Thursday, December 31st, 2009



Snow started up here in Waterbury around 12:30 P.M. or so, and so far it’s just been light in intensity with rather small (1-3 mm) flakes.  Now that it’s snowing, it sounds like there’s going to be a lot of time with snow in the air over the next week.  The “Week Ahead” screen on The Weather Channel local forecast has a clean sweep of snow graphics for the next seven days, and everyone in the family has been enjoying when that cycles by.





Friday, January 1st, 2010



Summary:  1.5” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 12:30 A.M. EST


Friday, January 1st, 2010:  12:30 A.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  1.5 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.07 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  21.4

Snow Density:  4.7%

Temperature:  25.7 F

Humidity:  88%

Dew Point:  21.4 F

Barometer:  1018 mb

Wind:  Calm

Sky:  Moderate Snow (2-6 mm flakes)

Storm snow total:  1.5 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.07 inches

Current snow at the stake:  11 inches

Season snowfall total:  37.2 inches


The snowfall earlier today dropped just a couple tenths of an inch in this area, but at some point this evening things picked up.  I hadn’t looked outside for several hours, but when I tool a peek after midnight there was already over an inch of snow on the board and it was coming down steadily with some big flakes.





Summary:  2.3” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 11:00 A.M. EST


Friday, January 1st, 2010:  11:00 A.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  0.8 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.04 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  20.0

Snow Density:  5.0%

Temperature:  33.1 F

Humidity:  73%

Dew Point:  23.4 F

Barometer:  1014 mb

Wind:  Calm

Sky:  Partly Cloudy/Flurries

Storm snow total:  2.3 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.11 inches

Current snow at the stake:  12 inches

Season snowfall total:  38.0 inches


The continuation of last night’s snowfall activity added an additional 0.8 inches of accumulation as of this morning, and it was very similar in density at ~5% H2O.  It sounds like the biggest show around here in Northern Vermont will be the late Saturday into Sunday timeframe, so winter storm watches are currently up for that period.  The BTV guys are going with accumulations of 15-25” and Roger Hill is going with 12-24+” for the whole event in the Northern Greens, so they seem to be in fair agreement.





Summary:  3.4” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 11:00 P.M. EST


Friday, January 1st, 2010:  11:00 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  1.1 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.03 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  36.7

Snow Density:  2.7%

Temperature:  29.1 F

Humidity:  97%

Dew Point:  28.0 F

Barometer:  1010 mb

Wind:  Calm

Sky:  Light Snow (2-4 mm flakes)

Storm snow total:  3.4 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.14 inches

Current snow at the stake:  12 inches

Season snowfall total:  39.1 inches


We were in Burlington this evening, and I’d bet they even had a bit more accumulation and more intense snowfall that we’ve had here in Waterbury.  It was very pretty outside walking around Burlington with the big snowflakes falling and the fluffy accumulation.





Saturday, January 2nd, 2010



Summary:  7.4” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 5:45 P.M. EST


Saturday, January 2nd, 2010:  4:30 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  2.2 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.07 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  31.4

Snow Density:  3.2%

Temperature:  18.3 F

Humidity:  76%

Dew Point:  9.7 F

Barometer:  1006 mb

Wind:  Calm

Sky:  Light Snow (2-6 mm flakes)

Storm snow total:  6.3 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.25 inches

Current snow at the stake:  14 inches

Season snowfall total:  42.0 inches


We were up at Bolton Valley most of the day today, so I’ll kick off with some observations from there.  We started out in the morning with light snow and a temperature of roughly 25 F, and as forecast, the snowfall ramped up once we got into the afternoon.  It was hard to tell what the snowfall rate was up on the mountain; it didn’t seem all that intense, but when I walked to the car at the Timberline parking lot (~1,500’ elevation) I was walking through about 4-5 inches of new fluff.  The temperature dropped and the wind picked up as the snow came in, and the temperature was down to ~15 F when we left around 4:00 P.M.


Down at the house (495’) it looks like we picked up about half the amount of snow that they received at the Timberline base area during the day.  I didn’t get a chance to send in a report this morning since we were heading up to the mountain, but overnight we’d managed to pick up 0.7 inches of snow made up of 0.04 inches of liquid.


Since the 4:30 P.M. snowboard clearing, the flake size and intensity of the snowfall has definitely picked up, and there’s an additional 1.1 inches of snow on the snowboard as of 5:45 P.M.





The snow has been coming down quite steadily this evening.  As of 9:00 P.M. I measured 5.4 new inches since the 4:30 P.M. snowboard clearing, so the snowfall during that period has averaged 1.2 in/hr.  I’ll take a full set of observations at 10:30 P.M.





Summary:  12.9” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 10:30 P.M. EST


Saturday, January 2nd, 2010:  10:30 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  6.6 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.21 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  31.4

Snow Density:  3.2%

Temperature:  11.7 F

Humidity:  82%

Dew Point:  5.2 F

Barometer:  1002 mb

Wind:  5-10 MPH with stronger gusts

Sky:  Snow (1-3 mm flakes)

Storm snow total:  12.9 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.46 inches

Current snow at the stake:  19 inches

Season snowfall total:  48.6 inches


While I’d estimate our wind to be in the 5-10 MPH range and fairly gentle, this event has seen the occasional stronger gust come down to the property.  I can hear the wind really roaring up in the higher elevations.  It doesn’t happen very often, but one gust actually ruined the snow stack on the elevated snowboard this evening, so I had to go to one of my ground-based snowboards to get a reliable measurement of this round of snowfall.  With this in mind, I’ve placed one of my ground-based boards out back near our snow stake, which should provide a bit more shelter from any wayward gusts.


I think part of the issue with regard to stack stability is that fact that this snow is so light and dry.  Even more than usual, walking through the champagne snow is an experience - it seems to disintegrate as soon as you disturb it.  The closest analogy that comes to mind is the way spun sugar disintegrates when it comes in contact with water.  The overall snow density for this round came in right where the previous one did at 3.2% H2O, but the size of the flakes has dropped near the end of this accumulation.  This gives the new snow accumulation a bit of an upside down arrangement, so I think this slightly denser top layer is supporting the disintegration effect by crushing the less dense snow underneath when it is disturbed.





Sunday, January 3rd, 2010



Summary:  18.0” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 7:00 A.M. EST


Sunday, January 3rd, 2010:  7:00 A.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  5.1 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.30 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  17.0

Snow Density:  5.9%

Temperature:  9.5 F

Humidity:  82%

Dew Point:  3.0 F

Barometer:  998 mb

Wind:  5-10 MPH with stronger gusts

Sky:  Light Snow (1-5 mm flakes)

Storm snow total:  18.0 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.76 inches

Current snow at the stake:  21 inches

Season snowfall total:  53.7 inches


There has been some gusting and a little drifting at the house, but my ground-based snowboards were in good agreement on the 10:30 P.M. – 7:00 A.M. accumulation of snow.  This latest round of snow is a little more dense than what fell in the evening yesterday, and I suspect that it’s due to the generally smaller flakes vs. the previous accumulation.  It’s not surprising that the snowpack has already settled about three inches with that fluff underneath it – even trying to get my core sample off one of the ground-based snowboard this morning, the snow underneath the board was collapsing with the slightest pressure.  This should be some dreamy snow for skiing where it wasn’t affected by the wind.


With regard to the mountain accumulations from this event, I was somewhat surprised to see that not all the resorts in Vermont have been hit quite as hard as this immediate area (even the other northern resorts) based on the reports I’ve seen so far.  Bolton’s snowfall total for this event seems to be somewhere in the 2-foot range based on their 72-hour accumulation at  Reported summit totals for Bolton Valley are below:


24-hours:  15 inches

48 hours:  22 inches

72 hours:  24 inches

7 days:  33 inches


In general, the remaining Northern Vermont resorts appear to be in the 1 to 1.5-foot range for accumulations for this event.  Looking at the current Intellicast Northeast radar, the precipitation seems to be coming from the NNE direction.  It’s much more common to see the moisture flowing in from the NW and NNW directions around here with these types of storms, so that may have something to do with the how the snowfall was distributed in the recent part of this event.





On January 3rd, 2010 at 12:13 AM, irathec wrote:

“As of Midnight 1/3/10 In Essex Junction we had 2" per hour for 4 hours.  As I stated earlier from midnight 1/2 to 3:00 we had 2.5", from 3:00-8:00 we had 6" more and from 8-Midnight 1/3 we had another 8" for a total of 16".  What makes this so amazing is as of 12/28 we only had 11" of snow for the year.  So from Mon 12/28 to Saturday 1/2 a period of 6 days we've had almost 27" Our total snow so far for the 2009-10 winter season is 38"

irathec Essex Junc. (NW) VT

The distribution of accumulations around here will be very interesting to see, and it looks like the Champlain Valley did quite well in this event.  We got a nice shot from one of the SkiVT-L guys this morning showing what the snowfall was like at his house.  I can't recall exactly where he is currently located, but it's somewhere in the Champlain Valley area - he had some nice protection from the wind.




On January 3rd, 2010 at 8:55 AM, SeNJWx wrote:


“I'm in South Burlington now, and looking out the window there's easily the reported 25" here with higher drifts. US 2 is snow covered but slow, and it sounds like there are a few cars on 89 too. We drove to and from the Northeast Kingdom last night from Burlington and saw both US 5 north of St Johnsbury and US 2 to the east barely passable with wx conditions that ranged from flurries to whiteout conditions. 91 and 89 were slow and one lane but moving. Pretty amazing storm and it's still coming down!”

Hearing about the Champlain Valley reports, I just called my parents in South Burlington to get the lowdown and as of ~10 minutes ago my dad said it was still coming down quite hard, with 26 inches the latest total he'd heard.  Here on the Waterbury/Bolton line we've got generally light snow falling, although the flakes are decent sized with some up to ~3/4 inch in diameter.




Summary:  19.1” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 4:00 P.M. EST


Sunday, January 3rd, 2010:  4:00 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  1.1 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.08 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  13.8

Snow Density:  7.3%

Temperature:  16.7 F

Humidity:  79%

Dew Point:  9.1 F

Barometer:  1001 mb

Wind:  5-10 MPH with a few gusts

Sky:  Light Snow (2-6 mm flakes)

Storm snow total:  19.1 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.84 inches

Current snow at the stake:  21 inches

Season snowfall total:  54.8 inches


It was a little chilly this morning, but it was hard to resist checking out what had gone on up on the mountain overnight, so Ty and I went up to Bolton for a few hours today. Most of the main mountain lifts were on wind hold, but the Timberline area (elevations ~1,500’ – 2,500’) was generally out of the wind so things were running smoothly there. In those elevations we found roughly 20 inches of powder in undisturbed areas, and whether due to aspect or elevation, much of the area held snow that hadn’t really been touched hard by the wind. In terms of new snowfall while we were there, it never really came down very heavily, just occasionally moderate with some big flakes. Temperatures seemed to be in the mid teens while we were on the mountain, and at one point we did encounter some graupel-like snowflakes that had taken on a coating of rime somewhere up above. We had some new accumulation on the car when we left around 3:30 P.M. It hadn’t settled evenly since it was very fluffy and there was a little wind, but I’d bet there was an inch or two of new fluff during our 3-4 hours on the mountain. Although the topmost lifts never opened due to the wind, Bolton was able to get people up to the summit areas and revise their snowfall totals for the upper elevations. Things went up a few more inches, so here are the latest numbers I’ve seen:


24-hours:  19 inches

48 hours:  25 inches

72 hours:  27 inches

7 days:  36 inches


Down at the house, there were 1.1 new inches on the snowboard since the 7:00 A.M. clearing, and we’ve got light snowfall coming down.  The current winter storm warning for this area continues through 10:00 P.M., and it sounds like we could get a little more snow this evening.  The Champlain Valley should continue to get some snow as well.  The latest BTV discussion was a fun read explaining how they’ve been a hot spot of convergence.


I didn’t get any shots of the snow around the house, but I threw one in from up on the mountain today.  We were doing our best to make good use of what Mother Nature dropped on us.







Summary:  19.6” snow total in Waterbury (495’) as of 10:00 P.M. EST


Sunday, January 3rd, 2010:  10:00 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow:  0.5 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.04 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  12.5

Snow Density:  8.0%

Temperature:  20.1 F

Humidity:  88%

Dew Point:  15.8 F

Barometer:  1004 mb

Wind:  ~5 MPH with a few gusts

Sky:  Flurries

Storm snow total:  19.6 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.88 inches

Current snow at the stake:  21 inches

Season snowfall total:  55.3 inches


We picked up an additional 0.5 inches of accumulation with this evening’s activity, and that may be it for this event.  If this is it, the totals here since New Year’s Eve are 19.6” snow/0.88 L.E.  The Burlington NWS put together a nice accumulations map for this interesting storm:






Monday, January 4th, 2010



It looks like we’ll be in this “snow-showery” regime for the next few days, and as the precipitation is still derived from the big storm off to our east, I’ll continue to roll the totals into that event.


New: 0.3” snow/0.02” L.E.

Event Totals: 19.9” snow/0.90 L.E.



Tuesday, January 5th, 2010



Overnight: 0.1” snow/0.01” L.E.

Event Totals: 20.0” snow/0.91 L.E.


We had a few flakes falling when I left Waterbury this morning, but as of 7:00 A.M. there’s much steadier light snowfall here in Burlington.



On January 4th, 2010 at 9:22 PM, j24vt wrote:

“Our storm total since the 1st is a whopping 7.5".”

In the case of this event, we were clearly helped out a lot by being right near the Chittenden County border and getting in on some of their action.  It was that 6:00 P.M. Saturday to 6:00 A.M. Sunday period that dropped about a foot of snow and provided the big shot of accumulation.  Even just a few miles to the east of us in other parts of Waterbury, the snow totals seemed to fall off quickly - you can see on the accumulations map below the way the purple quickly disappears east of the Chittenden County/Washington County line:



Today: 0.3” snow/0.04” L.E.

Event Totals: 20.3” snow/0.95 L.E.


The light snow continued today, and this latest round has been granular with denser accumulations.



Wednesday, January 6th, 2010



This morning certainly featured the most intense snowfall that I’ve seen during this midweek showery regime.  This snow is also the driest I’ve seen during the period, with big fluffy flakes up to ~3/4 inch in diameter.  I’d describe the rate of snowfall as moderate; roads were covered, and with the big flakes it was the sort of situation where the snowboard immediately has two to three tenths of accumulation on it as soon as it’s cleaned.  Updated totals are below:


Overnight: 0.7” snow/0.02” L.E.

Event Totals: 21.0” snow/0.97 L.E.



Latest totals for this extended event here in Waterbury:


Today: 1.5” snow/0.04” L.E.

Event Totals: 22.5” snow/1.01 L.E.


It sounds like the valley totals around the area have generally been in the 1-2 inch range based on the reports from Powderfreak and j24vt.  Today’s total was certainly our biggest 12-hr accumulation of the midweek, quite fluffy at 2.7% H2O.  Twenty four-hour snow totals for the mountains look to be topping out in the 3 to 4 inch range in this area:


Smuggler’s Notch:  3 inches

Stowe:  3 inches

Bolton Valley:  4 inches

Mad River Glen:  2 inches

Sugarbush 1 inch



On January 6th, 2010 at 5:50 PM, powderfreak wrote:


“It has been snowing off and on since last Thursday here in Jonesville.  I think my accumulations are pretty similar to yours J.Spin over the last week though I think we might have picked up a couple more inches in the big storm... at one point I had about 18" of fresh snow on my measuring board (large, old, flat tree stump) but that settled down to 13" once the air dropped out of it.”

I remember when you commented on the depth at your place after some settling, and it was definitely more than what we had at the time; that makes since the way the accumulations fell off that farther east one went.  I'm psyched you were able to be in Burlington for the record event, who ever would have though that Burlington would get smoked so much harder than Jonesville in a storm!




Thursday, January 7th, 2010



Updates from our overnight installment of this event in Waterbury are as follows:


Overnight: 0.5” snow/0.02” L.E.

Event Totals: 23.0” snow/1.03 L.E.



Friday, January 8th, 2010



It looks like we are finally at the end of this extended snowfall event derived from the big storm that’s been hanging out in the Maritimes.  This has certainly been the longest event (both in terms of time, but also with regard to the number of entries in my snowfall spreadsheet) since I’ve been tracking snowfall at our location.  This event (including the formative stages) has required 17 snowfall accumulation entries, even employing just 12-hour accumulations for the past five days.  The previous high mark for entries in an individual event in my records was 10, from a couple of storms during the 2006-2007 season.


With regard to the final observations for the event, yesterday evening in the 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. range we had light snow in Burlington, which gradually ramped up in intensity as I headed to Waterbury.  It turns out that not much snow had accumulated during the daylight hours yesterday based on what was on the snowboard when I got home, but in the evening a burst of moderate snowfall came in with huge (up to 1” in diameter) flakes, and that’s where most of yesterday’s 0.9 inches came from.  Due to the monster flakes, the accumulation was incredibly dry.  Overnight, a similar thing must have happened because the accumulation I found this morning was just like what I found yesterday evening.


Here are the final two entries for the event, and the overall event totals


Yesterday: 0.9” snow/0.01 L.E.

Overnight: 1.0” snow/0.01 L.E.

12/31/09-1/8/10 Event Totals: 24.9” snow/1.05 L.E.


There were still a few flurries around this morning when I was measuring the snowfall, but it should make a good break point between the big storm and this next clipper.  As far as the clipper goes, after not much going on in the early morning, we’ve now got steady, light snowfall here in Burlington.