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wxeyeNH

NNE Cold Season Thread 2020-2021

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1 hour ago, alex said:

I think we see a net gain. And that's usually the case with most cutters anyways, unless they really flood us with warm air. It seems that the most likely scenario is snow to a mix/dryslot to backend upslope -> net result, we gain. That's based on my abysmal knowledge of weather and about 37 seconds spent looking at models; should really go a long way to make you feel better. 

I agree, you guys will net gain. I think I'll maintain the 1" of water locked in snow.

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3 hours ago, Hitman said:

'nothing we haven't seen many times before, unfortunately.  Now if we could just get these damn mountains up to about 10k feet, we'd be in a much better place.

That's certainly true, but this season's Grinch was far out of the ordinary.  The 2.54" on 12/25 is my greatest 1-day precip for any day in DJFM, the +29 temp is the largest positive departure for any day, any month, and it was the latest in the season I've seen a 6" pack go to bare ground.  Currently have 5-6" but I don't think I'll lose it all Saturday - maybe half the qpf of 12/25 and temps 10-15° less mild.

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22 hours ago, powderfreak said:

We are one good QPF dump away from a lot of the natural terrain.  It’s skiable cautiously but would be down to dirt and closed within like an hour, lol.  Even people who poach stuff are like “that was good as the first person but probably wouldn’t be for the 12th person down it.”

If we could get a 0.75-1.0” water equivalent event I think the mountain opens up pretty wide.  At this point it’s not inches of snow to open stuff but water.  Even 3-4” of sleet would do it, ha.

I’m not sure if we’re quite there on the liquid equivalent with this event, but some of the models are definitely getting close.  The BTV NWS AFD isn’t talking too much about total liquid yet, but there is definitely a chance for a solid contribution to the snowpack at elevation.  The snowline isn’t expected to be right down to valley level, but pretty low overall based on the current thoughts from the 12Z guidance:

 

Area Forecast Discussion

National Weather Service Burlington VT

315 PM EST Wed Jan 13 2021

 

.SHORT TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT/...

It will be elevation dependent, with snow levels likely around 1000ft at the onset of precipitation.

 

LONG TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...

As of 250 PM EST Wednesday...As the system lifts north of our region, we should see precipitation transition to all snow. Orographic lift in northwest flow should produce terrain driven snow showers. Based on the latest forecast data, see no reason to change the previous forecaster`s thinking regarding this elevation-dependent event. Early estimates for this forecast are around 0.5"-2.5" in the valleys, 2"-6" in the mid- slopes, and the higher peaks seeing close 8"-11" between Friday night through early Sunday morning. Still watching data trends closely for any shifts that would require changes based on thermal profiles or low track. To describe where models are with 12Z guidance, the GDPS sits farthest west (low near Vermont), near the UKMET. The ECMWF takes the low center across the Maine/NH border, while the GFS remains closer to Maine with the low track. A westward track would focus snow across New York and keep Vermont mostly rain. An eastward track would favor snow, but less precipitation as a whole.

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2 hours ago, J.Spin said:

Yes, we know if you integrate the snowpack over the season thus far, SDD are well below average.

 

Long time lurker here, chiming in.  I always appreciate your data analysis, J.Spin. The numbers never lie so it's a great way to see if our perspectives line up with reality.

In the valleys, snow cover thus far has not felt that abnormal to me. We are always due a cutter or two so nothing new there. The pack has been thin, but these last two weeks of preservation weather has been nice. Even in the CPV, there have been more days this winter with white ground than not.

Where this season really starts to fall apart is in the mountains. This has felt like one of the slowest starts to a ski season that I can remember - barring the non-winter of 15/16. The lack of open natural snow trails has really stuck out to me.

I put together the graph below based on the numbers from the Mansfield stake. Sure enough, we are in bad company. I grew up in VT but was not around for 06-07 or 11-12, which is perhaps why this feels so abnormal. In reality, the graph shows that we are due one of these sub-1000 inch starts every 5 years or so.  I haven't taken the time to add in the SDD for the whole season, but it would be interesting to see where some of these slow starts end up.

As others have been saying, we are one storm away from some good skiing. Hopefully this weekend comes through.

584505097_ScreenShot2021-01-13at3_50_16PM.thumb.png.fda6b3d42d19ce67a281fa55c98c3bd1.png

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@froude do those snow depth data factor in missing data, ie on days when there’s no snow depth reported (early season had a bunch when the NOAA camera was down)?  You probably could fill in some of the gaps as a baseline.  I think this year the stake missed that big upslope event in early November that left 16” or so of depth.  It probably wouldn’t alter the numbers all that much but I’ve always wondered how much some of the missing data days affect SDD up there.  
 

Last winter had a lot of missing data days when the camera went down in January.  If myself or Andre didn’t get up to check it, the values aren’t there and don’t get added in to SDD.  Then COVID closed the ski area and we missed a LOT of snow depth daily reports.  

Edit to say it’s still a terrible snowpack year up high so far, was purely just curious.

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10 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

@froude do those snow depth data factor in missing data, ie on days when there’s no snow depth reported (early season had a bunch when the NOAA camera was down)?  You probably could fill in some of the gaps as a baseline.  I think this year the stake missed that big upslope event in early November that left 16” or so of depth.  It probably wouldn’t alter the numbers all that much but I’ve always wondered how much some of the missing data days affect SDD up there.  
 

Last winter had a lot of missing data days when the camera went down in January.  If myself or Andre didn’t get up to check it, the values aren’t there and don’t get added in to SDD.  Then COVID closed the ski area and we missed a LOT of snow depth daily reports.  

Edit to say it’s still a terrible snowpack year up high so far, was purely just curious.

I just took the average from the days on either side to fill in the gaps. Quite a few years had a few missing days actually. And I filled it in as best I could for that early Nov storm like Matthew did on this graph. Not perfect, but it's still close enough to compare.

As you said, lots of missing data after the ski area closed last winter. But thankfully enough numbers in there that you can extrapolate out.  Thanks to you and others for the work to keep it going. The historical record from the Stake is such a great resource.

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1 hour ago, PhineasC said:

Snow, to heavy rain, to some backside snow. Sigh...

It is what it is. At least the ground will be white again afterwards as we once again nearly reboot the pack building process. 

Hopefully the pattern after this stays active and doesn't go quiet again.

Hard to imagine that much QPF (either way) from a low passing so close to us if not over our head. I would think snow > drizzle/dry slot > upslope would be more likely. But maybe I’m wrong?

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2 minutes ago, alex said:

Hard to imagine that much QPF (either way) from a low passing so close to us if not over our head. I would think snow > drizzle/dry slot > upslope would be more likely. But maybe I’m wrong?

Yep, that makes sense to me. The GFS and Euro don't look too much like the NAM right now anyway. Still time to work out some details on this one.

And, of course, being so marginal there will be surprises in different areas based on geography, anyway.

Hopefully we get a nice 20 degree 12"+ powder storm across the area soon.

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15 minutes ago, froude said:

I just took the average from the days on either side to fill in the gaps. Quite a few years had a few missing days actually. And I filled it in as best I could for that early Nov storm like Matthew did on this graph. Not perfect, but it's still close enough to compare.

As you said, lots of missing data after the ski area closed last winter. But thankfully enough numbers in there that you can extrapolate out.  Thanks to you and others for the work to keep it going. The historical record from the Stake is such a great resource.

Awesome!  Nice work on filling in the data.  Well done on that project, hats off.  Yeah I'm bummed that we lost almost 4-6 weeks of data last winter after the COVID shut down.  I was able to hike up there and get the end of season melt-out data  but we did miss a lot during pretty much the entire month of April.

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8 minutes ago, alex said:

Hard to imagine that much QPF (either way) from a low passing so close to us if not over our head. I would think snow > drizzle/dry slot > upslope would be more likely. But maybe I’m wrong?

If the low goes west of you there's a pretty good surge of low level jet transporting moisture from way down south.  If the low goes east of you, then for sure you won't have that warm conveyor belt slamming into the Whites.

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9 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

If the low goes west of you there's a pretty good surge of low level jet transporting moisture from way down south.  If the low goes east of you, then for sure you won't have that warm conveyor belt slamming into the Whites.

GFS (and it looks like the Euro and v16 too) has been consistent for several cycles now with what looks like a secondary low that pops SE of here and heads up into Maine. Not an ideal setup for major snows or anything, but keeps the firehose east of here and keeps things colder. NAM and RGEM/GGEM are in the other camp, where Alex and I ride the atmospheric river straight over the falls. LOL

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How's the county looking for this weekend for new snow? Caribou north? Asking for a friend. Thanks

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I guess we're keeping weekend discussion in this thread for fear of angering SNE non-skiers/sledders :D looks like 18z GFS and v16 are a touch west of 12z and bump up or maintain QPF across NVT and NNH (PFs aforementioned low level jet?). Weenie maps print roughly similar snow as 12z. Hopefully this is absolute paste topped off with some upslope fluff...or at least something lighter than paste. Right side up snow!

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Just now, MRVexpat said:

I guess we're keeping weekend discussion in this thread for fear of angering SNE non-skiers/sledders :D looks like 18z GFS and v16 are a touch west of 12z and bump up or maintain QPF across NVT and NNH (PFs aforementioned low level jet?). Weenie maps print roughly similar snow as 12z. Hopefully this is absolute paste topped off with some upslope fluff...or at least something lighter than paste. Right side up snow!

The GFS twins and Euro are best-case scenarios for NNE, IMO. The mesos look pretty bad at the moment. Solid period of cold rain shown in there. Let's hope the globals have a better handle on this right now. It is encouraging that they haven't had any way west barf runs yet. Been holding pretty steady.

The runs that take the low up through western Maine have some really nice upslope afterwards.

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24 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

The GFS twins and Euro are best-case scenarios for NNE, IMO. The mesos look pretty bad at the moment. Solid period of cold rain shown in there. Let's hope the globals have a better handle on this right now. It is encouraging that they haven't had any way west barf runs yet. Been holding pretty steady.

The runs that take the low up through western Maine have some really nice upslope afterwards.

I have to admit, that’s all I look at which may explain my positive thinking. Also, if you ignore the AFD and just look at the P&C you get this which is nothing like the AFD lol

58773773-BC39-4B47-B238-DE8FB5829DB1.jpeg

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48 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Latest GYX disco talking about this being a total snowpack annihilator. Not encouraging. I will pretend I didn't read that. LOL

I know you guys are a bit farther east than we are over here in VT, but that latter part of the long term GYX discussion sort of comes off as sensationalist gloom and doom talk… at least with respect to NNH and northwest Maine.  I get it that this is expected to be a mainly rain event for the coastal plain, and I’m not sure how much snow is on the ground there anyway, but thinking this system is going to bring those northern mountainous areas to bare ground is a bit surprising.  We’ve got over an inch of liquid in the snowpack here at our site in the valley, and those famously snowy areas up there at elevation along the ME/NH border must have even more than that.  And regardless of the initial track, most models show how those areas are affected by the backside snows.  I don’t often read the GYX discussion, but it almost feels like some of the comments in there are in line with that conversation we had here about the snowiest areas of their forecast zone being far removed (whether geographically or just in terms of familiarity) from the office.

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1 minute ago, J.Spin said:

I know you guys are a bit farther east than we are over here in VT, but that latter part of the long term GYX discussion sort of comes off as sensationalist gloom and doom talk… at least with respect to NNH and northwest Maine.  I get it that this is expected to be a mainly rain event for the coastal plain, and I’m not sure how much snow is on the ground there anyway, but thinking this system is going to bring those northern mountainous areas to bare ground is a bit surprising.  We’ve got over an inch of liquid in the snowpack here at our site in the valley, and those famously snowy areas up there at elevation along the ME/NH border must have even more than that.  And regardless of the initial track, most models show how those areas are affected by the backside snows.  I don’t often read the GYX discussion, but it almost feels like some of the comments in there are in line with that conversation we had here about the snowiest areas of their forecast zone being far removed (whether geographically or just in terms of familiarity) from the office.

I don’t expect a total wipeout unless the mesos start looking a lot worse. GYX just seems like an office that is not big on snow and forecasts for metro areas full of people who think the same way. LWX down here in MD is the same way. They talk about snow with a sense of dread and disgust sometimes. That’s what their customers want to read. :)  

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11 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

I don’t expect a total wipeout unless the mesos start looking a lot worse. GYX just seems like an office that is not big on snow and forecasts for metro areas full of people who think the same way. LWX down here in MD is the same way. They talk about snow with a sense of dread and disgust sometimes. That’s what their customers want to read. :)  

The great majority of GYX customers are winter enthusiasts who either love snow or make money from snow. It's their imported southern forecasters who don't realize that.  Just kidding Legro wrote that and knows the climo.  

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1 hour ago, PhineasC said:

Latest GYX disco talking about this being a total snowpack annihilator. Not encouraging. I will pretend I didn't read that. LOL

I hope not. I definitely thought you would see a net gain. I'm hoping to ski BW Saturday.

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53 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

I know you guys are a bit farther east than we are over here in VT, but that latter part of the long term GYX discussion sort of comes off as sensationalist gloom and doom talk… at least with respect to NNH and northwest Maine.  I get it that this is expected to be a mainly rain event for the coastal plain, and I’m not sure how much snow is on the ground there anyway, but thinking this system is going to bring those northern mountainous areas to bare ground is a bit surprising.  We’ve got over an inch of liquid in the snowpack here at our site in the valley, and those famously snowy areas up there at elevation along the ME/NH border must have even more than that.  And regardless of the initial track, most models show how those areas are affected by the backside snows.  I don’t often read the GYX discussion, but it almost feels like some of the comments in there are in line with that conversation we had here about the snowiest areas of their forecast zone being far removed (whether geographically or just in terms of familiarity) from the office.

See I'll disagree, I don't really see any issue with this discussion.  Seems to lay it out that to the vast majority of their snow lover population this won't be a big net gain.

I think the disco lays it out pretty honestly... for the vast majority of their population it will be a net loss, with the only exception being the few folks living in Coos County like Alex and Phin.

For most snow lovers who live outside the sparsely populated areas, it won't be a good event...I actually think the AFD would be misleading if it was the other way around, advertising this as a positive event for the bulk of snow lovers, ha.

.LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY/...
...Potential for a Moderate Impact Event This Saturday...
Model guidance remains in good agreement for the first
significant system in a few weeks it seems. A rapidly developing
surface low on an approaching closed 500mb trough in the Ohio
River valley will tap into Atlantic moisture on Saturday. IVT
values are in the 90th percentile with a descent atmospheric
river signature, but the signature if brief. Pattern recognition
and longevity of this quick moving system most likely support a
1" widespread rainfall event on the coastal plain, with 1.5"
across the southerly favored upslope areas. Most of the rain
will fall in a quick 6hr burst moving from the south to north
through the day. This is definitely an all rain event south of
the mountains except for a brief period of snow to mix across
the Lakes/Foothills Saturday morning. Overall, this will be a
snowmelt storm for the majority of the area, so bare ground for
mid-January looks to be the case by this weekend. The only
exception will be the higher terrain of the mountains, where the
snow could hang on a bit longer, but expect a changeover even
here all the up to 3K feet. The only area we have to watch for a
potential wet snow event would be Northern COOS county if
things trend just a little cooler. Overall not a good event for
snow lovers.

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2 hours ago, PhineasC said:

Latest GYX disco talking about this being a total snowpack annihilator. Not encouraging. I will pretend I didn't read that. LOL

They didn't say that for your area though as I read that.  They called out COOS county as an exception.  I bet after the event as modeled though that 75% of their population is without snow cover, the majority of the area... not all of the area.  We'll see what the Maine/NH posters have for snow cover after this, it could just be you and Alex which fits with the AFD.

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I'm not sure I entirely buy into the idea of a changeover to rain up to 3,000' quite yet. If the Canadian/NAM solution were to verify, then yes...I agree this is a possibility. But the Euro/GFS are decidedly colder, and the Euro is actually a good snow event for the majority of the White Mountains. At 60+ hours I will hedge toward the Euro/GFS over the Canadian/NAM just about every time.

I do think that areas south of the notches and below 1500' in elevation are in trouble. This will likely be another miss for the snow-starved Mount Washington Valley, which has really only seen two significant snowfalls so far (12/17 and 1/2). I think North Conway proper is only around 12" for the season to date at this point. But I have a feeling the Canadian/NAM will hedge closer to the Euro/GFS solution as we get closer, and I'd be feeling reasonably optimistic if I were Alex and Phin right now. I'm not as confident about my immediate location.

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1 minute ago, jculligan said:

I'm not sure I entirely buy into the idea of a changeover to rain up to 3,000' quite yet. If the Canadian/NAM solution were to verify, then yes...I agree this is a possibility. But the Euro/GFS are decidedly colder, and the Euro is actually a good snow event for the majority of the White Mountains. At 60+ hours I will hedge toward the Euro/GFS over the Canadian/NAM just about every time.

I do think that areas south of the notches and below 1500' in elevation are in trouble. This will likely be another miss for the snow-starved Mount Washington Valley, which has really only seen two significant snowfalls so far (12/17 and 1/2). I think North Conway proper is only around 12" for the season to date at this point. But I have a feeling the Canadian/NAM will hedge closer to the Euro/GFS solution as we get closer, and I'd be feeling reasonably optimistic if I were Alex and Phin right now. I'm not as confident about my immediate location.

Nice write up. Hope you are right. I am figuring we might get some eastward tics as we get closer too. That seems to be a theme in NE. 

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7 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

They didn't say that for your area though as I read that.  They called out COOS county as an exception.  I bet after the event as modeled though that 75% of their population is without snow cover, the majority of the area... not all of the area.  We'll see what the Maine/NH posters have for snow cover after this, it could just be you and Alex which fits with the AFD.

Yeah, as I mentioned before I don’t expect a custom AFD for Randolph. I adjust accordingly assuming they are writing that for Berlin, at best. Maybe Conway. Those are population centers. 

I was commenting more on the very disturbing language as a snow lover. It needs a trigger warning. LOL

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4 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Yeah, as I mentioned before I don’t expect a custom AFD for Randolph. I adjust accordingly assuming they are writing that for Berlin, at best. Maybe Conway. Those are population centers. 

I was commenting more on the very disturbing language as a snow lover. It needs a trigger warning. LOL

True, but I doubt they are talking Berlin and even North Conway.  NH looks very similar.  The vast majority of readers will experience what they said IMO.

It's likely not even worth reading for the area north of the Whites to be honest.

Maine_population_map.png

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I'm headed to Rangeley tomorrow for a week,  Sleds are ready to go. Think we are safe that is will be gainer not looser.

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1 minute ago, powderfreak said:

True, but I doubt they are talking Berlin and even North Conway.  NH looks very similar.  The vast majority of readers will experience what they said IMO.

It's likely not even worth reading for the area north of the Whites to be honest.

Maine_population_map.png

We are saying the same thing. :) 

That's what I meant by saying at best they would be referring to Berlin when talking about "the mountainous north."

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