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powderfreak

NNE Warm Season Thread

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6 minutes ago, weatherwiz said:

Any thoughts on potential for extremely dense fog at PWM tomorrow night? 

It's possible for some dense fog as the warm front stays hung up along the coast. You don't need to advect very high dewpoints into our area before fog forms this time of year (water temps still in the low 50s). 

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On ‎6‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 10:58 AM, tamarack said:

Average last day of continuous 1"+:  April 6,  Median 4/8.

For that one, I simply do last date of continuous snowpack without the 1” qualifier, in line with the methodology I discussed in my previous post, but with that system the mean date is 4/15, the median is 4/20, and the S.D. is 11 days.

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1 minute ago, OceanStWx said:

It's possible for some dense fog as the warm front stays hung up along the coast. You don't need to advect very high dewpoints into our area before fog forms this time of year (water temps still in the low 50s). 

both the GFS/NAM soundings were saturated below the inversion. My only question was with winds...could winds be too strong. But wouldn't winds really be more of a factor with regards to radiation fog than advection fog? I doubt you'll really be mixing any drier air from aloft...if anything you're probably mixing air which is more moist. 

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Just now, weatherwiz said:

both the GFS/NAM soundings were saturated below the inversion. My only question was with winds...could winds be too strong. But wouldn't winds really be more of a factor with regards to radiation fog than advection fog? I doubt you'll really be mixing any drier air from aloft...if anything you're probably mixing air which is more moist. 

Advection fog can feature pretty strong winds. Sometimes a breeze actually helps the fog form. Convergence near the coast actually creates a subtle amount of lift to cool the air to saturation. Typically we don't have very strong winds with this type of advection fog though. 

Seeing moisture actually increase with height is definitely a check mark for favorable. 

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10 minutes ago, OceanStWx said:

Advection fog can feature pretty strong winds. Sometimes a breeze actually helps the fog form. Convergence near the coast actually creates a subtle amount of lift to cool the air to saturation. Typically we don't have very strong winds with this type of advection fog though. 

Seeing moisture actually increase with height is definitely a check mark for favorable. 

I wish I was more confident with forecasting fog. I never really cared about fog before so never done much with forecasting it, but with fog being one of the most impactful weather events to aviation I'm trying to gather more confidence. It's not very easy b/c I'm looking like 36 hours out and then you have the stupid biases of the NAM being too moist and the GFS being too dry. I think advection fog though is a bit easier to detect further out but it's the radiation fog that's not very easy...and not knowing the geographical layout of locations. 

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4 minutes ago, weatherwiz said:

I wish I was more confident with forecasting fog. I never really cared about fog before so never done much with forecasting it, but with fog being one of the most impactful weather events to aviation I'm trying to gather more confidence. It's not very easy b/c I'm looking like 36 hours out and then you have the stupid biases of the NAM being too moist and the GFS being too dry. I think advection fog though is a bit easier to detect further out but it's the radiation fog that's not very easy...and not knowing the geographical layout of locations. 

I don't know, I hate advection fog. It's so fickle. Patterns that look great will sometimes bust, and patterns that look meh will sock in. Radiation fog is mostly pattern recognition and persistence (once you know the terrain well enough). 

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20 minutes ago, OceanStWx said:

I don't know, I hate advection fog. It's so fickle. Patterns that look great will sometimes bust, and patterns that look meh will sock in. Radiation fog is mostly pattern recognition and persistence (once you know the terrain well enough). 

for radiation fog what type of tools are useful for analyzing soil moisture? 

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11 minutes ago, weatherwiz said:

for radiation fog what type of tools are useful for analyzing soil moisture? 

I don't really get that deep into the weeds beyond if the last few days have been rainy.

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55 minutes ago, OceanStWx said:

I don't really get that deep into the weeds beyond if the last few days have been rainy.

bullseye 

19061403_1206.gif

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I’ve generated this season’s graph of monthly snowfall for our site.

  • January immediately jumps out of course – the snowfall was, not surprisingly, above average, and it was certainly a notable contributor to the overall above average snowfall for the season.  What’s not obvious from the graph is that it was the first above average January for snowfall here in eight seasons.  So, I guess one could say we were due for a recovery at some point.

  • Another interesting point of note is that snowfall in November was higher than it was in December, February, or March.  That’s certainly not the norm.  It speaks to the strong November we had, but it also indicates that snowfall wasn’t quite there in those other months.  March was actually about average, but December and February, certainly two of our strongest snowfall months here, had surprisingly low snowfall for such a strong season.

14APR19B.jpg

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1 hour ago, J.Spin said:

I’ve generated this season’s graph of monthly snowfall for our site.

  • January immediately jumps out of course – the snowfall was, not surprisingly, above average, and it was certainly a notable contributor to the overall above average snowfall for the season.  What’s not obvious from the graph is that it was the first above average January for snowfall here in eight seasons.  So, I guess one could say we were due for a recovery at some point.

  • Another interesting point of note is that snowfall in November was higher than it was in December, February, or March.  That’s certainly not the norm.  It speaks to the strong November we had, but it also indicates that snowfall wasn’t quite there in those other months.  March was actually about average, but December and February, certainly two of our strongest snowfall months here, had surprisingly low snowfall for such a strong season.

14APR19B.jpg

Nice job Jay, January does stand out but that is a solid 5 mos of snow and 7 overall with the bookends of Oct and April.

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11 hours ago, dryslot said:

Nice job Jay, January does stand out but that is a solid 5 mos of snow and 7 overall with the bookends of Oct and April.

Indeed, that was a really solid stretch of snow.  The fact that the snowfall was backed up by such an impressive snowpack made it even more notable.  As Tamarack and I have been discussing, it was a really good winter for snowpack, with the coverage running 163 continuous days here.  That’s even more than 5 months.  I’ll have to put together some graphics in that area at some point

Actually, as I was writing that I realized that I hadn’t even thought about the grading thing yet, but the winter is likely to be somewhere in the “A” range when all is said and done.  It’s not immediately a slam dunk because we certainly did have our share of mixed storms, rain etc., but factoring in almost 200” of snow, 5 to 6 months of continuous snowpack that contained over 10” of liquid in it at one point, and being hit by 64 storms has to push the score pretty high.

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5 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

Indeed, that was a really solid stretch of snow.  The fact that the snowfall was backed up by such an impressive snowpack made it even more notable.  As Tamarack and I have been discussing, it was a really good winter for snowpack, with the coverage running 163 continuous days here.  That’s even more than 5 months.  I’ll have to put together some graphics in that area at some point

Actually, as I was writing that I realized that I hadn’t even thought about the grading thing yet, but the winter is likely to be somewhere in the “A” range when all is said and done.  It’s not immediately a slam dunk because we certainly did have our share of mixed storms, rain etc., but factoring in almost 200” of snow, 5 to 6 months of continuous snowpack that contained over 10” of liquid in it at one point, and being hit by 64 storms has to push the score pretty high.

That is impressive and I Don”t know how you could possibly not give it an A, I know your area sits in a great spot for continuous snows and retention but this past season sounds like it’s one that is out of the norm.

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33 minutes ago, dryslot said:

That is impressive and I Don”t know how you could possibly not give it an A, I know your area sits in a great spot for continuous snows and retention but this past season sounds like it’s one that is out of the norm.

I honestly can’t see anything less than something in the A range either.  I still like to leave the option open though because I don’t track the rain events that don’t give any accumulation, so I don’t have a great record of those down periods. (The skiing is usually poorer at that point, so it’s a chance to check out and get other stuff done anyway)

A time that does come to mind though is a long stretch around the holiday period.  Between December 18th and January 5th I skied once.  The lack of skiing wasn’t due to family/personal/work obligations or anything like that, it had to be due to questionable snow conditions.  That’s 17 days, more than half a month, with just a single day of skiing, and it spans the entire holiday break when I was off from work.  As I look back at my report from December 27th, it actually took four storms (they were small) to get the snow back to the point where I considered it worth venturing out.  The final third of December had just a half foot of snow at our site, which is definitely lean for our area.  It’s not as if the snowpack disappeared or anything, but I’m sure it had picked up a serious crust or something.

For me, snowfall is the biggest factor in grading, and with two other seasons already having more snowfall than this past one, that kind of puts an A+ off the table.  Periods like the one above certainly put a chink in the armor as well.  Snowpack does matter though, and it was so good (and so early) this season that it’s hard to see the grade going below a straight A.

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1 hour ago, dryslot said:

That is impressive and I Don”t know how you could possibly not give it an A, I know your area sits in a great spot for continuous snows and retention but this past season sounds like it’s one that is out of the norm.

From a sledding standpoint, it would be hard to find a better one.  Pretty continuous riding for 3 months.  I missed an early weekend because we had some rain that froze everything rock solid and then I missed a weekend because of a big storm with lots of wind with big drifts and downed trees/limbs.  For that one, I wanted to let the groomers do their thing.  I like to ride not dig out a 600lb sled every mile or two.  I put on 1500 miles riding only on weekends.  We never really went on the weeknight local 30-40 mile loops from the house like we usually do.  It was a great season. 

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6 minutes ago, mreaves said:

From a sledding standpoint, it would be hard to find a better one.  Pretty continuous riding for 3 months.  I missed an early weekend because we had some rain that froze everything rock solid and then I missed a weekend because of a big storm with lots of wind with big drifts and downed trees/limbs.  For that one, I wanted to let the groomers do their thing.  I like to ride not dig out a 600lb sled every mile or two.  I put on 1500 miles riding only on weekends.  We never really went on the weeknight local 30-40 mile loops from the house like we usually do.  It was a great season. 

Not as fortunate here as over your way, We had a lot of glop storms and the retention was not very good, But if i went 20 miles NW it was phenomenal so we traveled to ride most of this winter, It would be hard for me here to go above a C+ maybe a B- grade, I heavily weigh in pack retention but that's just me when i'm grading a winter.

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On ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 4:46 PM, powderfreak said:

I'll definitely admit that this is definitely taking on the characteristics of a memorable season with the epic November snows, December was bad but January has been incredible again.

I was looking at one of my reports and followed a link to the NNE thread, eventually running into the post above from PF.  You can see from PF’s comment why I was just a bit hesitant to immediately lock in a grade of “A” for the season.  PF is pretty objective, so when he says that December was “bad”, that certainly gives one pause.  It can be tough to think back and factor in some of those slower periods from early in the season, especially when the overall tenor was decent, but it shows how helpful the NNE thread can be in an archival sense.

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6 hours ago, dryslot said:

That is impressive and I Don”t know how you could possibly not give it an A, I know your area sits in a great spot for continuous snows and retention but this past season sounds like it’s one that is out of the norm.

Yeah it would be hard to go with anything lower than A/A-.  I'd save A+ for a similar winter but with a little more snow and less mixed events and/or rain, especially around the Xmas/New Years holiday period.  

To me it was frequent snows (active pattern) even if just 2-3" dustings mixed with several good warning level events (several 1"+ QPF snows) and an incredible snowpack season.  My lawn was covered November 12th and that was it for grass until April.  Even up here, that's hard to do without even one mid-winter melt out.

I really got an appreciation for a big November though.  The winter seems so much longer the winter season when you've already had 2-3 weeks of snow cover and winter weather by December 1st.  So much different than waiting till like December 15-25 to get things rolling.  

Last year it even started in mid-October with well below normal temps and snowfall...like cold enough for light snow to accumulate during the day in October.  I forget when I met up with Oceanstwx for a beer and all the SPC guys were in town from Oklahoma for the severe weather conference, but those SPC guys were going nuts because it was snowing and sticking in October.  

The winter just felt really long when you had it start solidly in October/early November and continue from there.  By Christmas it had been 6 weeks of constant snow cover and a solid 8 weeks since it got cold and started snowing.  I'll remember how much of a difference that makes in the overall "feel" of a winter.  

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2 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Yeah it would be hard to go with anything lower than A/A-.  I'd save A+ for a similar winter but with a little more snow and less mixed events and/or rain, especially around the Xmas/New Years holiday period.  

To me it was frequent snows (active pattern) even if just 2-3" dustings mixed with several good warning level events (several 1"+ QPF snows) and an incredible snowpack season.  My lawn was covered November 12th and that was it for grass until April.  Even up here, that's hard to do without even one mid-winter melt out.

I really got an appreciation for a big November though.  The winter seems so much longer the winter season when you've already had 2-3 weeks of snow cover and winter weather by December 1st.  So much different than waiting till like December 15-25 to get things rolling.  

Last year it even started in mid-October with well below normal temps and snowfall...like cold enough for light snow to accumulate during the day in October.  I forget when I met up with Oceanstwx for a beer and all the SPC guys were in town from Oklahoma for the severe weather conference, but those SPC guys were going nuts because it was snowing and sticking in October.  

The winter just felt really long when you had it start solidly in October/early November and continue from there.  By Christmas it had been 6 weeks of constant snow cover and a solid 8 weeks since it got cold and started snowing.  I'll remember how much of a difference that makes in the overall "feel" of a winter.  

I mean you figure 12 mos makes up a year and there was accumulated snow on the ground for 7 of them, And longer with retention, That in itself is pretty impressive.

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A drone shot by @_j_staff on instagram of the Stowe landslide that occurred in the Mount Mansfield state forest in the southwest side of town. 

Pretty good sized area of earth that decided to give way back in early June.

MtitirL.jpg

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16 hours ago, powderfreak said:

Yeah it would be hard to go with anything lower than A/A-.  I'd save A+ for a similar winter but with a little more snow and less mixed events and/or rain, especially around the Xmas/New Years holiday period.  

That’s absolutely my thinking.  This past season was certainly strong on total snowfall, but even in my archive of only 13 seasons, it still comes in third.  The stats speak to it being a notch down from the very top as well – it’s right at 1 S.D. above the mean, putting it in the top 15-20% of seasons, but certainly not top 5-10%.  A strong December or February would likely have pushed it into that upper echelon.

So it’s probably in that A/A- range with respect to snowfall, but I’d say it’s got to get that bump to a straight A because it now leads my stats in so many snow-related categories, and in some cases by a large margin:

  • Snow-Depth Days (SDD) blew every other season out of the water and was a very impressive 1.75 S.D. above the mean.  That puts it in the top 4-5% of seasons for that parameter.

  • The start of the continuous winter snowpack on November 10th was again tops in the database and 1.67 S.D. ahead of the mean.  That puts the season in the top 4-5% of seasons for that parameter as well.

  • The duration of the snowpack at 163 days was tops in the data set and 1.4 S.D. above the mean, putting it in the top 10% of seasons.

  • The 64 accumulating winter storms we had here this past season easily puts it easily in first place.  That’s 1.72 S.D. above the mean and means it’s in the top 4-5% of seasons.

  • I recorded 114 days with a trace or more of snowfall this season.  I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising with the high number of storms we had, but I felt like we’ve had “snow-globier” winters, so it wasn’t immediately obvious to me.  In any case, this season was well in first place for that parameter, 1.51 S.D. above the mean and in the top 10% of winters.

So despite being third place with respect to overall snowfall, this season topped the stats in a number of related categories, and it’s hard to not give it the bump to the straight A.

I agree, especially if snowfall, the holiday season, and occurrence of mixed precipitation systems are factored in, that this season shouldn’t get to the A+ level.  I’m guessing A+ would be something like 2000-2001?  I know it was pretty solid from living it and skiing it and seeing the Mansfield snowpack data for the season (green trace in the plot below), even if I wasn’t tracking the winter weather here or paying nearly as close attention to it as I do now.  I’m assuming 1968-1969 would also qualify?  I wasn’t alive then, but I’ve heard great things and the Mansfield depth plot (orange trace in the plot below) sort of speaks for itself.  At least at our site, 2007-2008 would probably get some consideration for the A+ category because it tops all seasons for snowfall and broke the 200” barrier here.  Its Mansfield snowpack data (red trace in the plot below) certainly doesn’t crush the others, but, I seem to recall it being very consistent with the snowfall and we were right in the storm track, even if we did get some mixed events.  That consistency I remember, as well as a strong December (almost 70” of snow here) and holiday season sort of give it a bit of consideration for me.

14APR19C.jpg

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51 minutes ago, wxeyeNH said:

Wasn't sure if the rain would make it up to me today.   It shifted north enough to just included me in steady light rain.

Cool, low 60's, light rainy day.  Not great for 1000's of motorcycle's heading back south from CNH Lakes Region.

Beautiful up here with sun now.  About to head out on a hike after the Farmers Market this morning...turning into a real nice day.  

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18 hours ago, powderfreak said:

You might be able to make a few turns down the rotting snowmaking pile along the treeline on Standard below Crossover.

oeE5u7A.jpg

That’s impressive considering we’re just about at the solstice, and that’s not even a high elevation spot.  You can even see how the grasses in the area are just waking up as the snow melts back.

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On 6/16/2019 at 3:14 PM, J.Spin said:

That’s impressive considering we’re just about at the solstice, and that’s not even a high elevation spot.  You can even see how the grasses in the area are just waking up as the snow melts back.

It is funny how you can tell now where the snow was the last to melt.  Even up higher on the mountain you'll come across some area where the hobblebush doesn't even have buds on them, while the ones 15 feet away are fully green... and you know there was a giant drift or rotting pile of snow that just melted within the last week or two there.

This shot from over at Spruce shows where all the snow piles have melted over the past couple weeks...any ground that's not green right now, is recently melted out ground.

e5GsAHH.jpg

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On ‎6‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 9:47 AM, J.Spin said:

Getting back to the post-winter data analysis, I do track the seasonal maximum snowpack depth.  For our site during my period of record it’s got a mean of 27.1”, a median of 26.0”, and 8.4” is the S.D.  That seems fairly similar to the values you reported, although I suspect the water content in the snowpack on those days would be higher at your site.  Often the peak snowpack depth at our site each season will be attained from being topped off by some dry upslope snow on the back side of a storm cycle.

This year I added the dates for when the max snowpack depth occurred each season, and they range from as early as 12/30 (19.0”) in the 2012-2013 season to as late as 3/16 (29.5”) in the 2016-2017 season.  It’s amazing to the think of peak snowpack depth happening in December, but checking that season, December was the snowiest month.  It was only modestly above average with 49.5” of snow, but I see that January and February were both notably below average with roughly that same amount (53.3”) combined.  March snowfall was roughly average at 30.8”, but it just wasn’t enough to push the snowpack past that December peak.

On vacation June 11-18, so delayed in responding.  
My earliest date for peak depth is Jan. 20, 2010 and latest in March 31, 2001.  That's probably also the latest for Farmington, as that month was their snowiest for any month not starting with "F", and ended with 18" (19 at my place) on 30-31.  However, even without looking I'm confident their earliest season peak came in 2003-04, when the Dec. 6-7 blizzard was measured at 40", a total I find suspicious because nearby sites came in near 2 feet.  I got to our church (1.5 miles SE from the co-op site and about 100' higher) within 2 hours of the storm's end and the snow there looked about like to 24" I'd measured.  30" I could swallow; 40" sounds like a drift (and the wind made lots.)  All that said, the co-op reported 40" depth on the 7th and never got near 30 after the Dec. 11 rain pounded down the pack. 

I can tolerate mosquito bites, and even after the initial pain of a horse/deer fly, but black fly bites I think I have a special reaction to. They itch like crazy. To the point I'd consider severing the limb than go on. 

Mosquitos and black flies can be impeded by repellents, though in June 1996 the latter were so awful that even Ben's 100 barely worked for one hour.  The only ways to avoid deerflies are to stay inside or remain under water (though I've heard that flaming kerosene works.)  In addition, deerflies can travel faster that I can run, faster even that I could run at age 18. Skeeters use a delicate "straw" to take their meal, black flies scratch a little hole and lick the flow, but it feels like deerflies carve off a steak and fly a way with it.  The nearest I ever came to being chased out of the woods was during a hot July day in NW-most Maine - had hundreds of flies buzzing around, most being similar-size harmless critters I call sweat-lickers, but impossible to distinguish from the knife-carrying deerflies until it was too late.

 

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 10:49 AM, OceanStWx said:

I don't know, I hate advection fog. It's so fickle. Patterns that look great will sometimes bust, and patterns that look meh will sock in. Radiation fog is mostly pattern recognition and persistence (once you know the terrain well enough). 

I think this can work for advection fog as well, at least over a small area.  If there's a really moist E-SE flow during the cool seasons, I can expect to encounter fog on the SE-facing part of Mile Hill in Rome (Maine - I'm pretty ignorant on Italian wx.)

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 10:38 AM, dryslot said:

Not as fortunate here as over your way, We had a lot of glop storms and the retention was not very good, But if i went 20 miles NW it was phenomenal so we traveled to ride most of this winter, It would be hard for me here to go above a C+ maybe a B- grade, I heavily weigh in pack retention but that's just me when i'm grading a winter.

Only a B- for me despite an A+ November and "A" grade snow in January, 2nd most SDDs (07-08 is inviolate, but 18-19 is closer to that year than to #3) and long, long pack.  The "retention factor", SDDs divided by snowfall, was more than 10% higher than any previous winter here (31.5 vs. 28.0 in 13-14.)  November got A+ for both temp (easily coldest, and crushed the daily high/mean marks) and snowfall, totaling 4" more than Dec and Mar combined and just 1.1" behind Feb.

However, I couldn't award a seasonal A to a winter with a Dec 2018 - less than 40% avg snowfall, no storms over 3.5", and a monster Grinch rain event a few days before Christmas.  Also, as noted above, nearly every snow event included RA/IP, and the only month with more than one mix-free storms was . . . April.  Also, the winter lacked extreme cold and had no extended periods of far BN temps, and while I'm no big fan of super-frigid wx (no longer challenge it for ice fishing, as an example), runs like the 2-weeks Dec-Jan 17-18 add impact to any winter.

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The state of Vermont put out some photos of the Stowe landslide in the Cottonbrook area and man, it's pretty impressive.

I still don't get how this happens, it's like the earth just ripped out 25 feet deep and the entire side of the hill avalanched. 

Just tossed the trees like toothpicks.

Fascinating report from the State Geological Survey...

https://dec.vermont.gov/geological-survey/hazards/landslides/cotton-brook

"The main, active landslide area encompasses approximately 14 acres but cracks and scarps in the woods indicate that there are many other detached blocks. There is a high potential for additional failure and trails have been impacted."

CB_landslide1.JPG

CB_landslide3.JPG

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