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wxeyeNH

NNE Cold Season Thread 2020-2021

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28 minutes ago, mreaves said:

Did a notch tour of NH today. Started out going to Pittsburg to buy a new to me sled. It was snowing most of the way and while we were there for a while. Pittsburg has decent snow but nothing huge for them. Headed back south and decided to take a left through Dixville Notch. Precip went from sleet in Colebrook to snow through the Notch and windy. Snow was heavy at times while we were in Errol. By the time we got to Berlin and Gorham it was raining. Up through Pinkham it transitioned to sleet by the time we got to the Auto Road and was really pounding snow by Wildcat. Roads were pretty nasty through Jackson. Still snow as we headed west on 302, occasionally mixed with, particularly around Attitash. Precip was light through most of Hart’s Location and was snow through Crawford. Changed to rain just past Fabyan’s. 

I love that ride. Went through there in March 01, as you round the turn heading up out of Gorham on 16, saw the huge xcountry ski shop by the Auto road burning down due to the 3/ 4 feet of the heaviest wet snow impacting power lines. Literally a complete white scene in the White mountains with Evergreen tops almost touching the ground. Most insane thing I have ever seen 

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12 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

My climo seems pretty similar to Stowe base lodge in a general sense. 

Yeah I agree in that general sense... I’ve noticed the temperatures are very similar.  Precipitation patterns can be different but seem to arrive at a similar destination even if they took different routes to get there if that makes sense.

I think the snowfall here at 1500ft on a seasonal scale is very close to the observer just up the hill from you.  I always sort of thought the snow average was like 300” up at 3,000ft and 200” at 1500ft but after extending my knowledge with each passing year, my gut says it’s probably more like 180” and 280” as the past 5 years have dragged down my average thoughts a bit.  Only 2016-17 was truly big but the other 4 years out of the last 5 have been lower.

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After creeping up to 32F we have cleared out and slipped back down to 30F. I expected to edge above freezing this evening with a period of dripping, but perhaps not. 

*Edit: I see the models have a spike around 9-10pm after FROPA, so maybe it's still coming. I actually want a melt/refreeze tonight, otherwise the snow is going to be super sticky tomorrow. A little crust in the morning will mean we could actually have a corn cycle tomorrow, which will make for good skiing by late morning/midday.

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3 minutes ago, jculligan said:

After creeping up to 32F we have cleared out and slipped back down to 30F. I expected to edge above freezing this evening with a period of dripping, but perhaps not. 

Nice little event for you. Our climos seem worlds apart sometimes. 

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8 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Yeah I agree in that general sense... I’ve noticed the temperatures are very similar.  Precipitation patterns can be different but seem to arrive at a similar destination even if they took different routes to get there if that makes sense.

I think the snowfall here at 1500ft on a seasonal scale is very close to the observer just up the hill from you.  I always sort of thought the snow average was like 300” up at 3,000ft and 200” at 1500ft but after extending my knowledge with each passing year, my gut says it’s probably more like 180” and 280” as the past 5 years have dragged down my average thoughts a bit.  Only 2016-17 was truly big but the other 4 years out of the last 5 have been lower.

Little more upslope there, little more synoptic here. It makes me feel better to know it’s drizzling on the fire pits and beer gardens at 1,500 ft over at Stowe too. :)  

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56 minutes ago, dendrite said:

I bet you do well in the SWFEs, but when the cold wedge gets more shallow and those S-SW winds work their way down to 850mb you'll start having issues. Gene and I rot in the cold until the cold front comes, but you may get brief periods where you mix out before the front comes. Of course with E-NE flow in the low/mid levels you'll rake it up. You will even get pounded into late April with the right setup.

Yep, phin’s area will CAD really well on those SWFEs that have damming up to like 850-900mb but if the CAD is mostly at the sfc or near-sfc and 850 winds are S or SSW then he can have trouble. It doesn’t really affect the snowfall too much though...the events where you need damming up to 800-850mb, he gets.

We’ve had a dearth of those events though this year. Usually we’re good for at least 3-4 per winter. Esp in a Nina. 

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8 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Yep, phin’s area will CAD really well on those SWFEs that have damming up to like 850-900mb but if the CAD is mostly at the sfc or near-sfc and 850 winds are S or SSW then he can have trouble. It doesn’t really affect the snowfall too much though...the events where you need damming up to 800-850mb, he gets.

We’ve had a dearth of those events though this year. Usually we’re good for at least 3-4 per winter. Esp in a Nina. 

Yeah that’s why it’s hard to quantify a given wind direction with upslope/downslope couplets... there was a strong QPF gradient on the meek models between north of the Presidentials and south of them.  The inversion height plays a big role in upslope/downslope... if it’s up at like 800mb and the warm layer is at 750mb blasting SW flow, he probably is in the QPF max as the Whites act like a ramp for that flow and deposit the best QPF just downwind of the barrier.

You’re right, there’s been a serious lack of SW flow events with the strongest lift at like 700mb, with a widespread 0.50-1.0 QPF.  Today’s seemed like much lower level stuff.  Mansfield summit usually doesn’t sniff freezing in many SWFE but the summit spiked to 34F at one point this evening.  Often it can rot at like 23F at the summit with freezing rain while it’s above freezing at 800mb.

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19 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Little more upslope there, little more synoptic here. It makes me feel better to know it’s drizzling on the fire pits and beer gardens at 1,500 ft over at Stowe too. :)  

Yeah the snow cam at 3000ft has flakes flying the past couple hours and judging by the temps, I’d bet the snow level is like 2500ft.  It seems like the mid-levels cooled enough for elevation dependent snow showers at the moment.

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15 minutes ago, backedgeapproaching said:

Pretty impressive for BTV..only one other date in the 2000s on there, even without the extreme arctic cold, lack of cutters certainly made this streak possible as it's so easy to torch there on south winds.

 

BTV missed a 77 day streak by 2 days in the ‘70-71 winter a year later....lol. Look at those two streaks in the top 5 in the same winter. Only had 2 days in between the streaks. 

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14 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

BTV missed a 77 day streak by 2 days in the ‘70-71 winter a year later....lol. Look at those two streaks in the top 5 in the same winter. Only had 2 days in between the streaks. 

Oh yea, damn.  That's crazy for BTV. Guessing that winter was frigid.

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7 hours ago, alex said:

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.

 

6 hours 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.

I gotta say, the turns were really nice out there today.

My boys had hit the mountain on Wednesday and reported nice soft conditions thanks to some warming temperatures, but then my wife was out Thursday night and said the snow was quite hard and icy, at least on piste where she had been skiing on the main mountain.  I figured that made sense with temperatures cooling back down, and that’s what I thought would be the theme out there on the mountain today.

But there was also all that great snow that PF reported on from Thursday as well, which was at least 8” up above 2,000’, and Chasing Flakes said it was feeling like 10”+ at Jay Peak.  It was hard to know what to think, and I was somewhat ambivalent about skiing today.  But then while I was working on the computer this morning, I checked the Bolton snow report, saw that they’d picked up 6” in the past 48 hours, and read this text in their detailed report:

“Happy Saturday, Boltonites! Today is a great day to get some snow under your feet. We have 38 groomed trails for you this morning and tons of fresh snow still hiding in the woods. Yesterday afternoon there were sightings of 6 inch stashes of powder still in Sleepy Hollow woods and Bolton Outlaw woods!”

That sounded just a bit too good to pass up, and it tipped the scales to get me to head up to the hill.

We’d been getting snow this morning at the house, but it had just started to transition over to mixed precipitation while I was getting ready to head to the mountain in the early afternoon.  The precipitation was generally sprinkles of light rain as I headed up to the Bolton Valley Access Road and eventually changed over to sleet as I rode the Wilderness Double Chair and got up near 3,000’.  During my second run, the mixed precipitation decided to change back to snow, and there was a nice period with some big fat flakes coming down.

Bolton definitely got in on that Thursday snow, and I think my wife must have just been on those wind scoured trails on the front face of the main mountain, because that’s not at all what I experienced at Wilderness.  The groomed slopes were quiet, and the off piste was covered with up to a foot of dense powder.  That seems like more fresh snow than there really should have been based on the snow report, so I’m not sure what to think.  I also couldn’t even find any signs of crust below the most recent snows, so I’m not sure what to think about that either.  I probed all over the place in the 2,000’ to 3,000’ elevation range, and the only real crust I found was a bit of sun crust on the surface of the snow in a couple of exposed areas.  Maybe this was one of those setups where the new snow comes in, starts out wet, and bonds to any crust below to sort of remove the demarcation of that layer a bit.  Whatever the case, I was pleasantly surprised to find all that bottomless snow out there today.  I was thus able to probe the depth of the entire snowpack, and was typically getting depths of 30-40” in the 2,500’-3,000’ elevation range.  That makes decent sense, with the snowpack now at 55” on Mansfield at 3,700’.

A few shots from today:

27FEB21C.jpg

27FEB21E.jpg

27FEB21B.jpg

 

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That's pretty weak for what I expected from BTV. I know they can torch out, but I still figured they'd do longer stretches of 12+ in their record than that. We've pulled Dec-Apr a couple of times since I moved here.

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10 minutes ago, dendrite said:

That's pretty weak for what I expected from BTV. I know they can torch out, but I still figured they'd do longer stretches of 12+ in their record than that. We've pulled Dec-Apr a couple of times since I moved here.

Champlain Valley sucks for retention....I’m defining retention here as snow depth days vs annual snowfall. They have a lot of snow cover days because of a lot of nickel and dimes but they melt out easily. I know you already know this, but maybe I’m just super aware of it from back when I visited St Michaels college a lot back in the mid 2000s. 

I’d leave ORH with a double digit pack and frequently there would be a junk 2-4” pack in the valley there after being buried most of the trip through MPV/Waterbury/Bolton and then it would go shit after Richmond.  A few times during late season in March I’d go from a 10” glacier in central MA to bare ground there. 

Despite that, I kind of see where you are coming from. I’d still think they would have a few better streaks given the latitude. 

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1 hour ago, jculligan said:

39 now. When we mix out, it can happen fast. We had a 9-degree spike in about 30 minutes ha.

I've been watching the mwobs autoroad temp profile, 1,600' is now 37 but 2,300' is 33. It looks like Wildcat survived. Departure at 6am if all works out. Hoping for a fun day.

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1 minute ago, Angus said:

I've been watching the mwobs autoroad temp profile, 1,600' is now 37 but 2,300' is 33. It looks like Wildcat survived. Departure at 6am if all works out. Hoping for a fun day.

Looking forward to your report. Debating trying them again soon if the conditions and weather look right. 

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41 minutes ago, dendrite said:

That's pretty weak for what I expected from BTV. I know they can torch out, but I still figured they'd do longer stretches of 12+ in their record than that. We've pulled Dec-Apr a couple of times since I moved here.

Oh no they torch.  It’s only been getting hotter too for whatever reason.

Like how the other day was the first 40+ temp this season and the average first 40+ day is January 7th... that’s only a week into the New Year before they hit 40F on average.  This year they made it 7 weeks.

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3 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Oh no they torch.  It’s only been getting hotter too for whatever reason.

Like how the other day was the first 40+ temp this season and the average first 40+ day is January 7th... that’s only a week into the New Year before they hit 40F on average.  This year they made it 7 weeks.

It’s the afterburners from the F-35s

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40 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

Champlain Valley sucks for retention....I’m defining retention here as snow depth days vs annual snowfall. They have a lot of snow cover days because of a lot of nickel and dimes but they melt out easily. I know you already know this, but maybe I’m just super aware of it from back when I visited St Michaels college a lot back in the mid 2000s. 

I’d leave ORH with a double digit pack and frequently there would be a junk 2-4” pack in the valley there after being buried most of the trip through MPV/Waterbury/Bolton and then it would go shit after Richmond.  A few times during late season in March I’d go from a 10” glacier in central MA to bare ground there. 

Despite that, I kind of see where you are coming from. I’d still think they would have a few better streaks given the latitude. 

Richmond is often the line... Exit 11.  JSpins zone will have two feet while you are looking at a crusty 6” by the time you hit the low lands because that’s where the east flow downslope off the Spine really becomes pronounced.

I mean, BTV literally has sinking air and compressional warming coming from both east and west directions (Greens and Adirondacks)... and then on top of that they are exposed to often ripping southerly flow, absolutely zero radiational cooling (because the wind is always moving in that wide valley due to funneling), and their only “cold” flow option is a north wind.

It is very hard to stay cold there.  It has to be CAA from the north.  Eventually a system will pass with a southwind and then its warm and windy... goodbye snow.  When it’s 2am and it’s 16F and calm at MVL/MPV...but 36F at BTV and south at 20kts... that snow is melting and evaporating while the other two are just another winter night.

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Even this morning, a great example of why BTV torches... they were above freezing and just ripping south winds of 40-50mph gusts (not ideal for snow preservation), while around here at the Morrisville-Stowe Airport the ASOS was 15F.

7am Observations

BTV... 34F, melting, with sustained winds of 22mph, gusting 44mph out of the south (the Champlain Valley funnel).

MVL... 15F with calm winds and a cold snowpack.

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18 minutes ago, mreaves said:

It’s the afterburners from the F-35s

What have you seen for temps?  The MPV/Montpelier ASOS has to be wrong today, no?

It's showing a temperature of 56F at 7pm and had a high of 58F (at 1,200ft)?

KMPV 272351Z AUTO 30011G20KT 10SM SCT031 OVC039 13/01 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP155 60002 T01330006 10144 20044 53018

All day this was way higher than BTV's readings and this morning those haze obs should be snow obs... sustained under 2 mile vis snow and temps around 40F seems off for that elevation.

Untitled.thumb.jpg.6f65cfe190ec0c0247def13c3ad553d4.jpg

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12 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

What have you seen for temps?  The MPV/Montpelier ASOS has to be wrong today, no?

It's showing a temperature of 56F at 7pm and had a high of 58F (at 1,200ft)?

KMPV 272351Z AUTO 30011G20KT 10SM SCT031 OVC039 13/01 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP155 60002 T01330006 10144 20044 53018

All day this was way higher than BTV's readings and this morning those haze obs should be snow obs... sustained under 2 mile vis snow and temps around 40F seems off for that elevation.

Untitled.thumb.jpg.6f65cfe190ec0c0247def13c3ad553d4.jpg

I saw dendrite and Will commenting on that. I was gone most of the day but it looks like that is wrong. Here is a snapshot of my station. As you can see, my high was 40.1°

image.thumb.png.72ef290f88c0bcbc29e206a91938de02.png

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Yeah MPV def off the grid...it’s acting up. I told Brian low 40s maybe believable and that is backed up by mreaves post. Not sure if airport runs colder but wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t get out of upper 30s. 

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28 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Even this morning, a great example of why BTV torches... they were above freezing and just ripping south winds of 40-50mph gusts (not ideal for snow preservation), while around here at the Morrisville-Stowe Airport the ASOS was 15F.

7am Observations

BTV... 34F, melting, with sustained winds of 22mph, gusting 44mph out of the south (the Champlain Valley funnel).

MVL... 15F with calm winds and a cold snowpack.

Yeah I think anyone who has familiarity with the valley knows but it’s always surprising to people outside the region. Like before I knew a lot about it (both from obs and frequent in-person visits), I just assumed BTV and the valley would be buried by January or February and stay that way. I had no idea they torched like that. 

It was a larger scale version of my enlightenment in 1992-1993 on how Springfield MA didn’t get more snow than Worcester....not only did they not get more, they were much lower than ORH. But I remember being surprised at the time because I just assumed the further west you were, the colder you were and the more snow you got. 

BTV is like that except on the latitude scale...”they are so much further north so they must be BURIED” when that isn’t the true story.  

BTV obviously isn’t the only place either. It reminds me of when I was chatting with Phin about buying a NH place....on how Whitefield and Lancaster are snow holes and retention disasters despite being pretty damned far north into NH. 

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10 hours ago, DavisStraight said:

I was wondering what those upslope guys do when it snows 1-2 inches every other day, snow blow or a quick shovel. I'd rather get it all once and blow it.

I saw this in the March thread, but it’s more on topic for a general thread.  The answer to your question is neither – we just drive over it and pack it down.  We’d seriously be shoveling almost every day if we dealt with each round of snow.  Also note that the snow is typically extremely dry, so for an inch of snow with just a few hundredths of an inch of liquid in it, you just crush it to dust under the tires or you can let it sublimate and disappear.

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