  Only in 3 of 21 winters, 02-03, 14-15 and last winter, has cover been maintained from November into the heart of winter.  Other years with long-duration cover (07-08, 13-14) benefitted from snows in the first few days of December.

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22 hours ago, tamarack said:

 Unless there's major late-winter thaws like 2010 and 2012, the #1 key to long-duration cover is November snow followed by cold.  Only in 3 of 21 winters, 02-03, 14-15 and last winter, has cover been maintained from November into the heart of winter.  Other years with long-duration cover (07-08, 13-14) benefitted from snows in the first few days of December.

Indeed, it’s got to stay cold to help that November snowpack hold on down in the valleys.  The mean start date for continuous snowpack our site is at the beginning of December, but starting in November isn’t uncommon.  Checking my data I see a November start in 5 of the 13 seasons in my records, so the occurrence has been running a bit under 40% thus far. 

Taking a look at the trends in the snowpack depths I see in my data, it looks like mid-December is roughly that “point of no return” where if there’s any sort of snowpack down, it’s just not going to go away very easily until spring.  At our latitude, with the daylight and temperatures that time of year, aided by the lack of sunlight, additional clouds, moisture, and warmth intrusion protection imparted by the mountains, it’s just very hard to dislodge the snow that gets on the ground by that point.  The latest snowpack start date I’ve seen in my data is December 27th, which was in that exceedingly aberrant 2015-2016 season.  For late starts like that, it really seems like you have to have almost no snow throughout December, because even a modest amount by mid-month tends to stick around.

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23 hours ago, tamarack said:

Using your event steps (and adding 8"-ers), here's 21 winters' worth.

Amount    Freq.%   Avg    18-19    Max; winter
6"             95%      4.6       4         9; 07-08
8"             95%      3.1       2         6, 07-08 & 13-14
10"           76%      1.9       2         5; 13-14
12"           67%      1.3       0         4; 00-01
15"           43%      0.8       0         3; 00-01 & 16-17
18"           38%      0.4       0         2; 16-17
20"           24%      0.3       0         2; 16-17

Nice - as you can imagine, I rounded the averages in my data to the nearest whole number vs. leaving in the Decimal.  They just happen to all be within a tenth or two of whole numbers right now so it was an easy choice for presenting the data.

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11 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

Indeed, it’s got to stay cold to help that November snowpack hold on down in the valleys.  The mean start date for continuous snowpack our site is at the beginning of December, but starting in November isn’t uncommon.  Checking my data I see a November start in 5 of the 13 seasons in my records, so the occurrence has been running a bit under 40% thus far. 

Taking a look at the trends in the snowpack depths I see in my data, it looks like mid-December is roughly that “point of no return” where if there’s any sort of snowpack down, it’s just not going to go away very easily until spring.  At our latitude, with the daylight and temperatures that time of year, aided by the lack of sunlight, additional clouds, moisture, and warmth intrusion protection imparted by the mountains, it’s just very hard to dislodge the snow that gets on the ground by that point.  The latest snowpack start date I’ve seen in my data is December 27th, which was of in that exceedingly aberrant 2015-2016 season.  For late starts like that, it really seems like you have to have almost no snow throughout December, because even a modest amount by mid-month tends to stick around.

Latest I've seen decent cover (more than 1") disappear here was 12/17/2000, when 2.8" RA at 40s-50s took out 5" snow.  In Gardiner the massive mid-January thaw in 1995 removed the last of the 12" that had fallen on the 2nd, leading to a week-plus of bare ground.  Not at all common. 

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