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wxeyeNH

NNE Cold Season Thread 2020-2021

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1 minute ago, wxeyeNH said:

J Spin,   I do understand what Phin is saying.  It has become quite a remarkable snow season.  Below is my snowfalls for this season.  I have scratched and clawed up to my 60" or so.  Not one storm over 3.50" this season except for the crazy death band of the Dec storm that gave me 2 feet in about 12 hours.  Don't think I have ever had a season without at least one 4" storm.   

snow 2021.jpg

Yes, been feast or famine mode for a while. A simple SWFE that drops 6" across the area with minimal fuss would be nice. 

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8 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

I am speaking just about my location. I am craving a 4-6" storm here. I haven't had over 2" since early Feb, and it looks like that will continue for the next 10 days at least. It's a pretty dull stretch for bigger storms considering this February was very active in many other places. That's all. 

I get that there is currently "a storm" ongoing but have you looked at radar and temps? LOL

It’s been snowing on and off even down here at 500’ with some bouts of big flakes and a few tenths of accumulation already, so I figured you had to be in the snow up at your elevation.

And yeah, larger storms are always going to be hit or miss like that – even up here in snow country those don’t grow on trees.  But we’ve had the consistently active pattern that we’re famous for - it’s been a nice week of bread and butter snows.  Look at your neighbor’s CoCoRaHS data below – there’s been at least a trace of snow every day up through yesterday, totaling a half inch of frozen L.E.  It’s a few inches less than the snow I recorded here due to our fluff factor, but we had 0.51” of L.E., which is essentially the same.  No, that’s not quite a full resurfacing of the slopes, but that’s a reasonably wintry week in my view.  That’s literally day after day after day of snow – with measurable precipitation and accumulation.  It’s the gift that just keeps on giving… but I don’t know, maybe people just get numb to it?

27FEB21A.jpg

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Just now, J.Spin said:

It’s been snowing on and off even down here at 500’ with some bouts of big flakes and a few tenths of accumulation already, so I figured you had to be in the snow up at your elevation.

 

And yeah, larger storms are always going to be hit or miss like that – even up here in snow country those don’t grow on trees.  But we’ve had the consistently active pattern that we’re famous for - it’s been a nice week of bread and butter snows.  Look at your neighbor’s CoCoRaHS data below – there’s been at least a trace of snow every day up through yesterday, totaling a half inch of frozen L.E.  It’s a few inches less than the snow I recorded here due to our fluff factor, but we had 0.51” of L.E., which is essentially the same.  No, that’s not quite a full resurfacing of the slopes, but that’s a reasonably wintry week in my view.  That’s literally day after day after day of snow – with measurable precipitation and accumulation.  It’s the gift that just keeps on giving… but I don’t know, maybe people just get numb to it?

 

27FEB21A.jpg

We have a dusting here with bouts of flurries from this current event.

I am not arguing that we have been wintry up here in NNE. Retention, for example, has been excellent here. I just want a meaty storm, 4-6" maybe. Something we can watch come in on radar. 

I haven't looked at the records that closely, but I suspect going 45 days without cracking 2 inches in core winter is not super common in my spot. The extended outlook on the models seems to indicate we will get there.

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12 hours ago, greenmtnwx said:

I was talking with my late teen son about N NH/Whites vs. VT/Greens and the culture and geography of the states. I came up with that NH is the blond with that big rack that you have a good time with. A little bit trashy. VT is the cute smart nerdy brunette that you take home to mom. Each has their own appeal. 

I suppose Maine ski country would be the solid woman in a wool coat and carrying a chainsaw.  :D

Agree that for a mountain massif the White are unchallenged in the NE, especially as viewed from the west.  For single mountain awesome I think of Katahdin from the south.  For Mainiacs that view is our Mt. Fuji.

Edit: Have alternated between light snow and "Is it snowing?" since 9 AM, maybe 0.1" new.  Since our 9.5" on 2/2 this month has probably featured a dozen snow chances, but the only one with any gravitas turned 8" into sleet at the last moment.

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57 minutes ago, wxeyeNH said:

J Spin,   I do understand what Phin is saying.  It has become quite a remarkable snow season.  Below is my snowfalls for this season.  I have scratched and clawed up to my 60" or so.  Not one storm over 3.50" this season except for the crazy death band of the Dec storm that gave me 2 feet in about 12 hours.  Don't think I have ever had a season without at least one 4" storm.   

snow 2021.jpg

Yeah, I see what you’re saying – your data clearly show that there hasn’t been much in the way of big synoptic systems this season in your area.  To me, those larger systems that require phasing are always going to be luck of the draw, and that’s why snowfall reliability and season snowfall numbers tend to fall off the father one gets out of the mountains or upslope areas.  I guess I’m just used to the climate up here, where those kinds of systems are great when they come, but if not, the much more reliable bread and butter systems are usually around to get the job done.

Phin’s area is a bit different from yours though in that he definitely gets in on the daily snows, and you can see from his neighbor’s data that they’ve just had the equivalent of the 4-6” storm he’s looking for over the past several days.  They’ve literally picked up more than that in the past week – 7.7” on 0.50” of L.E.  That’s the a solid, moderate winter storm right there.

Would people really rather have all that snow fall in one day and then have six days of nothing, vs. having snows literally every day?  That’s sort of the definition of a feast or famine climate.  From a skier’s perspective, that’s really not that optimal for keeping the slopes fresh, unless you’ve got incredible preservation and very low skier traffic.  And even from someone interested in winter weather, that seems sort of dull.

I guess there are times when people can “have their cake and eat it too”, with both larger systems and daily snows, but it doesn’t always work out like that.  One really has to watch out with those bigger systems because the phasing can screw up the nice steady flow of systems in the northern stream.  The end result can be a warm system that ruins the consistency of the snowpack, vs. a smaller system that would involve less moisture, but wouldn’t pull up the warm air that a larger system could.

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Event totals: 0.4” Snow/0.02” L.E.

 

Details from the 12:00 P.M. Waterbury observations:

New Snow: 0.4 inches

New Liquid: 0.02 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 20.0

Snow Density: 5.0% H2O

Temperature: 35.6 F

Sky: Light Snow (1 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 18.5 inches

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Nice dumpage here today. Between snow and wind you essentially got first track every run. About 2-3" of heavy sugary snow. Brightened up now but still snowing, temp up to 33 though. 

 

 

35277647-D890-493B-A42B-E0BA2A39C15A.jpeg

E16D3D88-5AB5-4A7F-A9D9-A83421254FFF.jpeg

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1 hour ago, J.Spin said:

Yeah, I see what you’re saying – your data clearly show that there hasn’t been much in the way of big synoptic systems this season in your area.  To me, those larger systems that require phasing are always going to be luck of the draw, and that’s why snowfall reliability and season snowfall numbers tend to fall off the father one gets out of the mountains or upslope areas.  I guess I’m just used to the climate up here, where those kinds of systems are great when they come, but if not, the much more reliable bread and butter systems are usually around to get the job done.

Phin’s area is a bit different from yours though in that he definitely gets in on the daily snows, and you can see from his neighbor’s data that they’ve just had the equivalent of the 4-6” storm he’s looking for over the past several days.  They’ve literally picked up more than that in the past week – 7.7” on 0.50” of L.E.  That’s the a solid, moderate winter storm right there.

Would people really rather have all that snow fall in one day and then have six days of nothing, vs. having snows literally every day?  That’s sort of the definition of a feast or famine climate.  From a skier’s perspective, that’s really not that optimal for keeping the slopes fresh, unless you’ve got incredible preservation and very low skier traffic.  And even from someone interested in winter weather, that seems sort of dull.

I guess there are times when people can “have their cake and eat it too”, with both larger systems and daily snows, but it doesn’t always work out like that.  One really has to watch out with those bigger systems because the phasing can screw up the nice steady flow of systems in the northern stream.  The end result can be a warm system that ruins the consistency of the snowpack, vs. a smaller system that would involve less moisture, but wouldn’t pull up the warm air that a larger system could.

This area (and Phins) generally sits in a good spot to get both upslope and decent synoptic. This year the synoptic has sucked - for us even more than Phin, which explains the much wider than usual margin in recorded snowfall between us and you. Normally you do better in upslope and we catch up with coastals. This year the coastals just haven't worked out for us. But as you say, we can still work our way to a very decent winter season without coastals. 

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Fascinating obs between Alex and Phin...Phin def got downsloped on today’s event. 

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I've never seen Katahdin in the winter in person but there is something striking about it as you drive in from south. if you are arriving via 95, the terrain is essentially flat most of the ride. I guess there is a bit of undulation thru Millinocket and then...there it is. Kind of like the OMG Corner on 27 as you drive into Sugarloaf...

 

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9 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Fascinating obs between Alex and Phin...Phin def got downsloped on today’s event. 

I find it a bit bizarre that he's raining at 31 and I'm snowing at 34. I assume it's topo induced but not sure how you explain it

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Yea, safe to assume at this point S/SSE/SW wind downslopes Phin's area in some way.  But again, that is the winds you want to do it on if you're going to downslope.  

Speaking of downslope, was in DDH this afternoon and sun was coming out and temps near 50F on car thermo---honestly felt really nice, practically T-shirt weather.  You could start some garden tilling there today if you wanted..lol.

Somewhat warm here too at 38.4F.  

 

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24 minutes ago, alex said:

I find it a bit bizarre that he's raining at 31 and I'm snowing at 34. I assume it's topo induced but not sure how you explain it

Downsloping up high is warming the mid-level layer.  Just a slight sinking motion at 850-700mb can cause it to go above freezing.  CAD locking in the surface temps but aloft there's some sinking motion there.

Can see it on the 3km NAM... see the above freezing 850mb temps in the lee side of MWN from the wind direction.

3km.jpg.c2d08e258eb55c79a9aa6bfa53cc8027.jpg

Can see the Green Mtn Peaks in N.VT doing the same thing.

3km1.jpg.6564d0b0befdc06c4923573d0aae2b71.jpg

 

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We had some snow earlier and are now getting a mix of literally every type of precip that can fall from the sky.  Big flakes, freezing rain, pellets, mist... lol.  No hail or graupel though.

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1 minute ago, powderfreak said:

We had some snow earlier and are now getting a mix of literally every type of precip that can fall from the sky.  Big flakes, freezing rain, pellets, mist... lol.  No hail or graupel though.

Have you ever had a hail event during the winter on Mt Mansfield? I wonder what it would be like to ski on it.

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3 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Downsloping up high is warming the mid-level layer.  Just a slight sinking motion at 850-700mb can cause it to go above freezing.  CAD locking in the surface temps but aloft there's some sinking motion there.

Can see it on the 3km NAM... see the above freezing 850mb temps in the lee side of MWN from the wind direction.

3km.jpg.c2d08e258eb55c79a9aa6bfa53cc8027.jpg

Can see the Green Mtn Peaks in N.VT doing the same thing.

3km1.jpg.6564d0b0befdc06c4923573d0aae2b71.jpg

 

Thanks PF! Never thought of the fact that you can downslope in the mid levels and not at the surface. Good stuff! But yeah, can we get a regular old fashioned storm? Haven't had a good one since October lol. Thank God for upslope 

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We had about 2-3” before it changed to mist.  Skiing surface was great.  Rained a bit and now seems to be mixing with giant parachutes.  I’ll take that as a good sign.

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7 minutes ago, bch2014 said:

Have you ever had a hail event during the winter on Mt Mansfield? I wonder what it would be like to ski on it.

Graupel for sure... like skiing on ball bearings.  But no legit hail.  We’ve had some upslope events with squalls and thunder/lightning that drop like 3-4” of graupel that skis extremely smooth.

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Just now, Hitman said:

We had about 2-3” before it changed to mist.  Skiing surface was great.  Rained a bit and now seems to be mixing with giant parachutes.  I’ll take that as a good sign.

Yeah we have now been heavy wet aggregates for the last 5 minutes or so, no liquid anymore.  Some of the largest flakes you’ll ever see lol.  Like 1-2” in diameter pancakes.

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1 minute ago, PhineasC said:

Two events in a row now with this same setup. 

That's the benefit of the mountains, even when meso-scale stuff goes the wrong way... it's still fascinating.  I love that meteorological stuff.  Can see some brighter skies at times on your cam aloft it looks like.  I love when we are getting downsloped a bit and then the flow changes a bit and you see the clouds darken and precip roll back in.

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Just now, powderfreak said:

That's the benefit of the mountains, even when meso-scale stuff goes the wrong way... it's still fascinating.  I love that meteorological stuff.  Can see some brighter skies at times on your cam aloft it looks like.  I love when we are getting downsloped a bit and then the flow changes a bit and you see the clouds darken and precip roll back in.

That’s one way to look at it... LOL 

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1 minute ago, PhineasC said:

That’s one way to look at it... LOL 

Weather is awesome, love watching how it interacts with the mountains.  Always been fascinated with it since a kid, ha.  

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