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What Went Wrong in Winter 23-24/Base State/Will It Ever Snow Again??


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2 hours ago, BlizzardNole said:

We are nearing retirement and want a big yard after living in a packed development for decades.  My wife is pushing for lower southern MD where my parents and sibs are and where property is cheaper.  10 or 15 years ago that would have scared the heck outta me having grown up in Calvert.  Now though?  Nah, what's the difference living SE of the "new Richmond" compared to NW.  

Wife and I went up and down for years about where to settle. We thought thru just about everywhere. We kept getting hung up on tradeoffs without really understanding what the top 3-5 things both us really wanted were. Once we figured that out it got much easier. My top 5 were affordability/low taxes, minimal property restrictions, mountain view+close to big lake, private road access, and no sounds of industry or traffic. With snow I decided as long as we live in the northeaster zone I'll experience some biggies while still happily making my living and living my life outdoors.

We're both snow weenies but my affliction is more more serious and hers much more playful lol. But at the end of day, moving somewhere (anywhere) that averages 50"+ of snow a year came with way too many tradeoffs for us. Terrible spring weather and ground conditions being my biggest reason. We both decided that if we were going to move for snow it has to be go big or go home because in between is a net negative for our lifestyle. 

I'm sure plenty of people kinda wondered why we went south lol. It wasn't for warmer weather as it's actually cooler there with summer temps which is amazing. We never have to run the AC in our RV after 10pm. Always in the 60s at night in the forest. We ended up south because of affordability, super lax zoning (building permits only required for liveable space), and being smack dab next to a mountain and a lake. We never looked near sm mtn lake until we did the top 5 lists. Looking back we couldn't have found a better spot for us and our goals in life.

We're different people so my way is just that. But consider doing the top 5 lists and using that to objectively guide the search. It took us 2 years to find the spot and half of that time was spent looking when neither of us really knew what we wanted beyond pretty pictures of country land lol 

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On 2/16/2024 at 3:40 AM, psuhoffman said:

In a colder base state the nao was king. But a +pdo -nao could be cold/dry. So a lot of our snowiest years were -pdo -nao. A -pdo +nao was always a bad bad bad pattern though. 
 

Problem now imo, we’ve warmed too much for a -pdo -nao to work the same as it used too. The pac storms are coming in too amplified and dig the western trough more. The warmer gulf and atl pump the SER more. The SER links with the nao. Everything gets shifted north.  It seems now the epo/pna have become more important. We’ve lost a -pdo -nao as a big snow producer combination. 

in the grand scheme of things, 2016 was not that long ago. Have we warmed that much since 2016/reached a tipping point? Maybe the Tonga eruption was a factor in having us go past the tipping point? 

 

Quote

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-022-01568-2

Tonga eruption increases chance of temporary surface temperature anomaly above 1.5 °C

 

 

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Also,

The historic 09-10 winter, 2016 one storm wonder, and the winters you mentioned all had neutral to positive PDO at times. That is one of the main differences between 09-10 and now (the PDO). We do not actually know if that historic winter would have worked with a strongly negative PDO. 

@psuhoffman

 

 

Screen Shot 2024-02-18 at 11.41.15 AM.png

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We also over grasp  at every new index theory that comes  along  Too many cooks in the kitchen and way too much micro scoping acting as if getting down to 1 mile  by 1 mile enhances accuracy. It doesn’t, it’s like zooming your camera up too much and everything is blurry. Try more of a binocular approach instead of microscope and you won’t get overly specific errors. 5 miles by 5 miles is more than enough “close up”  Since  have asked for my suggestions-just gave Another one 

We have been unsuccessful in trying to “mathmetize” our way to betterment so we on our own resources can’t derive a solution. AI can likely develop something unthought of which perhaps combines in some of the successful elements of the antiquated floppy disk ways .

 

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1 hour ago, Bob Chill said:

Wife and I went up and down for years about where to settle. We thought thru just about everywhere. We kept getting hung up on tradeoffs without really understanding what the top 3-5 things both us really wanted were. Once we figured that out it got much easier. My top 5 were affordability/low taxes, minimal property restrictions, mountain view+close to big lake, private road access, and no sounds of industry or traffic. With snow I decided as long as we live in the northeaster zone I'll experience some biggies while still happily making my living and living my life outdoors.

We're both snow weenies but my affliction is more more serious and hers much more playful lol. But at the end of day, moving somewhere (anywhere) that averages 50"+ of snow a year came with way too many tradeoffs for us. Terrible spring weather and ground conditions being my biggest reason. We both decided that if we were going to move for snow it has to be go big or go home because in between is a net negative for our lifestyle. 

I'm sure plenty of people kinda wondered why we went south lol. It wasn't for warmer weather as it's actually cooler there with summer temps which is amazing. We never have to run the AC in our RV after 10pm. Always in the 60s at night in the forest. We ended up south because of affordability, super lax zoning (building permits only required for liveable space), and being smack dab next to a mountain and a lake. We never looked near sm mtn lake until we did the top 5 lists. Looking back we couldn't have found a better spot for us and our goals in life.

We're different people so my way is just that. But consider doing the top 5 lists and using that to objectively guide the search. It took us 2 years to find the spot and half of that time was spent looking when neither of us really knew what we wanted beyond pretty pictures of country land lol 

Wow nice info!  Congrats on finding a nice place.  I guess Wintergreen, Massanutten or even Snowshoe are within reasonable reach for a snow fix?

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48 minutes ago, SnowLover22 said:

Also,

The historic 09-10 winter, 2016 one storm wonder, and the winters you mentioned all had neutral to positive PDO at times. That is one of the main differences between 09-10 and now (the PDO). We do not actually know if that historic winter would have worked with a strongly negative PDO. 

@psuhoffman

 

 

Screen Shot 2024-02-18 at 11.41.15 AM.png

2010 was a brief interruption of the negative pdo cycle when it briefly peaked positive. I thought this Nino would do the same, but the pdo stayed negative. 

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19 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

@snowfan without the snark I think it’s fair to question whether under our current thermal regime certain things are still likely. Im also honestly annoyed with the penchant for some here to get hostile anytime the FACT that it’s warmer now gets referenced. Thermometers aren’t subjective. It is warming. That is not a disputable fact. I will accept that what could be disputed is the cause of the warming and the permanence. I have my opinions and many can likely guess them but I’ve NEVER brought those 2 arguments into this forum. They’re irrelevant to my point anyways so why bother. 
 

The fact is it’s warmer now than 20 or 50 years ago. Whether that is temporary and starts to reverse at some ambiguous time in the future 10, 20, or 500 years from now is totally irrelevant to my point. I’m discussing the effects of the warming that’s happened already on our prospects for snow right now. This is important because a lot of our forecasting is analog based. And we have to know what works and if something no longer does. 
 

Back to what started this. The DC area used to get “cold smoke” snowstorms a lot more frequently. To illustrate my point I used days where IAD got 4” and a high 5 degrees below freezing. We could use other metrics but it’s unlikely to change the picture.  For 40 years it happened with decent regularity.  19 times.  In the last 20 years it’s happened in only one year, the unicorn 2009-10. And not a single time in the last 14 years.  IMO that is long enough and enough data to make the question whether that is still something realistically viable or likely a legitimate one. If you disagree how long does it take to make even asking that question valid. 20 years?  50?  Do we wait 100 years without a cold smoke snow to even ask if they are indeed still viable?  I didn’t answer the question.  I didn’t say I know. I simply asked and you reacted as if I was being ridiculous. 
 

That’s why I reacted with a snide flippant response. Maybe that was unfair. But I thought your reaction to that question was equally unfair. 

First, your comment yesterday was “cold smoke blizzards” which isn’t something that should be tossed around nonchalantly for the mid Atlantic. Those are anomalies in our long term historical records. That is fact. 
 

second, I’m not arguing that it is now warmer. Never have. What I take exception with are the claims by you and others that this area now suddenly will no longer experience snowy periods and/or snowy winters in general. It is also fact to state that neither you or I know what our long term winter weather will look like. Look at the most recent 15 years at BWI. Rough winters. Some true ratters, to be honest. But we also managed the winter of 09-10, which is now the golden standard of winters for the metro areas. We also had the 3 year stretch of 13/14 - 15/16, which is the best 3 year stretch at BWI in the last 60 years. Both of those things….a historical winter and a historical string of 3 winters all came during an overall down period for snow in the metro areas. Will our long term averages continue to incrementally decline? It appears so. Our most recent 30 yr avg at BWI is 19”. That’s down from the prior 30 year period avg of 20.2”. But it is way too soon to know what our yr over yr winters are going to look like. In this area, most of us are a few moderate to strong storms from being near avg. it doesn’t take much.

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1 hour ago, BlizzardNole said:

Wow nice info!  Congrats on finding a nice place.  I guess Wintergreen, Massanutten or even Snowshoe are within reasonable reach for a snow fix?

Do Wintergreen/Massanutten get appreciably more snow than the lowlands? Yes, higher altitude, colder, but also seems drier, especially up on top of the Blue Ridge.  On the other hand plenty of artificial for skiing if that will do the trick!

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1 hour ago, uncletim said:

Do Wintergreen/Massanutten get appreciably more snow than the lowlands? Yes, higher altitude, colder, but also seems drier, especially up on top of the Blue Ridge.  On the other hand plenty of artificial for skiing if that will do the trick!

To a point, yes. It isn't a MASSIVE increase, but in marginal situations it can snow 2,3 4 inches up there and rain or white rain down in the valleys. In a bigger event it can be a 10-20% increase in totals from lowland areas. The biggest difference I've seen (and I'm close to the airport at Hot Springs (3700-4200 elevation) is when we get ice storms, or close calls for one. Then I've seen the parkway and the airport be in 1/2 inch of ice and hardly anything low. As far as moisture, usually the peaks of the BR and Allegheny's wring out anything either east or west depending on storm track, 90% of the time they are wetter than lower areas that get down sloped. 

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3 hours ago, Terpeast said:

2010 was a brief interruption of the negative pdo cycle when it briefly peaked positive. I thought this Nino would do the same, but the pdo stayed negative. 

I didn't really get the impression that the PDO was the number one villain this year.  Sure it didn't help, but if I had to pick my number failure mechanism it could be the frequency/strength/duration of pacific trough jet extensions.  The first event took out four weeks of good climo and was primarily the cause of the failure of the otherwise promising early January period.  The second event killed late January and early Feb.    

Likewise the collapse of the modeled epic pattern in late Feb was due to the failure of the advertised HL blocking.  Is that connected to the PDO?  

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2 hours ago, snowfan said:

First, your comment yesterday was “cold smoke blizzards” which isn’t something that should be tossed around nonchalantly for the mid Atlantic. Those are anomalies in our long term historical records. That is fact. 
 

second, I’m not arguing that it is now warmer. Never have. What I take exception with are the claims by you and others that this area now suddenly will no longer experience snowy periods and/or snowy winters in general. It is also fact to state that neither you or I know what our long term winter weather will look like. Look at the most recent 15 years at BWI. Rough winters. Some true ratters, to be honest. But we also managed the winter of 09-10, which is now the golden standard of winters for the metro areas. We also had the 3 year stretch of 13/14 - 15/16, which is the best 3 year stretch at BWI in the last 60 years. Both of those things….a historical winter and a historical string of 3 winters all came during an overall down period for snow in the metro areas. Will our long term averages continue to incrementally decline? It appears so. Our most recent 30 yr avg at BWI is 19”. That’s down from the prior 30 year period avg of 20.2”. But it is way too soon to know what our yr over yr winters are going to look like. In this area, most of us are a few moderate to strong storms from being near avg. it doesn’t take much.

I didn’t say we won’t ever get a snowy year again. I said imo we probably have to wait for the current -pdo cycle to end to have a shot at a truly snowy winter.  This is notable because if you go back far enough in a colder base state we were able to get snowy -pdo years. I predicted one this year. But it’s been a LONG time now since that’s worked. From 1948-2000 Baltimore had 10 -pdo above avg snowfall seasons.  It hasn’t happened a since then in the last 23 years!   And in reality the trend was before 2000. It’s only happened once in the last 45 years. 2000 was a last gasp anomaly for something that’s gone from common to rare to extinct. So I’m ready to call uncle and say I no longer think we have a legit shot at a snowy year in -pdo years.  But not sure how this conflicts with what you said because all those years you referenced were during a +pdo so…

As for “blizzards” there weren’t enough to make my point with statistical significance so I broadened the data by lowering the bar. That doesn’t mean the trend didn’t exist for “blizzards”. Several of our HECS storms were very “cold” but the last 3 had marginal temps by hecs standards. But again the sample size was too small to really have statistical significance. A 4” snowfall day is nothing to scoff at. It’s not like I included every 1-2” event.  

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4 hours ago, SnowLover22 said:

in the grand scheme of things, 2016 was not that long ago. Have we warmed that much since 2016/reached a tipping point? Maybe the Tonga eruption was a factor in having us go past the tipping point? 

I don’t have all the answers. I’m speculating based on observed reality. We’ve had 8 straight warm winters. We’re in the worst 8 year stretch for snow ever across this region. We haven’t had a -PDO snowy winter in 24 years!   That used to happen regularly!  
 

Was 2016 a tipping point or is this mostly a cyclical thing?  I think it’s a bit of both. Hopefully it’s more cyclical. We will find out when the PDO flips. 

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4 hours ago, Bob Chill said:

Wife and I went up and down for years about where to settle. We thought thru just about everywhere. We kept getting hung up on tradeoffs without really understanding what the top 3-5 things both us really wanted were. Once we figured that out it got much easier. My top 5 were affordability/low taxes, minimal property restrictions, mountain view+close to big lake, private road access, and no sounds of industry or traffic. With snow I decided as long as we live in the northeaster zone I'll experience some biggies while still happily making my living and living my life outdoors.

We're both snow weenies but my affliction is more more serious and hers much more playful lol. But at the end of day, moving somewhere (anywhere) that averages 50"+ of snow a year came with way too many tradeoffs for us. Terrible spring weather and ground conditions being my biggest reason. We both decided that if we were going to move for snow it has to be go big or go home because in between is a net negative for our lifestyle. 

I'm sure plenty of people kinda wondered why we went south lol. It wasn't for warmer weather as it's actually cooler there with summer temps which is amazing. We never have to run the AC in our RV after 10pm. Always in the 60s at night in the forest. We ended up south because of affordability, super lax zoning (building permits only required for liveable space), and being smack dab next to a mountain and a lake. We never looked near sm mtn lake until we did the top 5 lists. Looking back we couldn't have found a better spot for us and our goals in life.

We're different people so my way is just that. But consider doing the top 5 lists and using that to objectively guide the search. It took us 2 years to find the spot and half of that time was spent looking when neither of us really knew what we wanted beyond pretty pictures of country land lol 

Same here. I pulled the string back in September, she will retire end of this month. We both love snow and have considered several locations including Flagstaff AZ, eastern UT to western WY, northern MO to southern IA, and a bit closer at either Thomas/Davis or Alpine Lake/Terra Alta areas of WV. BUT, do we want to do a massive move for snow? She just moved east (CA girl) 3 years ago after all lol. Plus we both like to garden so a few of those locations set a limit on that. The bummer is most areas are losing snow across the USA.... So for now we are staying put for at least the next year.

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Could have created a new thread but restrained.

The Extremely Highly Touted Big  time improvement mid to late Feb is already half way to failure.

45 fucking  days of example samples (aka “models”) showed unwavering high pressure to our north with lows cutting under us.   Now the same snake oil mechanisms   are onto mid March. 

 

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39 minutes ago, WEATHER53 said:

Could have created a new thread but restrained.

The Extremely Highly Touted Big  time improvement mid to late Feb is already half way to failure.

45 fucking  days of example samples (aka “models”) showed unwavering high pressure to our north with lows cutting under us.   Now the same snake oil mechanisms   are onto mid March. 

 

You should start the thread. Can't wait to see the title.

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5 hours ago, wxdude64 said:

To a point, yes. It isn't a MASSIVE increase, but in marginal situations it can snow 2,3 4 inches up there and rain or white rain down in the valleys. In a bigger event it can be a 10-20% increase in totals from lowland areas. The biggest difference I've seen (and I'm close to the airport at Hot Springs (3700-4200 elevation) is when we get ice storms, or close calls for one. Then I've seen the parkway and the airport be in 1/2 inch of ice and hardly anything low. As far as moisture, usually the peaks of the BR and Allegheny's wring out anything either east or west depending on storm track, 90% of the time they are wetter than lower areas that get down sloped. 

Interesting. It has always struck me how dramatic the difference is in both temperature and precipitation between the Allegheny Front and the ridges immediately to the east, although my familiar reference points are a bit further north toward Canaan and into Maryland. Not that much difference in elevation but a totally different climate over a few air miles and one deep valley. Snowshoe/Canaan are a different animal from Wintergreen was what I was thinking.

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I’ve mentioned all this before but wanted to summarize into one post in this thread. 
 

First of all I don’t deny that snowfall is cyclical. Various cyclical patterns influence. And as they time up with each other we go through up, down, and ambiguous snowfall patterns.  This is a down cycle. The mean pattern we’re in matches what had been our two previous worst snowfall periods. I’ve always admitted that. But this one is worse!  And the last “up” cycle was worse also. That’s the more alarming thing. From 2002/3 to 2016 we were in a very favorable cycle. Mean pattern for those 14 years… 

IMG_1675.png.5b2e3d7e6ccbc87cff34e0d4e2801ff8.png

It won’t get much better. But for places south of 40 it didn’t result in the same snowfall benefits as it should have. While places like NYC and Bos went on an epic run that was even better than the 1960s for them we actually averaged slightly below our previous long term snowfall averages!  We just were less below normal than we’ve been since!  Our last up cycle was actually not even above avg!  Of course that’s subjective because that avg is decreasing and I suspect eventually that period will look great by current standards. 
 

Examining both the last up and the current down cycle the thing that sticks out to me as the most likely culprit is the PDO.  During prior cycles we were able to get a snowy winter in a -pdo. The main avenue to that was a -nao. But from 2001 on we have not had a snowy winter with a -pdo. They’ve gone extinct. This inability to overcome a hostile pacific really muted our last favorable cycle and now it’s making this current unfavorable one god awful!  
 

looking at the numbers it does not seem that a +pdo has yet to be significantly impacted in the same way. However, even in a favorable pacific cycle there will be years or months within years where the pacific isn’t favorable. Not being able to snow much in those situations will continue to mute the up cycles imo and will make the down cycles really bad. Problem is we don’t always get a lot of snow in a +pdo. Sometimes the nao doesn’t cooperate. Or we just get unlucky. Or it’s cold and dry. So never getting a snowy winter in a phase we are in 50% of the time is really killing our snow climo compared to previous. This trend has actually been going on for longer than many think. It started in the 80s and got BAD by the 2000s but because we were in a fairly favorable cycle it was masked somewhat. 
 

I was on the other side of this debate not long ago. In winter 2020 I took the other side when @RevWarReenactor was sounding like I do now. ATT I thought alarm was unjustified. We were only 4 years removed from a snowy period. I acknowledged it was warming and snowfall was decreasing but I thought then it was marginal and nothing to fuss about. 
 

But objective reality the last 4 years has changed my mind. I also did some additional research and looked at the data in a different way and found these alarming trends hidden within the cyclical chaos. 
 

The silver lining I guess is that there is some evidence during +pdo cycles storms and some seasons are getting snowier.  @Bob Chillis right. Given the increased baroclinicity and  warmer waters, we are likely to get an absolutely biblical type storm eventually when things do line up. And we are more likely to get years like 2010 if a couple of those storms hit in the same year. But make no mistake, given all these trends, that won’t offset the fact we will spend way way more seasons suffering through low snowfall. Recent research and examining the data more holistically has lead me to determine I was wrong and our snow climo has degraded significantly more than I thought a few years ago. 

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40 minutes ago, uncletim said:

Interesting. It has always struck me how dramatic the difference is in both temperature and precipitation between the Allegheny Front and the ridges immediately to the east, although my familiar reference points are a bit further north toward Canaan and into Maryland. Not that much difference in elevation but a totally different climate over a few air miles and one deep valley. Snowshoe/Canaan are a different animal from Wintergreen was what I was thinking.

They are the first significant ridge for moisture coming from the west or northwest. If you just look at temps on those ridges to the east they aren’t much different and the temps correspond to elevation mostly. But qpf is decreased each ridge because the moisture was depleted by the ridge before. 

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11 hours ago, psuhoffman said:

I’ve mentioned all this before but wanted to summarize into one post in this thread. 
 

First of all I don’t deny that snowfall is cyclical. Various cyclical patterns influence. And as they time up with each other we go through up, down, and ambiguous snowfall patterns.  This is a down cycle. The mean pattern we’re in matches what had been our two previous worst snowfall periods. I’ve always admitted that. But this one is worse!  And the last “up” cycle was worse also. That’s the more alarming thing. From 2002/3 to 2016 we were in a very favorable cycle. Mean pattern for those 14 years… 

IMG_1675.png.5b2e3d7e6ccbc87cff34e0d4e2801ff8.png

It won’t get much better. But for places south of 40 it didn’t result in the same snowfall benefits as it should have. While places like NYC and Bos went on an epic run that was even better than the 1960s for them we actually averaged slightly below our previous long term snowfall averages!  We just were less below normal than we’ve been since!  Our last up cycle was actually not even above avg!  Of course that’s subjective because that avg is decreasing and I suspect eventually that period will look great by current standards. 
 

Examining both the last up and the current down cycle the thing that sticks out to me as the most likely culprit is the PDO.  During prior cycles we were able to get a snowy winter in a -pdo. The main avenue to that was a -nao. But from 2001 on we have not had a snowy winter with a -pdo. They’ve gone extinct. This inability to overcome a hostile pacific really muted our last favorable cycle and now it’s making this current unfavorable one god awful!  
 

looking at the numbers it does not seem that a +pdo has yet to be significantly impacted in the same way. However, even in a favorable pacific cycle there will be years or months within years where the pacific isn’t favorable. Not being able to snow much in those situations will continue to mute the up cycles imo and will make the down cycles really bad. Problem is we don’t always get a lot of snow in a +pdo. Sometimes the nao doesn’t cooperate. Or we just get unlucky. Or it’s cold and dry. So never getting a snowy winter in a phase we are in 50% of the time is really killing our snow climo compared to previous. This trend has actually been going on for longer than many think. It started in the 80s and got BAD by the 2000s but because we were in a fairly favorable cycle it was masked somewhat. 
 

I was on the other side of this debate not long ago. In winter 2020 I took the other side when @RevWarReenactor was sounding like I do now. ATT I thought alarm was unjustified. We were only 4 years removed from a snowy period. I acknowledged it was warming and snowfall was decreasing but I thought then it was marginal and nothing to fuss about. 
 

But objective reality the last 4 years has changed my mind. I also did some additional research and looked at the data in a different way and found these alarming trends hidden within the cyclical chaos. 
 

The silver lining I guess is that there is some evidence during +pdo cycles storms and some seasons are getting snowier.  @Bob Chillis right. Given the increased baroclinicity and  warmer waters, we are likely to get an absolutely biblical type storm eventually when things do line up. And we are more likely to get years like 2010 if a couple of those storms hit in the same year. But make no mistake, given all these trends, that won’t offset the fact we will spend way way more seasons suffering through low snowfall. Recent research and examining the data more holistically has lead me to determine I was wrong and our snow climo has degraded significantly more than I thought a few years ago. 

Alright, so given all this...if any of us is a little more fstatistically about out future snow prospects, can we like...not give out weenies and say "Stop posting about future winters". This is a reality I already halfway accepted given how bad it's been. I mean even without digging into it like you have...just the eyeball test shows that things just don't look like they used. It's just gonna be more difficult to snow, and it's a reality that we don't have much choice but to learn to live with (unless we evidence to the contrary in the coming years). 

Like I said, it's not something any snowlover wants to accept, which is why you get the reaction you do even when you spell things out in detail. But I mean...the way this winter went oughta tell ya. All we have for now is the memories of the snows we've experienced, and perhaps one day in a better cycle we get another memorable winter with an epic amount of snow--and we'd better enjoy the heck out of it! And in the meantime...enjoy what we get even if it's smaller than we're used to. Just gotta adapt!

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9 hours ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Alright, so given all this...if any of us is a little more fstatistically about out future snow prospects, can we like...not give out weenies and say "Stop posting about future winters". This is a reality I already halfway accepted given how bad it's been. I mean even without digging into it like you have...just the eyeball test shows that things just don't look like they used. It's just gonna be more difficult to snow, and it's a reality that we don't have much choice but to learn to live with (unless we evidence to the contrary in the coming years). 

Like I said, it's not something any snowlover wants to accept, which is why you get the reaction you do even when you spell things out in detail. But I mean...the way this winter went oughta tell ya. All we have for now is the memories of the snows we've experienced, and perhaps one day in a better cycle we get another memorable winter with an epic amount of snow--and we'd better enjoy the heck out of it! And in the meantime...enjoy what we get even if it's smaller than we're used to. Just gotta adapt+

Or move up here and commute like I do lol. My elevation helps me some in offsetting the boundary layer warming. It has gotten worse up here but only marginally. For someone used to the DC or Baltimore climo this would seem great still. Even during this last 8 years I’ve only had 2 dead ratters with less than 20”.  
 

Or better yet if you want true winters move up to northern New England. My friend has a place in south rental Vermont. He has like 20” on the ground right now. Warming, if you do make sure you factor elevation. The valleys even up there can be frustrating. I’ve been there many times where his place gets 10” and Bennington in the valley gets 2” and is melting already by the end of the day.  
 

But yes of you’re going to stay in the mid Atlantic 95 corridor it’s wise to accept reality.  However, that doesn’t have to mean worrying about the next storm in a thread about this storm. Or worrying about next winter. What if the PDO flips?  I don’t expect it too. It’s probably not going to with a Nina coming. But we can’t say for sure. It’s not worth getting all upset about yet. 

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2 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Or move up here and commute like I do lol. My elevation helps me some in offsetting the boundary layer warming. It has gotten worse up here but only marginally. For someone used to the DC or Baltimore climo this would seem great still. Even during this last 8 years I’ve only had 2 dead ratters with less than 20”.  
 

Or better yet if you want true winters move up to northern New England. My friend has a place in south rental Vermont. He has like 20” on the ground right now. Warming, if you do make sure you factor elevation. The valleys even up there can be frustrating. I’ve been there many times where his place gets 10” and Bennington in the valley gets 2” and is melting already by the end of the day.  
 

But yes of you’re going to stay in the mid Atlantic 95 corridor it’s wise to accept reality.  However, that doesn’t have to mean worrying about the next storm in a thread about this storm. Or worrying about next winter. What if the PDO flips?  I don’t expect it too. It’s probably not going to with a Nina coming. But we can’t say for sure. It’s not worth getting all upset about yet. 

Here’s a good map depicting avg NNE snowfall. The valley lows are well shown here for VT, similar to how there’s a significant drop off in snowfall in NH south of the notches. 

IMG_1121.png

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12 minutes ago, snowfan said:

Here’s a good map depicting avg NNE snowfall. The valley lows are well shown here for VT, similar to how there’s a significant drop off in snowfall in NH south of the notches. 

IMG_1121.png

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the area I circled in VT is appealing to me. It’s closer to civilization. Few hour drive to NYC or Boston. It’s far enough south to get into many coastal storms. And there is a plateau with a large area above 1000 ft that holds snow pretty good. Also it’s close enough to Okemo and Killington for skiing. I’m not a huge fan of Stratton or Mt snow, too flat no extreme terrain. 
 

The snow further north in VT becomes more clipper and NW flow upslope dependent. Less big storms. They get more snow but it comes 2-4” at a time v getting 8”+ storms. Also farther drive from the cities. 
 

If you want snowcover that area in Maine NW of the red line has snowpack from December to April and sometimes well into May. They don’t get as much snow but they don’t get thaws or rain much in winter and are cold as bleep so they hold snow. I’ve been up there in April and may to ski sugarloaf and NW of the ridge that sugarloaf is on has like 2 feet of snowcover still in late April a lot. 

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1 hour ago, psuhoffman said:

IMG_1676.jpeg.c140939b10f351deae026d0b18218cea.jpeg
the area I circled in VT is appealing to me. It’s closer to civilization. Few hour drive to NYC or Boston. It’s far enough south to get into many coastal storms. And there is a plateau with a large area above 1000 ft that holds snow pretty good. Also it’s close enough to Okemo and Killington for skiing. I’m not a huge fan of Stratton or Mt snow, too flat no extreme terrain. 
 

The snow further north in VT becomes more clipper and NW flow upslope dependent. Less big storms. They get more snow but it comes 2-4” at a time v getting 8”+ storms. Also farther drive from the cities. 
 

If you want snowcover that area in Maine NW of the red line has snowpack from December to April and sometimes well into May. They don’t get as much snow but they don’t get thaws or rain much in winter and are cold as bleep so they hold snow. I’ve been up there in April and may to ski sugarloaf and NW of the ridge that sugarloaf is on has like 2 feet of snowcover still in late April a lot. 

 

I was looking at that first circle over southern Vermont as well. Mainly checking Zillow for real estate prices (casually), but couldn't find a whole lot of listings that aren't down in the valley. 

Not that I'm planning to move in the short term - I'm staying put for now. There are more important things in life than frozen ice crystals falling from the sky... like friends and family, daughter gets to see her grandma once a week, etc. 

But if my mom moves out of the DMV, or daughter leaves the house after HS, or otherwise a strong reason for us to move, that's one area I'll be looking at. Or go out west. 

Only problem is... by then, I may be too old to shovel 3 feet of snow. Unless I keep hitting the gym and stay in shape and not allow myself to let go.

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11 hours ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Alright, so given all this...if any of us is a little more fstatistically about out future snow prospects, can we like...not give out weenies and say "Stop posting about future winters". This is a reality I already halfway accepted given how bad it's been. I mean even without digging into it like you have...just the eyeball test shows that things just don't look like they used. It's just gonna be more difficult to snow, and it's a reality that we don't have much choice but to learn to live with (unless we evidence to the contrary in the coming years). 

Like I said, it's not something any snowlover wants to accept, which is why you get the reaction you do even when you spell things out in detail. But I mean...the way this winter went oughta tell ya. All we have for now is the memories of the snows we've experienced, and perhaps one day in a better cycle we get another memorable winter with an epic amount of snow--and we'd better enjoy the heck out of it! And in the meantime...enjoy what we get even if it's smaller than we're used to. Just gotta adapt!

Serious question.

Have you considered getting a job in the ski industry? 

Not sure if it's viable because ski resorts are suffering all over and may not be hiring like crazy, but have you looked at those opportunities?

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The immediate DC region is closer to normal snowfall this winter than the great majority on the east coast according to NOAA.   DCA 8.5 received, average ann.total 13.7 = 60%,  Pittsburgh 13 received, average total 42   31%,  Philadelphia 10 received 19 average  53%,  Staunton 7 received 24 average  29%.

This makes some people happy and some unhappy. There has been a gradual downhill slide in D.C. snowfall for 140 years according to this data, but look at the wildly fluctuating seasons with the recording breaking season not 100 but only 14 years ago.  We should be getting close to another big year.

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