Sunday, December 21st, 2008


Snowfall started around 8:35 A.M. and was rather light with small flakes for the first hour or two, but then at some point after 10:00 A.M. the rate and flake size exploded.  I checked my snowboard at 11:00 A.M. and we were up to 2.5 inches; with an air temperature of 15.1 F.  I’d say we’re running at around an inch per hour snowfall, perhaps more at times due to flake size, so I’ll check again and see where we are at noon.




We’re up to 3.8 inches of snow accumulation as of noon, so 1.3 inches fell between 11:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M.  However, the bulk of that fell in the first half of the hour, and then it slowed down to light/moderate snowfall so we were probably running in the 2 inch/hour range or so for a while.  The temperature at noon was 17.4 F




Summary:  6.7” new snow in Waterbury (495’) as of 4:00 P.M. EST


Sunday, December 21st, 2008:  4:00 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow: 6.7 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.39 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 17.2

Snow Density:  5.8%

Temperature:  17.6 F

Humidity:  83%

Dew Point:  11.5 F

Barometer:  29.65 in. Hg

Wind:  Calm

Sky:  Moderate Snow

Storm snow total:  6.7 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.39 inches

Current snow at the stake:  18 inches

Season snowfall total:  66.6 inches


The snow started here at ~8:35 P.M. this morning, and began to pick up in intensity after about 10:00 P.M.  It has come down in starts and stops as others have noted, and we’ve had some very heavy bouts of 1-2”/min snowfall along with lots of light snow.  We went up to Bolton Valley with the boys at around 2:00 P.M. this afternoon to make a few turns in the fresh snow, and couldn’t believe it when we got to the village (2,100’) and found that the resort was devoid of skiers and the lifts weren’t running.  It was dead calm, snowing moderately to heavily, and about 17 F so it was hard to ask for more enjoyable conditions.  So, with no lifts we decided to hike for a couple runs and had some good skiing anyway.  The powder wasn’t quite as light and dry as yesterday’s stuff (my valley numbers suggest we’re in the 6% H2O range vs. the 4-5% H2O range from Saturday) but it was still nice.  The powder had in fact settled more than what we skied yesterday, which may have been due to some wind.  Before we headed back down to the house, I asked at the skier services desk why the lifts weren’t running.  I was informed that the midday had seen incredible winds up on the mountain (~45 MPH) and they’d had to close down the lifts.  Apparently the winds had abated not long before we got up there, but they didn’t want to start up the lifts again for just a couple of hours so they called it a day.  I emptied my snow/rain gauge and recovered 0.29 inches of liquid, which was a whole tenth of an inch shy of what I recovered on the snowboard.






Here’s an 8:00 P.M. update from Waterbury:  It’s snowed fairly steadily since the 4:00 P.M. snowboard clearing, but it’s only been light to occasionally moderate and flakes have been rather small (1-2 mm diameter).  The temperature is currently 18.0 with light/moderate snow, and the current storm total is 8.4 inches.







Summary:  11.7” storm total in Waterbury (495’) as of 10:30 P.M. EST


Sunday, December 21st, 2008:  10:00 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow: 3.8 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.28 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 13.6

Snow Density:  7.4%

Temperature:  18.3 F

Humidity:  90%

Dew Point:  14.7 F

Barometer:  29.44 in. Hg

Wind:  0-5 MPH

Sky:  Moderate Snow

Storm snow total:  10.5 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.67 inches

Current snow at the stake:  21 inches

Season snowfall total:  70.4 inches


When I checked the snowboard at 8:00 P.M. it had accumulated 1.7 inches of new snow since the 4:00 P.M. clearing, so snowfall was running a bit under 0.5”/hr.  I looked outside at around 9:30 P.M. and it appeared to be dumping again in the 1”/hr+ range, so I took a quick measurement and found that the accumulation was up to 2.8 inches.  The rate of snowfall had certainly increased.  I took a peek at the BTV composite radar (image 1 below) and sure enough, an area of 30-35 db returns was just passing over us (we’re located right about where I-89 crosses the Chittenden/Washington county line).  That snowfall slowed down as I was getting set to take my 10:00 P.M. measurements and clear the snowboard, but looking westward on the radar there appeared to be some very juicy stuff coming our way, with even more 35 db returns in the Burlington area.  While I was out looking at the stake and clearing the board, the snowfall was already ramping up, presumably as we were on the verge of those strong returns, and I suspected we were going to get into some quick accumulation.  We did.  I knew the snowfall rate was 1”/hr plus from looking at it, but I wasn’t sure just how intense the snowfall was until I checked the board at 10:30 P.M. and it had a fresh 1.2 inches.  So, the snowfall is running in the 2-3”/hr range.  On the radar, it really looks like Mother Nature is spraying a fire hose down the Winooski Valley (image 2 below), so I’ll probably stay up a bit longer and see how this plays out because it’s quite a spectacle out there.




Here’s the 11:00 P.M. update on the heavy snowfall here in Waterbury:  The accumulation on my snowboard went from 1.2 inches at 10:30 P.M. to 2.6 inches at 11:00 P.M., so that’s 1.4 inches in that 30 minute period for a rate of close to 3”/hr.  We’ve passed 13 inches of accumulation now, so this event is threatening to usurp the November 20th upslope event and become our biggest so far this season.  The radar suggests that things are slowing down however, and the strong returns are disappearing, but I’ll see where we are at 11:30 P.M.




11:30 P.M. - The heavy snow has slowed right down to light snow as the radar suggested, so just 0.3” in the last 30 minutes to bring the snowboard to 2.9”.  It looks like another batch of something might come across Lake Champlain in a bit, but I’ll check the snowboard in the morning.






Monday, December 22nd, 2008


Current Storm Summary:  13.4” snow, 0.78” liquid equivalent


Monday, December 22nd, 2008:  6:00 A.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow: 2.9 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.11 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 26.4

Snow Density:  3.8%

Temperature:  15.4 F

Humidity:  77%

Dew Point:  7.1 F

Barometer:  29.59 in. Hg

Wind:  0-5 MPH

Sky:  Flurries

Storm snow total:  13.4 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.78 inches

Current snow at the stake:  22 inches

Season snowfall total:  73.3 inches


There’s no new snow to report beyond what came down in the blitz last night, but I did empty my snow/rain gauge and it has accumulated a total of 0.65” of liquid vs. the 0.78” obtained off the snowboard.