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NNE Warm Season Thread 2021


wxeyeNH
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4 hours ago, backedgeapproaching said:

Been really dry pretty much everywhere in VT,  we're pretty much half way through the year and precip totals are pretty low.  Bennington County has top 4 spots.  The lowest I saw that had all days covered was South Burlington with 9.75". That's crazy for 6 months worth. I guess the only caveat would be if the observers are not doing LE for all snow events, maybe that's the case.

Screenshot_20210613-075939_Chrome.thumb.jpg.8d691f1be200443d1f44716a03316124.jpg

 

I see our site is on there at 15.53” – we were close to 5” behind average pace at the end of May.  June is the wettest month in our data set, averaging almost 7” of liquid.  We’ll have to see how the rest of the month goes, but since it makes such a big contribution to the average annual precipitation, it’s an easy month to put things farther behind average pace if it’s a slow rainfall month.

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3 hours ago, J.Spin said:

I see our site is on there at 15.53” – we were close to 5” behind average pace at the end of May.  June is the wettest month in our data set, averaging almost 7” of liquid.  We’ll have to see how the rest of the month goes, but since it makes such a big contribution to the average annual precipitation, it’s an easy month to put things farther behind average pace if it’s a slow rainfall month.

June is our 2nd wettest month with 5.25" - Oct averages 5.70" - and we're at 0.06" through today, and forecasters appear to be backing off precip amounts for tomorrow/Tuesday.

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3 hours ago, tamarack said:

June is our 2nd wettest month with 5.25" - Oct averages 5.70" - and we're at 0.06" through today, and forecasters appear to be backing off precip amounts for tomorrow/Tuesday.

It’s probably not coincidence that those are our two wettest months as well, although it is interesting that they’re flipped with June the wettest averaging ~7” of liquid and October next with ~5¼” of liquid.  Perhaps they’ll even out somewhat as the data set continues to grow.

13JUN21A.jpg

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6 hours ago, J.Spin said:

I see our site is on there at 15.53” – we were close to 5” behind average pace at the end of May.  June is the wettest month in our data set, averaging almost 7” of liquid.  We’ll have to see how the rest of the month goes, but since it makes such a big contribution to the average annual precipitation, it’s an easy month to put things farther behind average pace if it’s a slow rainfall month.

We had some monster June's for water over the past 10-15 years.  May too.  Looking at the Mansfield Coop data when they recorded liquid and it was staffed by WCAX engineers on the summit to record it, there have been some big May/June couplets between 5 and 15 years ago.  Like 2005-2015 had some very wet months.  Like 15" in June one year where it averages a half inch of water per day all month.... that's hard to fathom right now, ha!

I definitely think of our climate as being wet in May/June, drying out as the summer goes on, then an increase again in the late fall as synoptic storms start to ramp up again. 

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Next up in the analysis of this past season’s snowfall is January, and those data are below.  This past January was at least average with respect to snowfall, and it was even a bit better than the previous season.

A trend that we’ve talked about in the forum, but certainly stands out when the data are plotted, is that notable stretch of Januarys with poor snowfall from 2012 to 2018.  That period contains the five least snowy Januarys in our period of record, packed into quite a short span.  Prior to that stretch, the January snowfall average in our data set was similar to the other midwinter months at ~40”, but it really started to fall off during that period.  In many cases, the reduced snowfall seemed to be in part due to those January outbreaks of arctic air, where the storm spigot would shut off in NNE as the intrusion of dry, cold air pushed the storm track farther south.  We’ll see how January behaves around here going forward, but these past three seasons seem to have been a return to the type of snowfall we’d had before that period.

14JUN21A.jpg

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14 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

Next up in the analysis of this past season’s snowfall is January, and those data are below.  This past January was at least average with respect to snowfall, and it was even a bit better than the previous season.

 

A trend that we’ve talked about in the forum, but certainly stands out when the data are plotted, is that notable stretch of Januarys with poor snowfall from 2012 to 2018.  That period contains the five least snowy Januarys in our period of record, packed into quite a short span.  Prior to that stretch, the January snowfall average in our data set was similar to the other midwinter months at ~40”, but it really started to fall off during that period.  In many cases, the reduced snowfall seemed to be in part due to those January outbreaks of arctic air, where the storm spigot would shut off in NNE as the intrusion of dry, cold air pushed the storm track farther south.  We’ll see how January behaves around here going forward, but these past three seasons seem to have been a return to the type of snowfall we’d had before that period.

 

14JUN21A.jpg

Comparing notes, your monthly totals are above mine about 90% of the time, no surprise since your snowfall is nearly 80% more than here and is less synoptic dependent.
--Skipping super-stochastic October, I had more than you in November 2009 with a 3.4" event in early month but trailed in all other years, by only 0.2" for 11/11. 
--December 2013 had 2 events 10"+ and a total of 30.9" and the 21" dump of 12/29-30/16 left me a tenth shy of 40". 
--For January only 2015 gave me more snow, thanks to the "absentee blizzard" on 27-28 dropping 20" while not doing much in NW NNE.  January 2008 was only a tenth behind your total but other years my snow wasn't even close to yours. 
For the 14-year POR and 3 months thus 42 data points, you've had more snow 38 times and I've not been very close 36 of 42.  Your snowfall seems a lot more consistent than mine, with the one exception of 15-16 which was terrible here but far worse in VT.

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1 hour ago, tamarack said:

 Your snowfall seems a lot more consistent than mine, with the one exception of 15-16 which was terrible here but far worse in VT.

Indeed, snowfall consistency seems to be a big feature of our location, and I’d say in the Northern Greens in general.  It feels like the climatological aspects that impart the snowfall consistency are likely playing a significant role in pushing the annual snowfall averages above the other mountain ranges in the region as well.

If I had to rank the factors promoting consistency at our site relative to other regional locales, I’d say that orographics is probably at the top of the list.  On the next tier for consistency contributors I’d put effects of LES by being relatively proximal/downwind of the lakes, and being one of the windward ranges in the region.  Having Clippers (vs. other types of less consistent storms) as a major part of our winter snow climate is probably in there as well.  The presence of Clippers themselves shouldn’t really be much of a consistency factor relative to the rest of NNE, since everyone at a certain latitude should get in on the storm, but the performance from those Clippers is enhanced by the other factors.

I think where areas off to the south and east of NVT can capitalize more on snowfall is with coastal storms.  It’s not that the Northern Greens miss out on coastals/nor’easters, and in fact we can often do quite well with the synoptic portions of those systems.  However, if it’s one of those more compact systems, or something farther offshore, on average, it seems like areas off to the south and east are going to get more snow/liquid from the synoptic portions of those storms.  The thing is, coastal storms are already a somewhat infrequent occurrence, and on top of that they lack consistency in positioning and behavior even when they do occur.  So, potentially performing marginally worse in a phenomenon that is relatively infrequent with inconsistent performance, just isn’t going to be much of a hit to snowfall averages.  It’s really not likely to affect snowfall consistency much, and if anything one might want to down weight our typical coastal systems in their snowfall climate repertoire if the goal was improved snowfall consistency.

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35 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

Indeed, snowfall consistency seems to be a big feature of our location, and I’d say in the Northern Greens in general.  It feels like the climatological aspects that impart the snowfall consistency are likely playing a significant role in pushing the annual snowfall averages above the other mountain ranges in the region as well.

If I had to rank the factors promoting consistency at our site relative to other regional locales, I’d say that orographics is probably at the top of the list.  On the next tier for consistency contributors I’d put effects of LES by being relatively proximal/downwind of the lakes, and being one of the windward ranges in the region.  Having Clippers (vs. other types of less consistent storms) as a major part of our winter snow climate is probably in there as well.  The presence of Clippers themselves shouldn’t really be much of a consistency factor relative to the rest of NNE, since everyone at a certain latitude should get in on the storm, but the performance from those Clippers is enhanced by the other factors.

I think where areas off to the south and east of NVT can capitalize more on snowfall is with coastal storms.  It’s not that the Northern Greens miss out on coastals/nor’easters, and in fact we can often do quite well with the synoptic portions of those systems.  However, if it’s one of those more compact systems, or something farther offshore, on average, it seems like areas off to the south and east are going to get more snow/liquid from the synoptic portions of those storms.  The thing is, coastal storms are already a somewhat infrequent occurrence, and on top of that they lack consistency in positioning and behavior even when they do occur.  So, potentially performing marginally worse in a phenomenon that is relatively infrequent with inconsistent performance, just isn’t going to be much of a hit to snowfall averages.  It’s really not likely to affect snowfall consistency much, and if anything one might want to down weight our typical coastal systems in their snowfall climate repertoire if the goal was improved snowfall consistency.

Essentially zero LES here and orographics are actually a negative.  As you noted, coastals can be hard to find but they're the big dogs here.  Meat and potatoes are SWFEs and clippers, with CAD often the difference between decent and meh.

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February is next in the monthly snowfall chronology, and it was a solid contributor this past season.  At face value, I wouldn’t consider this past February’s snowfall anything more than roughly average, but as I’ve been seeing with these plots, actually putting together the visual is a nice way to get a feel for trends.

The plot reveals that although 47.2” is nothing remarkable, it’s actually the fourth highest February in my records.  Even before plotting the data, I knew that February was the king of consistency at our site among the various snowfall months, so that probably puts its reliability way up there for an area that already has a relatively high consistency in snowfall.

The only February in the plot that really sticks out as much of a dud is the one from the highly anomalous ’15-‘16 season – all the other entries look quite decent.  Consistency usually plays both ways of course, and I hadn’t noticed the lack of outstanding Februarys until making this plot.  In 15 seasons worth of data now, there’s no February getting anywhere near the 70” range like instances I’ve seen for December and January.  There hasn’t even been a February approaching 60”, and the month has yet to hit even a modest 55” total here in that entire period of record.  I’d say that current February snowfall record for our site is certainly ripe for breaking at some point, but climatologically, it’s funny to think of how an incredibly snowy month like February has thus far been capped under 55” of snow here.

15JUN21A.jpg

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15 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

February is next in the monthly snowfall chronology, and it was a solid contributor this past season.  At face value, I wouldn’t consider this past February’s snowfall anything more than roughly average, but as I’ve been seeing with these plots, actually putting together the visual is a nice way to get a feel for trends.

 

The plot reveals that although 47.2” is nothing remarkable, it’s actually the fourth highest February in my records.  Even before plotting the data, I knew that February was the king of consistency at our site among the various snowfall months, so that probably puts its reliability way up there for an area that already has a relatively high consistency in snowfall.

 

The only February in the plot that really sticks out as much of a dud is the one from the highly anomalous ’15-‘16 season – all the other entries look quite decent.  Consistency usually plays both ways of course, and I hadn’t noticed the lack of outstanding Februarys until making this plot.  In 15 seasons worth of data now, there’s no February getting anywhere near the 70” range like instances I’ve seen for December and January.  There hasn’t even been a February approaching 60”, and the month has yet to hit even a modest 55” total here in that entire period of record.  I’d say that current February snowfall record for our site is certainly ripe for breaking at some point, but climatologically, it’s funny to think of how an incredibly snowy month like February has thus far been capped under 55” of snow here.

 

15JUN21A.jpg

When I read the recaps you've been posting and I come across mentions of 2015-16, I immediately break out into a cold sweat and start to shake violently.  I think I'll suffer PTSD from that winter forever.

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10 minutes ago, mreaves said:

When I read the recaps you've been posting and I come across mentions of 2015-16, I immediately break out into a cold sweat and start to shake violently.  I think I'll suffer PTSD from that winter forever.

That was my worst winter for snow with 48.2" but it included the rare February when I had more snow (17.7") than J.Spin.  Also had a bit more, 33.1" in Feb 2013, despite getting a modest 11.3" from the 8-9 storm while nearby AUG and LEW had more than 2 feet.   AUG had light-moderate snow all day on the 8th, with 6" on the pavement at our Eastside office.  Got home and found less than an inch, and so it went.   Only storm in which PWM had 20"+ more than I did since I moved south from Ft. Kent. 
(They had their 2nd biggest snowfall - 1st at the time - on Jan 17-18, 1979 with 27.1".  I had 0.5" on the 18th after recording -8/-47 on the 17th.  Jan '79 was a truly weird month in FK, recording 3 of my 5 coldest mornings there with -47, -42 and -39.  It also had 5 mornings with minima 33-35; those are the only above-32 minima I've recorded in my 49 Maine Januarys.  Despite 6 mornings -29 to -47, the month finished 5.4° AN.)

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19 minutes ago, wxeyeNH said:

62F  Heavy thunderstorm just ended.    .83"!   Finally some substantial rain.   Had .17" from yesterday too.

I was just complaining about not getting all that much when a rogue cell popped up.  Up to .33" on the day and over a half inch for the week

 image.png.d61909667c109b62bdc69706443df78f.png

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1 minute ago, mreaves said:

I was just complaining about not getting all that much when a rogue cell popped up.  Up to .33" on the day and over a half inch for the week

 image.png.d61909667c109b62bdc69706443df78f.png

Glad you got some rain.  The cell that got me really intensified just over me.  Lots of thunder and lightning.  I was not home at the time but the webcam caught it 

https://video.nest.com/clip/3247c2bd8247448ebfa2235c808c3415.mp4

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5 hours ago, mreaves said:

When I read the recaps you've been posting and I come across mentions of 2015-16, I immediately break out into a cold sweat and start to shake violently.  I think I'll suffer PTSD from that winter forever.

That winter was so outrageously anomalous in this area (snowfall at our site was 2.38 σ below the mean, statistical occurrence at 1 in 116 seasons).  It’s hard to imagine how it even happened, especially around here in one of the most consistent snowfall areas in the eastern U.S.  I did a quick look through my ski reports from the season, and it seems that for starters, it took forever to get going.  My first day of backcountry skiing was on January 23rd, which is probably not all that late, but the snowpack at the Mt. Mansfield Stake didn’t even reach 30” until February 21st.  In addition, the stake never reached even the 40” benchmark.  I was wondering if it was some powerful combination of being both warm and dry.  It was somewhat dry (October through May precipitation was about 5 to 6 inches below average at our site) so that likely contributed to part of it, but after reading through some of my reports, it sounds like “warm” was also a theme, and may have been the larger contributor to the overall result.  Thank god we at least didn’t know beforehand that such a low snowfall winter was coming – I’m not sure how it would have affected the psyche of everyone involved in the various snow sports industries if we knew ahead of time what everyone would have to go through.

WorstEver.jpg

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Moving into the last third of winter season, I have the March snowfall data for our site below.  This past March was certainly below average in terms of snowfall, but not down there in the single digits as we’ve seen a couple of times.  March shows much more variability than stalwart February, and on that note, it’s interesting to see that even March has exceeded a 55” monthly snow total in our data set, whereas February hasn’t.  Despite the variability, there haven’t been any long runs of lean Marches, and on the higher end, that 2017-2019 period looks like it was a standout stretch of March snow totals.

16JUN21A.jpg

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That final clump of precip early last evening looked like it might drop a tenth or 2 here but it died on the vine.  13 hours of occasional mist and sprinkles added 0.01" to the 0.12" I measured at 7 AM yesterday.  June hasn't quite reached the 0.2" mark here.

Edit: March is another month with 2 years having more here than there, though both were BN here.  March '16 had a modest 6.0" and March '20 had 15.5" thanks to the snow season's biggest event (10.3") on 23-24.  This past March made up for those, squeezing out 0.1" that was really 0.005".

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