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Winter 2019/2020 Wrap-Up


Cold Miser
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4 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

My GPS put me at between 1550 and 1500 in the house. So around thereabouts. It’s definitely a decent hike up from rt 2 to the house. It goes up 100-200+ feet for sure  

The fuel guy came by today and asked if I had plowing lined up. He said it gets really hairy on my driveway in the winter, said it’s common for there to be nothing on the roads in Berlin and a foot on the ground on my driveway so the plow guy from down in the town needs to be on the ball... plow guy had to bring in front loaders last year to remove the snow because they ran out of places to shove it. 

Nice. Yeah your spot is gonna have a crazy gradient from just a few miles away. You’ll even have quite a bit more than Gorham center I’d bet on many days. Berlin is a pit for snow...they might literally average half your snowfall. Prob 80-90ish but it increases quickly heading south. 

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On 6/16/2020 at 8:59 PM, ORH_wxman said:

Nice. Yeah your spot is gonna have a crazy gradient from just a few miles away. You’ll even have quite a bit more than Gorham center I’d bet on many days. Berlin is a pit for snow...they might literally average half your snowfall. Prob 80-90ish but it increases quickly heading south. 

Funny story, the fuel guy's boss was here today to fix the fuel oil line, and I told him how the other guy had mentioned the snow and the need to keep it cleared so he could get the truck down to the house. He just smirked and said, "well, you know he is from Vermont but he will get used to it."

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D+/C- season here with a 143.5" season total. Yes, I have very high expectations...an a A range winter needs to drop at least 200".

I would've given the winter a full letter grade higher if it weren't for the lack of consistent cold and the frequent rain and mixer events. Snow pack retention was below normal as well, especially with January's brutal mega torch that pretty much wiped out all of the November and December snow.

Oh well, on to next season.

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On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2020 at 8:59 PM, ORH_wxman said:

Nice. Yeah your spot is gonna have a crazy gradient from just a few miles away. You’ll even have quite a bit more than Gorham center I’d bet on many days. Berlin is a pit for snow...they might literally average half your snowfall. Prob 80-90ish but it increases quickly heading south. 

Berlin co-op (AP doesn't record snowfall, at least as found on Climod2) average for 1981-2010 was 81" ,and 1991-2020 is up to 87", pending OND this year (though it would take a large anomaly to move the 30-yr even 1/2".)  Low-snow '80s, will be good to see them off the 30-yr, for snow anyway.  91-20 temps probably a full degree or more above 81-10.

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12 hours ago, wxmanmitch said:

Yes, I have very high expectations...an a A range winter needs to drop at least 200".

Naturally that “A” threshold is going to vary based on a location’s snowfall average and S.D., but at our site, somewhere in that 200” range for snowfall is typically what I use for “A-grade” territory as well.

If I set the average at C and use the typical 1/3 σ steps for the grade subdivisions, the snowfall thresholds for reaching the various B and A grade levels are as follows:

B-:  179.2”

B:  191.1”

B+:  203.0”

A-:  215.3”

A:  227.2”

A+:  239.2”

Although 2007-2008 had only 203.2” of snowfall, I’m pretty sure I gave it some level of an “A” grade because it was just so solid in many snow-related categories.  We don’t have the wild swings in annual snowfall up here that some places do, so it feels like it’s hard to get solid “A” and “F” seasons, although using the S.D. in grading should actually take care of that issue.  The grading scheme I’m using is pretty stringent on the high end though, in that only the top few % (+2 σ) of seasons are going to get a straight A or better based on snowfall.  One thing to note is that the current 36.2” S.D. is probably artificially large due to the highly anomalous 2015-2016 season’s effects on the relatively small data set.  Removing that season from the data set results in a huge drop of the S.D. down to 28.3”, so the snowfall totals required to get up into that A range will come down a bit as that S.D. potentially relaxes.

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1 hour ago, J.Spin said:

Naturally that “A” threshold is going to vary based on a location’s snowfall average and S.D., but at our site, somewhere in that 200” range for snowfall is typically what I use for “A-grade” territory as well.

If I set the average at C and use the typical 1/3 σ steps for the grade subdivisions, the snowfall thresholds for reaching the various B and A grade levels are as follows:

B-:  179.2”

B:  191.1”

B+:  203.0”

A-:  215.3”

A:  227.2”

A+:  239.2”

Although 2007-2008 had only 203.2” of snowfall, I’m pretty sure I gave it some level of an “A” grade because it was just so solid in many snow-related categories.  We don’t have the wild swings in annual snowfall up here that some places do, so it feels like it’s hard to get solid “A” and “F” seasons, although using the S.D. in grading should actually take care of that issue.  The grading scheme I’m using is pretty stringent on the high end though, in that only the top few % (+2 σ) of seasons are going to get a straight A or better based on snowfall.  One thing to note is that the current 36.2” S.D. is probably artificially large due to the highly anomalous 2015-2016 season’s effects on the relatively small data set.  Removing that season from the data set results in a huge drop of the S.D. down to 28.3”, so the snowfall totals required to get up into that A range will come down a bit as that S.D. potentially relaxes.

I like the statistical analysis! Since I've only been at my present location for two full winters, I don't have a big enough dataset to compute letter grades to the nearest tenth of an inch yet.

I too will factor in other things like overall temperatures and snow retention into the final grade. Average or below average temperatures with the amount of snow I had would've put into the high C, low B range, but with the mild pattern and frequent rain/ice events it was a tough winter for the snow mobilers and skiers. January was pretty much a total loss and although things did recover in February, it wasn't great for either activity. Then come March and COVID-19 started shutting things down.

My sigma values here are probably larger than up your way as I am more dependent on synoptic snows than the northern Greens or Whites that get more upslope and consistent cold. I will get upslope on occasion as well, but not like up north.

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My take on subjective ratings includes grades for both temp and snowfall (latter weighted 2X) for each month Oct-May, though 90% of weight comes Dec-Mar.  Then I toss in subjectives, like the record run of 1"+ cover in 2018-19 and resultant huge SDDs, or monster storms/cold snaps.  Also give extra credit when either monthly temp or snowfall sets a new record at the Farmington co-op with its 127-year POR. Dwarfs my 22 years.  Have had 2 each of co-op records, 3/2001 and 4/2007 for snow, 3/2014 and 2/2015 for temp.

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