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December Discobs 2020

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37 minutes ago, Rhino16 said:

You do think it would start as rain in the mountains, then transition to heavy snow? I have trouble understanding the temperatures with elevation change like that...

Yeah, unfortunately rain everywhere but should transition quickly...

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54 minutes ago, Rhino16 said:

You do think it would start as rain in the mountains, then transition to heavy snow? I have trouble understanding the temperatures with elevation change like that...

South winds warm all elevations quickly... In a northwest flow regime, the high elevations will be colder and snowier than surrounding areas, but there isn’t much difference between the high elevations and valley prior to a strong cold front... everyone warms up. As soon as the winds shift the higher elevations will very quickly transition to snow.

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20 minutes ago, nj2va said:

Amazing that a clipper produced that, very cool.  How much did Canaan get?  

Only about 6".  But its concrete wet-type, I'm sure the qpf was pretty high.  Very dense snow pack now, should hopefully hold up pretty well against the impending warm up over the next couple of days.

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6 minutes ago, jonjon said:

Only about 6".  But its concrete wet-type, I'm sure the qpf was pretty high.  Very dense snow pack now, should hopefully hold up pretty well against the impending warm up over the next couple of days.

I’m coming in on Xmas day and I have 4 wheel drive (used to live in Pocahontas so am very comfortable driving in the snow). My question is... will Tucker county be plowing on Xmas day?

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2 minutes ago, chris21 said:

I’m coming in on Xmas day and I have 4 wheel drive (used to live in Pocahontas so am very comfortable driving in the snow). My question is... will Tucker county be plowing on Xmas day?

I'm not sure, but I think so.  Not sure if its going to be super high amounts of snow on Christmas that the need for plows will be real high, just the run of the mill snow covered roads.  Hope I'm wrong, though.

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We may miss on snow and rain at times, but WIND never....sheesh. Currently WNW at 22 gusting to 37 and been like that for a couple hours now. Very little snow here, just flurries roaring by in the wind this morning.

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3 hours ago, jonjon said:

I'm not sure, but I think so.  Not sure if its going to be super high amounts of snow on Christmas that the need for plows will be real high, just the run of the mill snow covered roads.  Hope I'm wrong, though.

I’ve been to Davis many times with absolutely white out conditions and I’ve never seen roads I would consider bad. They do a good job. 

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Some said that it rained / Sleeted at the bottom of snowshoe mountain last night, roads were probably terrible slushy mess.

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12Z GFS has a 20-degree drop in one hour Thursday night.  The 12Z NAM has a 22-degree drop.  Not sure I have ever seen that with a frontal passage, outside of the mountains.

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6 hours ago, jonjon said:

I'm not sure, but I think so.  Not sure if its going to be super high amounts of snow on Christmas that the need for plows will be real high, just the run of the mill snow covered roads.  Hope I'm wrong, though.

Do you find NWS Pitt has issues forecasting for Canaan valley? The current forecast has no precipitation for Friday (almost every time I’ve visited Canaan in the winter, NWS Pitt has underdone the amounts). Charleston seems to do a better job with Snowshoe.

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5 minutes ago, losetoa6 said:

Most guidance is 40-55 mph I've seen 

Yea...I def took the low end of whats being advertised.  Lots of 50+ on the models.  Get your Christmas candles out...or your Christmas generator!

Def seems like the gfs is trying to get back to some snow...Flakes would be great.  A quick period of rates and stickage....with morning roof blizzards would be perfect...

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3 hours ago, WinterWxLuvr said:

I’ve been to Davis many times with absolutely white out conditions and I’ve never seen roads I would consider bad. They do a good job. 

Yep.  I drove out for the storm in Jan 2016, was there the first day skiing at Timberline in an absolute whiteout, snow continued overnight, and woke up to almost 30" total.  I drove from the lodge at Canaan to Timberline the next morning with no problems whatsoever.  Roads were completely plowed and easy 3-4 hours after a 30" storm.  They know what they are doing.

 

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49 minutes ago, chris21 said:

Do you find NWS Pitt has issues forecasting for Canaan valley? The current forecast has no precipitation for Friday (almost every time I’ve visited Canaan in the winter, NWS Pitt has underdone the amounts). Charleston seems to do a better job with Snowshoe.

I’d be curious Jon’s thoughts for Canaan but until last month, NWS Pitt covered Garrett County and I always felt they were a few steps behind. 

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5 minutes ago, nj2va said:

I’d be curious Jon’s thoughts for Canaan but until last month, NWS Pitt covered Garrett County and I always felt they were a few steps behind. 

Mountain forecasting is hard, no matter where you are.  The models generally don't account for upslope and local terrain effects well, and often underestimate precip and snow.  I have spent a lot of time in mountains from Virginia to Maine and from Colorado to the Cascades, and the NWS zone forecasts are never very good.

That said, NWS PIT handled this event well - they issued a WSW for Tucker yesterday for 5-9" and were right on the mark.

Most people here probably know about it, but for those who don't, http://data.canaanmtnsnow.com/ is a great local resource for Davis/Canaan.

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43 minutes ago, poolz1 said:

Yea...I def took the low end of whats being advertised.  Lots of 50+ on the models.  Get your Christmas candles out...or your Christmas generator!

Def seems like the gfs is trying to get back to some snow...Flakes would be great.  A quick period of rates and stickage....with morning roof blizzards would be perfect...

Wife already mentioned this regarding generator.  While we do have a 45kW diesel standby and keep all the (Christmas) lights on until sunrise Christmas Day (it's a tradition both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve to run them dusk till dawn) I don't see running that HOG on high idle for stinkin' lights!  The smaller 5kW will suffice fine.

It's kind of funny here anyhow.  We have three phase power on the street so our service is VERY reliable.  But a clear sunny day it can just go *poof* for 3 seconds to a few minutes without warning which is annoying.

GFS model showing a few gusts in upper 50s low 60s around supper time.  That's not good.  That's quality R&R time for me!  I like the sound of the wind through the spruce forest, far better than the crack and woosh from last Wed night with all that ice! It's not even Jan and I've probably got a cord or two of mixed wood down from that storm.

If that's not enough we have a fair amount of inflatables in the front yard.  Those tend to not like winds over 30-40 mph either.  I got them guyed well but the flapping tends to break the wires inside and the LEDs go dark.

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4 minutes ago, Stormfly said:

Wife already mentioned this regarding generator.  While we do have a 45kW diesel standby and keep all the (Christmas) lights on until sunrise Christmas Day (it's a tradition both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve to run them dusk till dawn) I don't see running that HOG on high idle for stinkin' lights!  The smaller 5kW will suffice fine.

It's kind of funny here anyhow.  We have three phase power on the street so our service is VERY reliable.  But a clear sunny day it can just go *poof* for 3 seconds to a few minutes without warning which is annoying.

GFS model showing a few gusts in upper 50s low 60s around supper time.  That's not good.  That's quality R&R time for me!  I like the sound of the wind through the spruce forest, far better than the crack and woosh from last Wed night with all that ice! It's not even Jan and I've probably got a cord or two of mixed wood down from that storm.

If that's not enough we have a fair amount of inflatables in the front yard.  Those tend to not like winds over 30-40 mph either.  I got them guyed well but the flapping tends to break the wires inside and the LEDs go dark.

No diesel generator here but I do have a job site generator...4500W which would keep things refrigerated and a few amenities.  We have been in this house for 16 yeas and have never lost power for more than 30 minutes...and that has only been a time or two.  Rumor has it that the main feed for a military installation on S Mt runs along our backroad and our power is drawn from that. Idk if that is true but we certainly loose cable internet quite a bit after storms and friends around the area loose power often.

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I have livestock (tropical fish, reptiles, et al) and don't have the liberty to "bug out" and stay in a hotel or friend that has power.
Also have a mini datacenter for various systems we use.  Reliable power is important!

We only lose power for days when something bad happens which fortunately isn't often:

Isabel: 4 days
Irene:  2 days
March '18 windstorm 2 days

We did not lose power at all from "carmageddon" - 01.26.11 storm, Sandy or the Derecho in 2012.  Go figure.

 

Power reliability is based on many factors.  I lived on a road that was next to a critical care facility and the power never went out as well where everyone else was so that's a possibility.

Cable is a different story entirely!  CATV/DOCSIS unlike fiber needs amplifiers every few miles at most.  These are usually powered by a drop from a residential pole pig or potential transformer.  They also are SUPPOSED to have a backup battery but lots of 'em need replacing.  That annoying blinking red light on the grey box on a pole?  Yep, that's an amp/node with bad back up battery.  And if the power is interrupted to one and it happens to be feeding your area you lose TV/phone/internet.  Annoying AF!  When we had Armstrong it seemed like whenever there was a thunderstorm with just a clap of thunder we'd lose all three for a few hours.

When Verizon (FiOS) came to our area in 2015, it's been rock solid since.  FTTP FTW!

 

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3 hours ago, mattskiva said:

Mountain forecasting is hard, no matter where you are.  The models generally don't account for upslope and local terrain effects well, and often underestimate precip and snow.  I have spent a lot of time in mountains from Virginia to Maine and from Colorado to the Cascades, and the NWS zone forecasts are never very good.

That said, NWS PIT handled this event well - they issued a WSW for Tucker yesterday for 5-9" and were right on the mark.

Most people here probably know about it, but for those who don't, http://data.canaanmtnsnow.com/ is a great local resource for Davis/Canaan.

Dave Lesher is a great resource as is “the fearless forecaster” who posts on white grass’ website regularly.  When I lived in Pocahontas for a few years the zone forecasts were rough but I feel like Charleston and Sterling had more of a focus on the mountain zones.

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22° up here.

It’s crazy the amount of light pollution there is. It’s almost like it’s always 6am... or a full moon... from the bottom of the mountain, all you see are the clouds being illuminated. Don’t know why I’m realizing this now...

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3 hours ago, mattskiva said:

Mountain forecasting is hard, no matter where you are.  The models generally don't account for upslope and local terrain effects well, and often underestimate precip and snow.  I have spent a lot of time in mountains from Virginia to Maine and from Colorado to the Cascades, and the NWS zone forecasts are never very good.

That said, NWS PIT handled this event well - they issued a WSW for Tucker yesterday for 5-9" and were right on the mark.

Most people here probably know about it, but for those who don't, http://data.canaanmtnsnow.com/ is a great local resource for Davis/Canaan.

Yeah, mountains always adds some difficult forecasting conditions but just comparing Pitt to LWX, I can already see a difference with LWX even reading their forecast discussions for the mountain zone.  Beyond the challenges of forecasting in mountains, I just find LWX a much higher quality than Pitt.

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5 minutes ago, MN Transplant said:

We don't usually realize the high gusts with S to SE winds, but this bears watching.

I think Sterling was saying very possible that convective showers will bring down the 925mb winds to the surface in gusts fwiw

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Speaking of Charleston vs Pittsburgh. Charleston is already being aggressive for snowshoe Thursday into Friday calling for up to a foot of new snow. Pitt always seems to be lagging behind but they do have snow in the forecast for Canaan....just not getting into specifics yet.

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