Sunday, December 12th, 2010

 

 

Event totals: 2.0” Snow/0.34” L.E.

 

Sunday 12/12/2010 3:00 P.M. update:  We were riding up at Stowe for a training day today, and the snow had just started up when we pulled into the Spruce Peak base area at around 8:00 A.M.  The snowfall quickly ramped up in intensity, and once the flakes got big, it dumped huge flakes all morning.  I’d say that when things got going, it was snowing at pretty close to an inch an hour, and the conditions on the slopes were great.  It’s usually awesome to be out on the slopes when it’s dumping and the snow surface is getting better by the minute, but the extra powder was especially nice today since we were on snowboards, and I really don’t find snowboards all that fun in hard snow.  We headed in for lunch around 1:00 P.M., and just before that, we started to get some very granular flakes coming down that would sting if they hit you in the face.  We were inside from about 1:00 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. eating lunch, taking care of paperwork, and discussing the training, and until about 2:00 P.M. it was still snowing, but the intensity had let up a lot.  By somewhere in the 2:00 to 2:30 P.M. range, the precipitation had changed over to mostly rain, and we decided to call it a day since the snow surface wasn’t going to improve any further.  Even when we were leaving the mountain between 2:30 P.M. and 3:00 P.M., we could still see that some of the bigger raindrops had crystals in them.  Steady rain fell on the way back to the house, but it was pretty light by the time we got home.  I was guessing that the base area picked up 2 to 3 inches of snow during the morning, and it sounds like 3 inches based on Powderfreak’s report.  I took a shot of the heavy snowfall in the base area at around 11:00 A.M.:

 

 

Since we couldn’t bring the boys with us today, my mom came over to watch them, and she grabbed a couple of snow measurements at the house during the morning.  There were 0.8 inches of snow on the board as of 10:10 A.M., 2.0 inches as of 12:10 A.M., and that’s as high as it got before settling down with the warming temperatures.  The 0.34 inches of liquid that we picked up includes a bit of rain that fell after the snow.  So I’m not how much of that fell as snow or other forms of frozen precipitation, but I’d say a good chunk of it.  On the mountain, we did find that the snow was denser at the base area elevations (~1,500’ or so), so temperatures were certainly cooler higher up.  So far, the event has actually been a net gain in the snowpack here; due to the new snow we went from 6.5 inches on the ground this morning to 7.5 inches as of 3:00 P.M.  For the early part of the evening there wasn’t much going on in terms of precipitation, but now some rain has moved back in, so we’ll have to see how it interacts with the snowpack overnight.

 

This event pushed us past the 30-inch mark for the season’s snowfall at the house, but we are still running about 14 inches behind the pace of 2007-2008.  In terms of getting back to snowfall with this event, the BTV NWS discussion indicates that snow starts mixing back in for Northern New York after midnight, and over here at some point tomorrow.  Our NWS point forecast calls for a low of 39 tonight, with ¼ to ½ inch of rain, snow mixing in after 1:00 P.M. tomorrow, and 2 to 4 inches of snow accumulation tomorrow night.

 

The BTV guys are watching for more snow this week, as mentioned in their latest discussion (I saw that Powderfreak had this in his post as well, but I kept it in anyway):

 

.LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...

AS OF 248 PM EST SUNDAY...HERE WE GO AGAIN...CLOSED LOW DEVELOPS ANOTHER SURFACE LOW OFFSHORE OF NOVA SCOTIA TUE NGT-WED WITH SOME RETROGRESSION NNW BACK INTO QUEBEC.

 

ANOTHER POTENTIAL MULTI-DAY SNOW EVENT FOR NORTHWEST UPSLOPE REGIONS OF NORTHERN NY-NORTHERN VT LATE WED-THU

 

Some details from the 3:00 P.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  2.0 inches

New Liquid:  0.34 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  6.1

Snow Density:  16.5%

Temperature:  35.0 F

Sky:  Light rain

Snow at the stake:  7.5 inches

 

 

Monday, December 13th, 2010

 

 

Event totals: 2.0” Snow/1.31” L.E.

 

We picked up an additional 0.97” of liquid since my last report at 3:00 P.M., and it has made the snowpack a much denser substance than it was yesterday at this time.  It’s also condensed the snowpack down from 6.5 inches in depth yesterday morning to 4.5 inches in depth this morning, but it should be much more rugged once it solidifies.  Prior to this the snowpack was rather fluffy and there wasn’t really a base, but that will change after this event.  In terms of temperatures, I heard some numbers in the 40s F this morning in Roger Hill’s report, but our temperature was at 36.0 F at 6:00 A.M. when I left the house.  We generally seemed to be in the upper 30s F whenever I happened to look at the thermometer yesterday evening and overnight, although I did see it go as high as 41.0 F at one point.  From what I could see in the dark this morning, the snowpack in the center of Waterbury seemed similar to what we’ve got at the house, although there appeared to be some bare ground in the Richmond area.  In the Burlington area I haven’t seen any snow on the ground, but there were only a couple of inches to begin with, and they probably got rather warm, so that’s not too surprising.

 

Thanks for the update on the upcoming snow Powderfreak, I figured we’d be getting some but I didn’t know the NWS would raise winter weather advisories or that the forecast would be for so much.  It’s always nice to wake up to that.  The point and click for our location has us down for 4 to 7 inches through tomorrow, and it looks like we are somewhere in the 7-inch range in the accumulations map you posted.  The next point and click block to the west of us actually has a slightly higher snowfall forecast of 4 to 8 inches, in line with the NWS expecting enhancement for the western slopes.  Higher elevations for Bolton Valley up above us have 4 to 9 inches for their point and click, and the Mt. Mansfield one is 4 to 10 inches.  It would be nice to get as much new snow as possible this week, to avoid having to deal with skiing on the hard base that is going to set up from this event.

 

Since you added in BTV’s snow accumulations map above, I added in the advisories map and the Northern Vermont zoom in section for the accumulations:

 

 

 

 

Here on the UVM campus in Burlington, the rain changed over to snow at roughly 11:40 A.M.

 

 

J.Spin, on 13 December 2010 - 12:52 PM, said:

Here on the UVM campus in Burlington, the rain changed over to snow at roughly 11:40 A.M.

 

While it's been snowing here in Burlington, it hadn't been sticking, but as of 2:00 P.M. it's starting to accumulate here at UVMCars, grassy surfaces. etc. have now got a good coating on them in the 1/4" to 1/2" range, although paved surfaces are still just wet.

 

 

Just saw this recent update at the BTV site, and it has some fun comments:

 

.LONG TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...

AS OF 152 PM EST MONDAY...NO HUGE CHANGES IN THE OVERALL EXPECTED SYNOPTIC PATTERN FROM PREVIOUS FORECAST. LOOKS LIKE A SEMI-PERSISTANT UPPER TROUGH WILL BE LOCKED INTO PLACE OVER EASTERN CANADA AND INTO THE NORTHEASTERN US. WITHIN THE TROUGH PATTERN, IT LOOKS LIKE SEVERAL UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES WILL MOVE IN, DEVELOP INTO STRONGER CYCLONIC CIRCULATIONS AND THEN GET KICKED OUT A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER AS ANOTHER DISTURBANCE COMES IN. IN THE END, IT WILL MEAN FOR US AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF CLOUDY, SEASONABLY COLD, AND UNSETTLED WEATHER PATTERN DAY AFTER DAY. HUNG CLOSE TO GRIDDED MOS GUIDANCE FOR POPS - WHICH WAS SIMILAR TO CLIMATOLOGY. SO LOOKING AT 30-40% POPS EACH DAY ACROSS NORTHERN AREAS, THOUGH HIGHER IN THE MOUNTAINS, AND CLOSER TO 20% IN THE SOUTHERN VALLEYS. LOW/MID LEVEL NORTHWEST FLOW AND PLENTY OF MOISTURE WILL ENSURE UPSLOPE SNOW SHOWERS CONTINUE DAY AFTER DAY. I`LL BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT PERHAPS 100% POPS SHOULD BE PAINTED IN THE HIGHEST TERRAIN EACH DAY, BUT COULDN`T QUITE DO IT THIS FAR OUT. EMBEDDED WITHIN THIS SCENARIO THERE WILL LIKELY BE A TIME OR TWO OF A MORE WIDESPREAD LIGHT SNOW EVENT AS THOSE CYCLONIC CIRCULATIONS SPIN UP AND AFFECT THE AREA. MAY ALSO SEE SOME LAKE EFFECT OFF OF LAKE ONTARIO STREAM INTO NORTHERN NY AT TIMES. HOWEVER, THE TIMING OF THOSE PARTICULAR SITUATIONS IS WAY TOO DIFFICULT AT THIS POINT, SO HAVE LEFT IT OUT. REGARDLESS, WITH THIS KIND OF PATTERN, I EXPECT SUBSTANTIAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS TO OCCUR ACROSS THE FAVORED WEST/NORTHWEST FACING SLOPES FOR THE PERIOD. YES, WE AGAIN MAY MEASURE IN FEET IN SOME HIGHER ELEVATION LOCATIONS LIKE MT MANSFIELD AND JAY PEAK.

 

 

Event totals: 2.2” Snow/1.61” L.E.

 

Monday 12/13/2010 6:00 P.M. update:  Like Powderfreak mentioned for his location, we had just a small amount of snow as of 6:00 P.M.  The board contained 0.2 inches of snow comprised of 0.02 inches of liquid, but we’d had some rain before that because there was 0.30 inches of liquid in the rain gauge since 6:00 A.M. this morning.  Snow has picked up now and I’ll check the board in the morning.  Some details from the 6:00 P.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  0.2 inches

New Liquid:  0.02 inches (0.30 inches total in gauge)

Snow/Water Ratio:  10.0

Snow Density:  10.0%

Temperature:  27.9 F

Sky:  Light snow (1-6 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake:  4.5 inches

 

 

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

 

 

Event totals: 5.4” Snow/1.82” L.E.

 

Tuesday 12/14/2010 6:00 A.M. update:  The small flakes that we were picking up yesterday evening were replaced by much larger flakes this morning.  I found 3.2 inches of snow on the board this morning for the 6:00 A.M. report, and the big flakes were coming down quite hard at that time.  The 3.2 inches of snow contained 0.21 inches of liquid for a calculated density of 6.6% H2O, although that value represents an average of both the earlier smaller flakes and the more recent large ones.  I’d say that the snow that was falling this morning was more likely in the 4% H2O range, and with the fluffy snow, there was already another 0.7 to 0.8 inches on the board when I left at 7:00 A.M., so as of that point we’d passed 6 inches for the event.  Hopefully the right side up density/temperature gradient in the snow will allow some bonding to the old base as Powderfreak mentioned.  Some details from the 6:00 A.M. observations are below, and north to south overnight totals from some of the Vermont ski areas follow:

 

New Snow:  3.2 inches

New Liquid:  0.21 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  15.2

Snow Density:  6.6%

Temperature:  14.0 F

Sky:  Heavy Snow/Snow (5-10 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake:  6.0 inches

 

Ski area/ 24 hr snow

Jay Peak: 4”

Burke: 3”

Smuggler’s Notch: 8”

Stowe: 5”

Bolton Valley: 5”

Sugarbush: 5”

Killington: 3”

Okemo: 4”

Bromley: 4”

Stratton: 5”

Mount Snow: 4”

 

 

 

Event totals: 6.5” Snow/1.89” L.E.

 

Tuesday 12/14/2010 6:00 P.M. update:  I found 1.1 additional inches of snow on the snowboard this evening to add to the event total.  The next round of snow from this upper level low pressure is expected to come into the area tomorrow and Thursday. 

 

In their latest discussion, BTV mentions the potential for the coastal storm, but isn’t feeling that it’s going to have any effect on this area because it is too far east.  They do point out that, regardless of any coastal storm influence, snow is expected for the next week.  That sounds very good for the ski resorts as we approach the big holiday period:

 

THE MODELS ARE STILL STRUGGLING WITH HOW THEY EACH HANDLE THE VARIOUS DISTURBANCES RIDING ACROSS THE FAST MOVING SOUTHERN STREAM AND THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DISTURBANCES ROTATING AROUND IN THE BROAD TROUGH. THIS IN TURN RESULTS MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO TIME ANY SPECIFIC WEATHER SYSTEM THAT WILL IMPACT OUR SENSIBLE WEATHER. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SYSTEM PROGGED TO DEVELOP DURING THE PERIOD WILL BE SOME SORT OF COASTAL STORM. WITH THE STRONG SOUTHERN STREAM FLOW, I FAVOR THE 12Z ECMWF AND ITS SCENARIO OF KEEPING THE LOW PRESSURE SOUTH & EAST OF THE 40N/70W BENCHMARK. THAT MEANS IT WILL REMAIN TOO FAR AWAY TO EVEN BE NOTICED ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY. HOWEVER, THAT DOESN`T MEAN WE WON`T BE SEEING ANY PRECIPITATION. IN FACT, IT STILL LOOKS LIKE EVERY DAY WILL FEATURE AT LEAST SOME LIGHT SNOWS SOMEWHERE ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY -- LIKELY MOSTLY FOCUSED ON THE HIGHER TERRAIN DUE TO FAVORABLE OROGRAPHICS. HOWEVER, SOME WIDESPREAD LIGHT SNOWFALL IS ALSO POSSIBLE AS UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES DROP IN ACROSS THE REGION. WE MAY ALSO SEE A SHOT OR TWO OF LAKE EFFECT FROM LAKE ONTARIO STREAM INTO NORTHERN NEW YORK AT SOME POINT. SUSPECT SOME OF THOSE WEST/NORTH FACING SLOPE LOCATIONS IN NORTHERN VERMONT AND NEW YORK WILL GET NICKLED AND DIMED TO DEATH EACH DAY WITH SNOW, SO THAT BY THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK A DEEP POWDER SNOW PACK WILL BE IN PLACE.

 

Some details from the 6:00 P.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  1.1 inches

New Liquid:  0.07 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  15.7

Snow Density:  6.4%

Temperature:  10.2 F

Sky:  Clear, couple flurries

Snow at the stake:  6.0 inches

 

 

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

 

 

Event totals: 7.0” Snow/1.90” L.E.

 

Wednesday 12/15/2010 6:00 A.M. update:  Light snow falling here, with 0.5 inches on the board overnight.  The NWS point and click for this location suggests 3 to 5 inches through tomorrow for this portion of the event.  Some details from the 6:00 A.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  0.5 inches

New Liquid:  0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  50.0

Snow Density:  2.0%

Temperature:  11.5 F

Sky:  Light Snow (1-3 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake:  6.5 inches

 

 

Event totals: 7.7” Snow/1.96” L.E.

 

Wednesday 12/15/2010 6:00 P.M. update:  I left Burlington around 4:30 P.M. to very light snow falling.  It was steady, but the flakes were very small.  The main roads were generally dry at first, but once I got to the Williston rest area on I-89, the roads were becoming snow covered and folks were appropriately slowing down a little.  The rate of snowfall increased gradually as I headed east into the mountains.

 

Just as I was approaching the Bolton Valley access road, I was listening to the Eye on the Sky weather on VPR, and Chris Bouchard commented on “a possible Nor’easter coming our way for Sunday night and Monday”.  I didn’t think that storm was coming anywhere near us, although the Eye on the Sky guys do forecast for all the way down to coastal New Hampshire as well, so they could be thinking about their eastern zones.  The BTV NWS folks do mention the possibility in their afternoon discussion though:

 

…THEN THE FOCUS SHIFTS TO POSSIBLE COASTAL STORM FOR SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY. THE GFS IS CURRENTLY INDICATING A TRACK RIGHT ALONG THE COAST OF NEW ENGLAND...WHILE THE EUROPEAN SHOWS A TRACK FURTHER OUT TO SEA OUTSIDE THE BENCHMARK. STILL LOTS OF UNCERTAINTY TOWARDS THE END OF THE SEVEN DAY FORECAST...BUT STILL LOOKS LIKE COASTAL LOW MAY RETROGRADE BACK TOWARDS QUEBEC EARLY NEXT WEEK.

 

I guess we’ll just have to keep watching that setup.

 

Anyway, I actually had to head up to Bolton Valley to pick something up, so I got to see the snow situation up there in the village at 2,100’.  The snow was definitely falling harder up there, probably moderate in intensity, but the flakes were still quite small.  I walked around briefly and the snow surfaces seemed pretty nice with all the new snow.

 

Down at the house we picked up 0.7 inches of new snow today, but there was actually 0.06 inches of liquid in there so it was more substantial than the really fluffy stuff that we often get.  Since 6:00 P.M. it has continued to snow, and as of ~11:00 P.M. we’ve picked up another 0.6 inches of snow, comprised of the same 1-2 mm flakes as the last round of snow.  It’s not accumulating quickly in terms of depth, but the snowfall has been steady and the moisture content is probably in the 8 to 10% H2O range as it was earlier today.

 

Some details from the 6:00 P.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  0.7 inches

New Liquid:  0.06 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  11.7

Snow Density:  8.2%

Temperature:  13.3 F

Sky:  Light Snow (1-2 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake:  6.5 inches

 

 

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

 

 

Event totals: 8.6” Snow/2.03” L.E.

 

Thursday 12/16/2010 6:00 A.M. update:  We picked up another 0.9 inches of ~8% H2O snow overnight, it was very similar in density to what we’d picked up during the day yesterday.  There were just light flurries and partly cloudy skies when I made my 6:00 A.M. observations, but the snowfall may have picked up because once I left it was snowing in some capacity essentially everywhere from Waterbury to Burlington.

 

Some details from the 6:00 A.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  0.9 inches

New Liquid:  0.07 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  12.9

Snow Density:  7.8%

Temperature:  10.9 F

Sky:  Flurries/Partly Cloudy

Snow at the stake:  7.0 inches

 

 

Event totals: 9.7” Snow/2.05” L.E.

 

Thursday 12/16/2010 6:00 P.M. update:  Very similar to yesterday, the drive home featured very light snow in Burlington, which gradually intensified right from the start as I headed east through the foothills and into the mountains.  Roads were dry at first, and whereas yesterday, snow cover on the roads began in Williston, today it was in Richmond.  It was also just after the center of Richmond that the snow really started to intensify.  It was never snowing incredibly hard based on long distance visibility measurements, but presumably due to the notable increase in flake size, visibility in the headlights was quite challenging and called for slower travel.  Even with the lows and fogs it was tough.  We’d had small flakes for a couple of days, but now the big flakes are back, and the fluff factor is up.  We are now getting close to double digits for the combination of the cutter and subsequent upper level low throwback.  We’ll probably be close by tomorrow morning since there are still big flakes falling steadily out there.  It does look like it’s partly cloudy directly above us, so this precipitation is presumably coming over from the mountains to the west.

 

Some details from the 6:00 P.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  1.1 inches

New Liquid:  0.02 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  55.0

Snow Density:  1.8%

Temperature:  21.2 F

Sky:  Partly Cloudy/Light Snow (3-5 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake:  7.5 inches

 

 

powderfreak, on 16 December 2010 - 08:42 PM, said:

Absolutely dumping snow in Stowe on the Mountain Road here near Topnotch.

3.5" since 2pm but most has come since 4pm... averaging probably 3/4ths of an inch per hour since 4.

Still coming down! Chittenden and Lamoille Counties look like they are taking the brunt of this so far.

Zone Forecast for here tonight... nice little surprise event:

Tonight Mostly cloudy with snow showers likely. Total snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches with local amounts to 5 inches possible. Lows around 13. Light and variable winds.

 

That's awesome Scott, it looks like we've been to the south of that action, although since the snowboard clearing there is another 0.3 inches worth of flakes to get this location to the 10-inch mark for this event.  It was a few days ago that I least cleared the back deck, but I decided to hit it again tonight and there were 4 to 5 inches of beautiful light to medium weight champagne on there.  It was so beautiful, dry and pristine, I almost didn't want to clear it.  No complaints at all about our daily doses of white, although if it were to be interrupted with a synoptic system that would certainly be nice.  A solid synoptic dump would really put a lot of the slopes in good shape for the upcoming holiday period.

 

 

Friday, December 17th, 2010

 

 

Event totals: 10.4” Snow/2.08” L.E.

 

Thursday 12/17/2010 6:00 A.M. update:  I found steady light snow with reasonably large (~1/3-1/2 inch) flakes and reduced visibility for driving all the way from Waterbury to Richmond this morning.  In the Richmond flats area I was able to get a sense of the overall visibility distance and would say it was probably around ½ mile.  Route 2 was snow-covered all the way through to Richmond, and combined with the big flakes, visibility was again difficult and I had to take it a bit slower than normal dry road speeds.  I stopped in at the Richmond market to pick up some things, and you could see that there was an inch or two of new fluff on all surfaces.  The fluffy snow gave the downtown that festive, holiday look.  I-89  was generally snow-free, at least for the tires even if the middle of the lane had some snow coverage.  From Williston through to Burlington it’s still been snowing, but the intensity is notably lighter than out in the mountain valleys.  Based on the radar, it seems that the more southern sections of Chittenden County and the I-89 corridor are getting some of the snowfall action this morning, vs. the way it was more to the north last night as Powderfreak mentioned:

 

 

With another 0.7 inches overnight, we have reached double digits for this event with the cutter/Upper-Level Low, with at least a bit more to go based on today’s activity.  According to the NWS summary in their discussion (below), we are approaching the end of this event as the Upper-Level Low finally weakens; so with the event nearing its end, it looks like it will ultimately produce about half the snowfall of what last week’s Upper-Level Low produced for our location:

 

.SYNOPSIS...

UPPER LEVEL LOW CENTERED TO OUR NORTH ACROSS SOUTHERN QUEBEC WILL GRADUALLY WEAKEN OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THIS WILL LESSEN SNOW SHOWER ACTIVITY ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY...ESPECIALLY BY THIS AFTERNOON.

 

Looking at the 7-day snow totals for Bolton and Stowe, it looks like they will end up close to the two-foot mark in terms of their snow totals.

 

Some details from the 6:00 A.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  0.7 inches

New Liquid:  0.03 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  23.3

Snow Density:  4.3%

Temperature:  18.1 F

Sky:  Light Snow (1-3 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake:  7.5 inches

 

 

Event totals: 11.4” Snow/2.11” L.E.

 

Friday 12/17/2010 8:00 P.M. update:  We picked up an inch of snow during the day today, although I’m guessing it was on the early side based on the radar.  On a seasonal note, this addition of snowfall pushed the total accumulation past 40 inches and we are running about 4 inches ahead of the average calculated from the past four seasons.  This evening we’ve just got flurries falling.

 

Some details from the 8:00 P.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  1.0 inches

New Liquid:  0.03 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  33.3

Snow Density:  3.0%

Temperature:  18.7 F

Sky:  Flurries

Snow at the stake:  7.5 inches

 

  

adk, on 17 December 2010 - 12:18 PM, said:

I really had a feeling that this would be a very snowy month for the Greens. Glad to see it's paying off as well.

 

We’re about midway through the month, so I decided to check my snowfall numbers and see how we’re actually doing relative to the average from the past several years.  For my location, the average I have for December snowfall through the 17th of the month is 26.1 inches.  So far in December 2010 we have seen 36.9 inches, so that’s 10.8 inches above average.  We have been on a pace for ~70 inches in the month, which would rival December 2007 and certainly be a big month of snowfall.

 

For the whole season however, we aren’t doing quite as well because of the slow November.  The total of 40.3 inches of snowfall that I have recorded this season is only slightly above the average of 35.9 inches.

 

It’s certainly been snowy, although we really haven’t had a huge synoptic snowstorm yet so December hasn’t necessarily felt as impressive as it would if there were a couple of Nor’easters thrown in the mix.  If that lakes cutter system from last Sunday had been all snow instead of a sandwich of snow on the ends and rain in the middle, then the overall impression of the snowfall this month would have been much greater because the snowpack would be deeper for everyone.

 

We’ll have to see if the second half of the month can hold pace with the first half in terms of snowfall.  It looks like things slow down for the weekend, but perhaps next week they will pick up again.  BTV is certainly monitoring the possibility of retrograde snows in their latest long-term discussion segment, and that has clearly been a trend this month:

 

…THIS IS NOT TO SAY THERE WON`T BE ANY SNOWFALL. INDEED...MODELS HAVE ALSO MAINTAINED CONSISTENCY IN SHOWING INVERTED WARM FRONT OF MARITIME ORIGIN BACKING WEST/SOUTHWESTWARD ACROSS NEW ENGLAND BY LATER MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY/TUESDAY NIGHT BEFORE WEAKENING. THIS WILL LIKELY PROVIDE IMPETUS FOR A 12-24 HR PERIOD OF LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWS ACROSS THE NRN MTNS INTO THE NRN VALLEYS...WHERE SEVERAL INCHES MAY FALL. A QUICK LOOK AT GFS SOUNDING PROFILES AT KBTV SHOWS CLASSIC VEERED WARM AIR ADVECTION PATTERN THROUGH 850MB WITH BLOCKING INVERSION NEAR MTN TOP LEVEL. IF THIS PANS OUT...LOCALIZED HEAVIER ACCUM WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE WESTERN SLOPES OF OUR NRN GREEN MTNS AND EVEN INTO THE VT SIDE OF THE NRN CHAMPLAIN VALLEY. HIGH FLUFF FACTOR TYPICAL WITH THESE MARITIME EVENTS SHOULD ENSURE ONLY MODEST IMPACTS...HOWEVER AT LEAST A FEW SPOTS ACROSS NRN VT MAY SEE A MARGINALLY PLOWABLE SNOWFALL DURING THE TUE/TUE NIGHT TIME FRAME SO STAY TUNED.

 

 

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

 

 

Event totals: 12.3” Snow/2.13” L.E.

 

Saturday 12/18/2010 6:00 A.M. update:  At some point, last night’s flurries turned into accumulating snow overnight, and we wound up with 0.9 inches on the board this morning.  Just when it seems the low pressure up north is done, it keeps on having an influence.  From the BTV discussion this morning:

 

.NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/...

AS OF 358 AM EST SATURDAY...PERSISTENT LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM REMAINS OVER NORTHERN PORTIONS OF ONTARIO/QUEBEC THIS MORNING. WK SFC RIDGE BUILDING IN ALONG THE COAST IS CREATING LGT WSW WINDS OVER MUCH OF THE CWA. THIS FLOW MVG OVER LK ONTARIO...IS CONTINUING A LK EFFECT SNOW BAND. BULK OF -SW IS FALLING OVER SOUTHERN DACKS/ST LAW VALLEY...WITH SOME MOISTURE WORKING INTO THE CVLY. LOW TO OUR NORTH WILL RETROGRADE FURTHER WEST DURING THE MORNING HRS...ALLOWING FOR LK BAND TO ORIENTATE MORE N-S AND EVENTUALLY OUT OF THE CWA. AREAS NEAR LK ONTARIO WILL SEE ANOTHER 1-2" BFR TAPERING OFF...WHILE REST OF AREA CVLY AND WEST...WILL SEE AN INCH OR LESS. CLD COVER SLOW TO ERODE DURING THE COURSE OF THE DAY SO DO EXPECT SOME LGT -SW/--SW W/ NO ADDITIONAL ACCUM. GOING INTO TNGT...RIDGE IN PLACE OVER THE NE REGION. MOST AREAS WILL SEE SKIES GOING PCLDY W/ TEMPS DROPPING INTO THE TEENS.

 

The northern portions of Ontario and Quebec seem quite a distance away from here, so I was curious how we were still getting so much influence from that low.  I pulled up the surface map from weather.com and it’s possible to just make out the low at the top of the image.  The influence of the cyclonic flow is visible right down to the Great Lakes/International Border:

 

 

Based on my records, we are now far enough along that the 7-day totals kept by the ski areas should represent the snowfall from just this latest event, so for those areas that report them, here’s what I’ve seen:

 

Jay Peak: 24”

Stowe: 18”

Bolton Valley: 18”

Killington: 14”

 

Some details from the 6:00 A.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow:  0.9 inches

New Liquid:  0.02 inches

Snow/Water Ratio:  45.0

Snow Density:  2.2%

Temperature:  17.4 F

Sky:  Mostly Clear/Flurries

Snow at the stake:  7.5 inches

 

After this event, it seems that the “out to sea Nor’easter” is still on to bring in some precipitation.  After the daytime period today, our point forecast doesn’t have any sort of snow in it until Sunday night, which appears to be in association with that event:

 

.SHORT TERM /SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...

AS OF 358 AM EST SATURDAY...CORE OF SFC RIDGE WILL REMAIN JUST TO OUT WEST SUNDAY INTO MONDAY. THIS WILL SET UP NORTHERLY FLOW OVER THE ENTIRE REGION DURING THIS TIME. PUSH OF CD CANADIAN AIR WILL PERSIST...KEEPING TEMPS NEAR NORMAL DURING THIS TIME. LOW PRESSURE BUILDING OFFSHORE WILL SWING MOISTURE ASHORE INTO THE AREA. WITH INCR MOISTURE/QPF POTENTIAL...CLD COVER WILL INCR ALONG WITH CHANCE FOR SOME LGT -SW. THIS SYSTEM OFFSHORE WAS SYSTEM EARLIER IN WEEK THAT MDLS WOULD HAVE KICKED ASHORE ENOUGH QPF TO WARRANT MAJOR WINTER EVENT...NOW SYSTEM TO REMAIN OFFSHORE.

 

With that system offshore, it looks like the December trend around here will continue:

 

.LONG TERM /MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY/...

AS OF 358 AM EST SATURDAY...SIMILAR SCENARIO TO WHAT WE HAVE SEEN FOR MUCH OF DECEMBER WILL TAKE PLACE DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE EXTENDED. EXPECT ANOTHER UPPER LOW TO OUR EAST TO SPREAD SOME ATLANTIC MOISTURE INTO THE REGION FROM THE NORTH AND NORTHEAST TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. WILL CONTINUE TO MENTION THE CHANCE OF SNOW DURING THIS TIME FRAME. IN THE WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY TIME PERIOD...EXPECT NORTH TO NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT TO DEVELOP OVER THE AREA...WHICH WILL TEND TO CONCENTRATE ANY PRECIPITATION OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. FLOW ALOFT BACK TO THE WEST ON FRIDAY AND BRINGS ANY PRECIPITATION TO AN END. TEMPERATURES WILL GENERALLY BE AT OR SLIGHTLY BELOW SEASONAL NORMALS THROUGH THE ENTIRE PERIOD.

 

 

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

 

 

I just got back from a ridiculously good run on Spell Binder at Timberline.  On top of the base I found 11-16 inches of bottomless fluff, which has a beautiful right side up density gradient topped off with 5-6% H2O Champlain Powder™.  I have to think it has never seen any wind, and the quality of the powder is literally right at the top of my scale, which is pretty stringent.  The temperatures (~20F), wind (zero) and sun (mostly clear) are just about perfect for earning some turns, so get out there.  I won’t have time for pictures and more details until later, but the skiing was so good that I had to send out a flash update in case anyone could make use of the information today.