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NNE Cold Season Thread 2020-2021

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Since Feb 2, just a crazy dull stretch for synoptic storms. Nothing on the horizon in that regard over the next 240 hours either. It can't be very typical in my location to go 45 days in Feb/Mar without a synoptic storm over 2 inches. 

The local ski places have been subsisting on 1-3" refreshers, but without a meat and potatoes storm in the next week or so I predict a really short spring season. It's painfully obvious places like Cannon and Bretton Woods need fresh snow. They don't really get random 7-10 inch moose fart dumps like the Northern Greens, especially Cannon. They need some synoptic help, clearly.

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2 minutes ago, BrianW said:

 

Yeah he's told me some stories where like 5 miles of lines are like completely destroyed and only serve like 2 houses. 

He did say its like the top pick for lineman when they get sent out of state. Beautiful scenery and the people there are really nice to them and bring them food, drinks, etc.  They deal with some terrible people here in CT and other states during outages.  These guys work 16 hour straight shifts in bad weather dealing with deadly electricity to try and get your power back on. Though I would imagine most have generators there and are use to outages. Is losing power for like over a week common? 

Our record was a few hours shy of 4 full days in the 1998 ice storm.  Had anything on our 400' cul-de-sac road with 6 houses coming off Brunswick Avenue's main line, it would've been closer to 2 weeks. (Our phone line was ripped off the nearest pole and it was 13 days before service was restored, and due to damage at the pole end the tech had to install a junction box on a front lawn pine.  For more than a month we had a tree phone.)  Less than a mile south of our road, a stretch of 9 poles along Brunswick Ave had only one left standing.  The vice-president of Central Maine Power waited nearly 3 weeks for his lights to come on.  Several thousand more CMP customers were blacked out by the 2017 October gale than in 1998 but 90% of them had the lights on within 2-3 days.  The infrastructure damage in 1998 was far worse; probably more than half the CMP customers waited over a week for power and a quarter 2 weeks or more.

In our near-23 years here, longest was 36 hours and last April's snowstorm almost matched it.  That fall-winter had 6-7 other outages ranging from an hour or two to overnight.  We (wife especially) were getting tired of camping out in our own home.

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1 minute ago, PhineasC said:

Since Feb 2, just a crazy dull stretch for synoptic storms. Nothing on the horizon in that regard over the next 240 hours either. Is can't be very typical in my location to go 45 days in Feb/Mar without a synoptic storm over 2 inches. 

The local ski places have been subsisting on 1-3" refreshers, but without a meat and potatoes storm in the next week or so I predict a really short spring season. It's painfully obvious places like Cannon and Bretton Woods need fresh snow. They don't really get random 7-10 inch moose fart dumps like the Northern Greens, especially Cannon. They need some synoptic help, clearly.

Similar here, though we had a 3" event.  (And zero upslope, as always.)  The only system during that time with some meat was 2/16, and our 8" snow came down as 2" sleet.  If models after Feb 2 had looked like they do for the 1st half of March, it would've been disappointing, but instead we watched juicy system after system either go OTS or die.  Not sure which is worse.

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@tamarack  My bro-in-law who works for a MA-based contractor was up in your neck of the woods last April, said the damage was fairly extensive. It gets mentioned frequently but the '98 ice storm for Maine was easily a hundred year event. For the first decade, the evidence of tree devastation was obvious whenever I drove between 95 and the coast, not so much anymore. I was working with a Montreal based telco at the time and recall the high voltage transmission towers collapses up in Quebec.

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For my limited skiing ability, conditions at Bretton Woods were pretty good! I'm impressed, Bretton Woods has a really good mtn Ops team compared to a lot of other ski resorts. I can imagine after the rain and then the wicked temp drop,  the mtn must have been one giant glacier. They did a good job of grooming a lot of trails and getting them back to a packed powder layer

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19 minutes ago, Angus said:

@tamarack  My bro-in-law who works for a MA-based contractor was up in your neck of the woods last April, said the damage was fairly extensive. It gets mentioned frequently but the '98 ice storm for Maine was easily a hundred year event. For the first decade, the evidence of tree devastation was obvious whenever I drove between 95 and the coast, not so much anymore. I was working with a Montreal based telco at the time and recall the high voltage transmission towers collapses up in Quebec.

I call that the "Godzilla effect".  As bad as NNE had things, Montreal and surroundings had it worse - a city of 2+ million w/o power.  That overall event had some serious geographical oddities.  Gorham, NH had RA and so did MWN, setting a new record high temp for January.  In between, at 1500-2500' elevations (my estimate) forests were devastated. 

South to north that storm brought:

NYC area: 50s-60s and moderate RA
SNE:  30s-40s cold RA, more than NYC.
S. Maine:  Low 30s, 2-3" precip, moderate ice.
Central and inland downeast Maine:  Disaster area, 2-3" LE at 25-30, all ZR
Maine foothills/mtns:  2.5-3" LE, mostly IP, some SN some ZR, 2-8" accum.  (More trees broke on our [then] house lot in Gardiner than on our [current] 80-acre woodlot in the foothills.)
Aroostook:  5-day snowstorm, 19-27" with ratios 8-10 to one, temps high singles in Allagash to teens/near 20° CAR/HUL.

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1 hour ago, #NoPoles said:

For my limited skiing ability, conditions at Bretton Woods were pretty good! I'm impressed, Bretton Woods has a really good mtn Ops team compared to a lot of other ski resorts. I can imagine after the rain and then the wicked temp drop,  the mtn must have been one giant glacier. They did a good job of grooming a lot of trails and getting them back to a packed powder layer

They really do. I actually spoke with a seasonal guest who used to rent in Stowe but switched to Bretton Woods because in her words, even though Stowe got lots of snow, she always found better conditions at BW. I think it’s a combination of good grooming, overall lack of wind, and terrain which make up for less abundant even though still present upslope. 

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2 hours ago, tamarack said:

I call that the "Godzilla effect".  As bad as NNE had things, Montreal and surroundings had it worse - a city of 2+ million w/o power.  That overall event had some serious geographical oddities.  Gorham, NH had RA and so did MWN, setting a new record high temp for January.  In between, at 1500-2500' elevations (my estimate) forests were devastated. 

South to north that storm brought:

NYC area: 50s-60s and moderate RA
SNE:  30s-40s cold RA, more than NYC.
S. Maine:  Low 30s, 2-3" precip, moderate ice.
Central and inland downeast Maine:  Disaster area, 2-3" LE at 25-30, all ZR
Maine foothills/mtns:  2.5-3" LE, mostly IP, some SN some ZR, 2-8" accum.  (More trees broke on our [then] house lot in Gardiner than on our [current] 80-acre woodlot in the foothills.)
Aroostook:  5-day snowstorm, 19-27" with ratios 8-10 to one, temps high singles in Allagash to teens/near 20° CAR/HUL.

We actually had some pretty good icing for a time during that storm in the ORH hills. It was well into the event that the cold air drain came south enough to flip our area to ZR. Esp above about 700 feet. I recall above 1000 feet having some pretty decent damage and some power outages, though not like the 2008 ice storm here.  

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14 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

I haven't been to Stowe since I was a little kid and barely remember it, so I can't make that comparison. But BW is certainly better than Cannon, and don't even get me started on Wildcat grooming. Cannon was probably a horror show today.

Ive always loved BW for the cruisers. Prob best mountain in New England if you want well-groomed cruisers with stunning views. A couple of my best ski days were March/April days just cruising corn snow on one of their 25 or 30 dollar late-season specials.

 If you are looking for super gnarly stuff, def better to head to Cannon or Wildcat in your area which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now after nearly a full season there. 

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Just now, ORH_wxman said:

Ive always loved BW for the cruisers. Prob best mountain in New England if you want well-groomed cruisers with stunning views. A couple of my best ski days were March/April days just cruising corn snow on one of there 25 or 30 dollar late-season specials.

 If you are looking for super gnarly stuff, def better to head to Cannon or Wildcat in your area which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now after nearly a full season there. 

Cannon has some absolutely epic terrain and they definitely don't apologize for it or pretend to be something they are not, which I appreciate about them. We had some great days there this season, but as conditions get dicier with a lack of snow they just can't provide the terrain we are looking for right now. So icy. Just not that fun. If we could get another damned synoptic storm it would be much better.

Wildcat was a mess when I went there last time. I will probably just wait until next year to see what changes Vail makes. They don't have the grooming infrastructure to take the lack of snow and back-and-forth temps and somehow turn it into a respectable showing. Neat mountain and very close to us so we will make it work eventually. The kids came a long way this season and next season will be better positioned to tackle Wildcat.

We are locked-in on BW right now and skiing the entire mountain. We planned to make it over to Sunday River, but it hasn't happened yet. Always a tough choice to leave great skiing to look for something else.

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1 minute ago, PhineasC said:

Cannon has some absolutely epic terrain and they definitely don't apologize for it or pretend to be something they are not, which I appreciate about them. We had some great days there this season, but as conditions get dicier with a lack of snow they just can't provide the terrain we are looking for right now. So icy. Just not that fun. If we could get another damned synoptic storm it would be much better.

Wildcat was a mess when I went there last time. I will probably just wait until next year to see what changes Vail makes. They don't have the grooming infrastructure to take the lack of snow and back-and-forth temps and somehow turn it into a respectable showing. Neat mountain and very close to us so we will make it work eventually. The kids came a long way this season and next season will be better positioned to tackle Wildcat.

We are locked-in on BW right now and skiing the entire mountain. We planned to make it over to Sunday River, but it hasn't happened yet. Always a tough choice to leave great skiing to look for something else.

I was a season pass holder at Wildcat/Attitash, I always loved that place. Wasn’t so bad those years I was there... my only complaint was the slant stick measuring. They’d report 3” only to get there and find a dusting. That just pissed me off. 

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3 minutes ago, alex said:

I was a season pass holder at Wildcat/Attitash, I always loved that place. Wasn’t so bad those years I was there... my only complaint was the slant stick measuring. They’d report 3” only to get there and find a dusting. That just pissed me off. 

I'm not a super big bump run guy so that might be part of it. I'm sure many people went to Wildcat this year and thought it was epic and legendary or whatever. It just seemed super sloppy to me to leave the trails you say are groomed totally untouched and bumped-up. Just be honest on your website, guys.

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My dad turning 70 this year and still hunting the powder turns.  He's always been a guy that loved the ungroomed natural snow, but getting older so it becomes a bit tougher.

Over 30 years we've been enjoying powder mornings, as he started me at 3 years old on skis.

157041585_10104474762531880_715005560709

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3 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

My dad turning 70 this year and still hunting the powder turns.  He's always been a guy that loved the ungroomed natural snow, but getting older so it becomes a bit tougher.

Over 30 years we've been enjoying powder mornings, as he started me at 3 years old on skis.

157041585_10104474762531880_715005560709

 

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3 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

My dad turning 70 this year and still hunting the powder turns.  He's always been a guy that loved the ungroomed natural snow, but getting older so it becomes a bit tougher.

Over 30 years we've been enjoying powder mornings, as he started me at 3 years old on skis.

157041585_10104474762531880_715005560709

Wow, awesome. Hope to be as spry as your old man when I am that age.

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Comparing Bretton Woods to Stowe is like comparing a chihuahua to a Siberian husky. They are both dogs but not the same animal 

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1 hour ago, PhineasC said:

I haven't been to Stowe since I was a little kid and barely remember it, so I can't make that comparison. But BW is certainly better than Cannon, and don't even get me started on Wildcat grooming. Cannon was probably a horror show today.

From my views of Bretton Woods (never skied, only seen from the base a couple times recently), the terrain looks nearly perfect for families and a sustained intermediate pitch.  It's a very Okemo type gradient...no run out and a moderate pitch.  A sustained ramp at just the right angle, along with a strong mountain operations team.  Based on many observations, it's a well executed operation without a lot of rough edges, so to speak.

1,200-1,500 vertical feet of moderate slope, located in an upslope zone that will at least get some refreshes more than neighboring areas... it's a good combination for highly rated snow condition quality.  On average, the intermediate pitch won't see the ice that a steep pitch will see if all else is equal.  Skiers don't edge as hard and gravity doesn't play as big a role in snow conditions. It may not be a 2,000-2,500 vertical foot ski area with sharp relief (Wildcat, Cannon), but I think Bretton Woods is likely a top-tier cruiser mountain based on conditions and operational proficiency.

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Looks like this met winter had the 3rd fewest amount of time below 10F in my lifetime behind the obvious 97-98 and 01-02 winters. Hadley is winning.

image.png

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4 hours ago, PhineasC said:

The local ski places have been subsisting on 1-3" refreshers, but without a meat and potatoes storm in the next week or so I predict a really short spring season. It's painfully obvious places like Cannon and Bretton Woods need fresh snow. They don't really get random 7-10 inch moose fart dumps like the Northern Greens, especially Cannon. They need some synoptic help, clearly.

A friend up at Bolton Valley shared this pic of 2"/hr that gave them a quick 5-6" last night on some weak clipper with warm air advection.

The ski areas in the Northern Greens have definitely made their name for the powder snow ski hills in the northeast.  Frequency and random snowfalls do have a place in climo.

IMG_3409.thumb.jpg.2b713079b7b12c82b0853af41ae0c605.jpg

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1 hour ago, powderfreak said:

My dad turning 70 this year and still hunting the powder turns.  He's always been a guy that loved the ungroomed natural snow, but getting older so it becomes a bit tougher.

Over 30 years we've been enjoying powder mornings, as he started me at 3 years old on skis.

157041585_10104474762531880_715005560709

Thats awesome. 

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1 hour ago, powderfreak said:

From my views of Bretton Woods (never skied, only seen from the base a couple times recently), the terrain looks nearly perfect for families and a sustained intermediate pitch.  It's a very Okemo type gradient...no run out and a moderate pitch.  A sustained ramp at just the right angle, along with a strong mountain operations team.  Based on many observations, it's a well executed operation without a lot of rough edges, so to speak.

1,200-1,500 vertical feet of moderate slope, located in an upslope zone that will at least get some refreshes more than neighboring areas... it's a good combination for highly rated snow condition quality.  On average, the intermediate pitch won't see the ice that a steep pitch will see if all else is equal.  Skiers don't edge as hard and gravity doesn't play as big a role in snow conditions. It may not be a 2,000-2,500 vertical foot ski area with sharp relief (Wildcat, Cannon), but I think Bretton Woods is likely a top-tier cruiser mountain based on conditions and operational proficiency.

That sounds like a good assessment. I often wondered how Cannon even keeps any snow on the mountain. The topography of that place doesn’t seem conducive to holding snow in any kind of winds. 

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1 hour ago, powderfreak said:

From my views of Bretton Woods (never skied, only seen from the base a couple times recently), the terrain looks nearly perfect for families and a sustained intermediate pitch.  It's a very Okemo type gradient...no run out and a moderate pitch.  A sustained ramp at just the right angle, along with a strong mountain operations team.  Based on many observations, it's a well executed operation without a lot of rough edges, so to speak.

1,200-1,500 vertical feet of moderate slope, located in an upslope zone that will at least get some refreshes more than neighboring areas... it's a good combination for highly rated snow condition quality.  On average, the intermediate pitch won't see the ice that a steep pitch will see if all else is equal.  Skiers don't edge as hard and gravity doesn't play as big a role in snow conditions. It may not be a 2,000-2,500 vertical foot ski area with sharp relief (Wildcat, Cannon), but I think Bretton Woods is likely a top-tier cruiser mountain based on conditions and operational proficiency.

Great assessment. It’s not for everyone but great for many. And if you know where to go, even advanced skiers can really have fun (if the glades are open). What it really needs though is a good village style base area. But don’t get me started on that... :)

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2 minutes ago, alex said:

Great assessment. It’s not for everyone but great for many. And if you know where to go, even advanced skiers can really have fun (if the glades are open). What it really needs though is a good village style base area. But don’t get me started on that... :)

It cracked my wife and I up when we came up here in May and the area outside BW looked basically exactly the same as it did when I first started skiing there 25-30 years ago. LOL

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We will have to see what happens with the retrograding moisture swinging back into the Green Mtn Spine as we head into the weekend.  The northern areas should see some QPF, snow totals will depend on ratios, varying by area. 

1891803096_March4-5forecast.thumb.jpg.ee930fc7a44e0a3358631574d575ef9e.jpg

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Event totals: 6.0” Snow/0.18” L.E.

 

Details from the 6:00 P.M. Waterbury observations:

New Snow: 0.8 inches

New Liquid: 0.04 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 20.0

Snow Density: 5.0% H2O

Temperature: 28.4 F

Sky: Light Snow (2 to 5 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 20.0 inches

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I can imagine PF or JSpin getting bored at Bretton Woods...well, maybe not bored because they are very good at appreciating all different experiences. BW def has long groomers and a perfect slope to entertain the majority of skiing abilities on the bell curve. But for skiers who def ski expert and beyond, I can see BW being on the tame side. I remember skiing with SkiMRG at Berkshire East. This dude drops out of helicopters in AK...he would just ski off into the woods even if it wasn't actually a trail and find some random drop or rock ledge to shoot off of. Those skiers don't find much enjoyment in long intermediate groomers

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3 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

We actually had some pretty good icing for a time during that storm in the ORH hills. It was well into the event that the cold air drain came south enough to flip our area to ZR. Esp above about 700 feet. I recall above 1000 feet having some pretty decent damage and some power outages, though not like the 2008 ice storm here.  

If I remember that storm correctly, we didn't have any real icing issues here but my BIL who lived in Nelson at the time was out of power for a week. 

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