Saturday, February 5th, 2011

 

 

It looks like a potentially moderate snow event is coming through the region for the overnight period, and winter storm warnings are up for part of the area:

 

 

This should be a good follow up to the midweek event, since that storm was really the first big synoptic event around here, and it’s the synoptic storms that are needed to get that snowpack growing.  Based on the text in the storm warning it looks like good timing for turns tomorrow for those that are interested in coming to VT.  I’ve added BTV’s projected accumulations map and some text for Northern Vermont below.

 

 

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BURLINGTON VT

356 AM EST SAT FEB 5 2011

 

WESTERN ESSEX-EASTERN ESSEX-ORLEANS-ESSEX-WESTERN CHITTENDEN-LAMOILLE-CALEDONIA-WASHINGTON-WESTERN ADDISON-EASTERN CHITTENDEN-EASTERN ADDISON-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LAKE PLACID...PORT HENRY...TICONDEROGA...NEWPORT...ISLAND POND...BURLINGTON...JOHNSON...STOWE...ST. JOHNSBURY...MONTPELIER...MIDDLEBURY...VERGENNES...UNDERHILL...BRISTOL...RIPTON

356 AM EST SAT FEB 5 2011

 

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 AM EST SUNDAY...

 

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BURLINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 AM EST SUNDAY.

 

* LOCATIONS...ESSEX COUNTY OF NEW YORK AND CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VERMONT...EXCEPT FRANKLIN AND GRAND ISLE COUNTIES.

 

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW.

 

* ACCUMULATIONS...6 TO 10 INCHES.

 

* TIMING...SNOW WILL DEVELOP THIS EVENING AND CONTINUE OVERNIGHT BEFORE TAPERING OFF AFTER SUNRISE SUNDAY.

 

* IMPACTS...HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OVERNIGHT WITH SNOW PACKED ROADS.

 

* WINDS...NORTH 5 TO 10 MPH.

 

* TEMPERATURES...LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S TONIGHT.

 

* VISIBILITIES...AS LOW AS 1/4 MILE AT TIMES IN HEAVIER SNOW BANDS.

 

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

 

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.  SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

 

PLEASE STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO...YOUR LOCAL MEDIA...OR GO TO WWW.WEATHER.GOV/BURLINGTON FOR FURTHER UPDATES ON THIS WEATHER SITUATION.

 

 

We were up at Bolton today, and conditions were nice.  This midweek storm wasn’t entirely ultra light Champlain Powder™, so this powder has seemed to settle down and consolidate a bit quicker that some snowfalls.  Temperatures were probably around 30 F, and it was really comfortable on the slopes.  In the morning we had blue skies, which gradually transitioned over to clouds as the next system approached.

 

 

 

We’re here in South Burlington at my parent’s place now, and first flakes appeared in this location right at 4:20 P.M.  The intensity of the snowfall picked up fairly quickly, and as of 6:00 P.M. there were already a couple of inches of accumulation.  I checked again at around 6:30 P.M. and it was closing in on 3 inches, so it’s coming down at over an inch an hour.

 

 

I just did another check on the snowfall, and as of ~7:00 P.M. there are almost four inches of accumulation here in South Burlington, which is up about an inch since 6:30 P.M.  So as others have mentioned, the snow is coming down in the range of 2 inches per hour around here.

 

 

We left South Burlington right around 7:30 P.M. and as I walked outside I noticed that the intensity of the snowfall had decreased.  The actual amount of liquid coming down may have been similar to what we’d be seeing before, but I quickly noticed that the flakes were becoming more granular in nature.  There wasn’t any sleet that I could detect, but the granular flakes were clearly denser than the huge flakes that had been falling previously.  An amalgam of big wet flakes and granular flakes continued onto I-89, and roughly between South Burlington and Williston at 7:45 P.M. we heard ticks of sleet on the windshield.  From there through to our place on the Waterbury/Bolton line the precipitation was a mixture of small granular flakes and potentially some sleet, but we really didn’t have much in the way of formal sleet from what we could see and hear hitting the window; the sound just wasn’t sharp enough.  The intensity of the precipitation also really fell off east of Williston, presumably in association with the dry slot.  At the house around 8:45 P.M. I found 4.1 inches of snow on the snowboard, the temperature was 30.2 F, and the precipitation was mostly small granular flakes, but the intensity was fairly light.  By 9:00 P.M. the precipitation was a combination of slightly larger flakes and some sleet pellets, and that’s what we’ve had since then.  Based on the Intellicast colored radar it looks like we may get back into more substantial snow at some point.  Since I haven’t cleared the snowboard yet with this event, when it looks like the dry slot/mix area is past, I’ll clear it and get the water content, and that will allow a good indication of liquid for that first part of the event.  Then my plan is to let any overnight snow accumulate and I’ll measure at my normal 6:00 A.M. observations time.  Of course we’ll have to see what Mother Nature has planned and whether or not my plans fit with hers.

 

 

The precipitation is very interesting out there at the moment.  We’ve got some light snow, and what could be mistaken for sleet based on the sound, but it’s something different.  What we’re getting are granular flakes that look exactly like chunks of rock candy up to perhaps 8 mm in diameter.  I’ve never really seen stuff like that before.  Also at around 9:30 P.M. we had a flash of lighting; at first I wasn’t sure if I’d seen it, but them my wife, who was upstairs, asked me if I’d just taken a picture and that answered that.  And now we just had a long rumble of thunder as well – neat stuff.

 

 

Event totals: 4.5” Snow/0.68” L.E.

Saturday 2/5/2011 10:00 P.M. update:  The precipitation went back over to completely snow a bit before 10:00 P.M., so that will work pretty well as a break point in measurements for this event.  It seems that the passage of all that thunder and lightning was coincident with the transition back to snow.  The snow stack from the snowboard was certainly dense, with over 2/3 of an inch of liquid in just the 4.5 inches of snow.  Presumably all those granular flakes and any sleet pellets added some substantial girth to the snowpack.  While the new snow is dense, there are no signs of any glazing, so as far as I can tell there was no rain in this area.  Once the precipitation was back to snow it was coming down nicely, with some decent flakes up to 10 mm in diameter.  I wasn’t ready to call it heavy snow, because it seemed to be less than an inch per hour, but I’ll be able to get a good rate estimate by checking the snowboard at 11:00 P.M.  The snowpack at the stake was at 27 inches as of the 10:00 P.M. reading, and since my standard measurement stake stops at 30 inches, I installed my four-foot stake just in case tonight’s snowfall overtops it.  From my observations over the past few seasons down at this elevation/location, whenever we get above 30 inches for the snowpack it’s a sign that things have been going reasonably well in terms of snowfall and winter temperatures.  I’ll check the 11:00 P.M. accumulation on the snowboard in a few minutes.


Some details from the 10:00 P.M. observations are below:

New Snow: 4.5 inches
New Liquid: 0.68 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 6.6
Snow Density: 15.1% H2O
Temperature: 30.7 F
Sky: Snow (1-10 mm flakes)
Snow at the stake: 27.0 inches

 

 

J.Spin, on 05 February 2011 - 11:55 PM, said:

I’ll check the 11:00 P.M. accumulation on the snowboard in a few minutes.

 

That 10:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. hour delivered 0.6 inches of snow, although the rate has slowed down a bit compared to where it was an hour ago.  There still seems to be some moisture to the west of us, so presumably I’ll have a bit more accumulation to report in the morning.

 

 

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

 

 

Event totals: 7.6” Snow/0.99” L.E.

Sunday 2/6/2011 6:00 A.M. update:  The overnight snow here came in very synoptic-like in density, right on at 10.0% H2O.  It’s certainly down from yesterday’s snow density, not surprisingly since that stack had some snow grains/sleet.  Below I’ve added in the 24-hour snow totals I’ve seen for Vermont ski areas that have updated this morning, listed north to south:

 

Jay Peak: 12”

Smuggler’s Notch: 10”

Stowe: 11”

Bolton Valley: 11”

Mad River Glen: 11”

Sugarbush: 10”

Pico: 7”

Killington: 7”

Okemo: 3”

Bromley: 3”

Magic Mountain: 3”

Mount Snow: 0”

 

Not every area has reported in yet, but there’s a salient north to south trend in snow accumulations.  Presumably this is in association with the mixed precipitation cutting down the snow totals, as I’m seeing some of the southernmost resorts indicating icing of the lifts.  In general though, this has been another nice synoptic shot for the mountain snowpack; if we picked up just about an inch of liquid equivalent down here in the valley, then the surrounding resorts must have received at least that amount.


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

New Snow: 3.1 inches
New Liquid: 0.31 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 10.0
Snow Density: 10.0% H2O
Temperature: 27.5 F
Sky: Flurries
Snow at the stake: 29.0 inches

 

 

powderfreak, on 06 February 2011 - 05:30 PM, said:

I measured 29-30" on the ground around 950ft at Topnotch Resort and Spa (on the Mountain Road here in Stowe) today where I work on the weekends. Have a couple pictures I'll post later.



Scott, in case you hadn't seen it, I noticed that the NWS posted the current snowpack numbers below the totals for the recent storm.


[code]NOUS41 KBTV 062321
PNSBTV
NYZ026>031-034-035-087-VTZ001>012-016>019-071108-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
SPOTTER REPORTS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BURLINGTON VT
620 PM EST SUN FEB 06 2011

THE FOLLOWING ARE UNOFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS TAKEN DURING THE PAST
24 HOURS FOR THE STORM THAT HAS BEEN AFFECTING OUR REGION.
APPRECIATION IS EXTENDED TO COOPERATIVE AND COCORAHS OBSERVERS...
SKYWARN SPOTTERS...MEDIA AND GENERAL PUBLIC FOR THESE REPORTS.
THIS SUMMARY IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON OUR HOME PAGE AT
WEATHER.GOV/BURLINGTON

THIS WILL BE THE LAST REPORT FOR THIS STORM.

********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL********************

LOCATION          STORM TOTAL     TIME/DATE   COMMENTS                  
                     SNOWFALL           OF
                     /INCHES/   MEASUREMENT

NEW YORK

...CLINTON COUNTY...
   4 ESE PERU             8.8   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

...ESSEX COUNTY...
   MORIAH                 9.0   718 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   2 N LAKE PLACID        8.5   810 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

...FRANKLIN COUNTY...
   1 SW MALONE           10.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   WHIPPLEVILLE           8.8   759 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                

...ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY...
   SOUTH EDWARDS         12.5   720 AM  2/06  PUBLIC                  
   POTSDAM               10.0   850 AM  2/06  SPOTTER
   3 NW GOUVERNEUR        9.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER                
   2 NE OGDENSBURG        8.0   859 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   1 NW EDWARDS           8.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

VERMONT

...ADDISON COUNTY...
   2 NW LINCOLN          11.0   730 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   SOUTH LINCOLN          7.8   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 ENE BRIDPORT         6.5   652 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   BRIDPORT               6.0   641 AM  2/06  GENERAL PUBLIC          

...CALEDONIA COUNTY...
   3 NNW SHEFFIELD        9.5  1030 AM  2/06  COCORAHS
   2 NE SUTTON            9.4   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   4 N WALDEN             9.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   WALDEN                 9.0   849 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   2 SW SUTTON            8.7   710 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   LYNDON CENTER          8.3  1016 AM  2/06  LYNDON STATE COLLEGE    
   ST. JOHNSBURY          7.9  1101 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 E DANVILLE           7.8   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                  
   SE SHEFFIELD           7.0   800 AM  2/06  COCORAHS              

...CHITTENDEN COUNTY...
   1 NW BURLINGTON       11.5   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   2 NW WESTFORD         10.0  1002 AM  2/06  NWS EMPLOYEE            
   1 NE SOUTH BURLINGTO   9.5   637 AM  2/06  NWS OFFICE  
   HANKSVILLE             9.3   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   JERICHO                9.0   647 AM  2/06  PUBLIC                  
   2 NNW WILLISTON        8.5   851 AM  2/06  NWS EMPLOYEE            
   HINESBURG              8.0   918 AM  2/06  SPOTTER    
   3 SSE RICHMOND         7.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS            
   1 E NASHVILLE          6.2   645 AM  2/06  NWS EMPLOYEE            
   1 NNE HUNTINGTON       6.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS          

...ESSEX COUNTY...
   1 N ISLAND POND       10.0   150 PM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

...FRANKLIN COUNTY...
   ENOSBURG FALLS        12.0   700 AM  2/06  COOP OBSERVER
   SWANTON               10.4   634 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   5 S ST. ALBANS         9.5   633 AM  2/06  PUBLIC                  

...LAMOILLE COUNTY...
   MOUNT MANSFIELD       11.0   400 PM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER
   MORRISVILLE            8.5   715 AM  2/06  PUBLIC                  
   5 N JEFFERSONVILLE     8.0   825 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 S EDEN               8.0   947 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 NE HYDE PARK         6.5   830 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   STOWE                  6.0  1101 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                

...ORANGE COUNTY...
   2 WSW BROOKFIELD       8.0   730 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 SW SOUTH VERSHIRE    6.0   743 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   CORINTH                6.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 NW CHELSEA           6.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER    

...ORLEANS COUNTY...
   1 SW IRASBURG         14.0   800 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   1 WNW WESTFIELD       14.0   745 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   JAY PEAK              10.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   NEWPORT                9.5   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 NW DERBY CENTER      9.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   ORLEANS                7.3   856 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   2 WNW STANNARD         7.0   902 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   3 ENE BARTON           6.9   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS  

...RUTLAND COUNTY...
   1 N RUTLAND            5.1   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   1 N WEST RUTLAND       4.2   900 AM  2/06  COCORAHS        

...WASHINGTON COUNTY...
   4 ENE CABOT           10.0   900 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   3 NE WATERBURY         9.0   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   5 NNE WATERBURY        8.1   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   3 NW WATERBURY         7.6   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   MARSHFIELD             7.5   954 AM  2/06  SPOTTER                
   2 SW EAST CALAIS       7.2   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   1 SSW SOUTH WOODBURY   7.0   730 AM  2/06  SPOTTER  
   2 N NORTHFIELD         7.0   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS              
   PLAINFIELD             6.8   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 SE WAITSFIELD        6.1   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   2 W WAITSFIELD         6.1   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 W WORCESTER          6.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   1 N NORTHFIELD         5.5   835 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER              
                
...WINDSOR COUNTY...
   1 S ROCHESTER          6.0   724 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 N POMFRET            5.3   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   WOODSTOCK              3.0   800 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 S LUDLOW             2.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS      

    
***********************SNOW ON GROUND***********************

LOCATION                 SNOW     TIME/DATE   COMMENTS                  
                     ON GROUND           OF
                     /INCHES/   MEASUREMENT

NEW YORK

...ESSEX COUNTY...
   2 N LAKE PLACID       32.0   810 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

...FRANKLIN COUNTY...
   1 SW MALONE           24.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

...ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY...
   1 NW EDWARDS          19.5   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   3 NW GOUVERNEUR       18.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

VERMONT

...ADDISON COUNTY...
   SOUTH LINCOLN         23.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 NW LINCOLN          23.0   730 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   2 SE LINCOLN          23.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

...CALEDONIA COUNTY...
   4 N WALDEN            32.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 NNW SHEFFIELD       30.5  1030 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   2 SW SUTTON           28.0   710 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 E DANVILLE          25.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   ST JOHNSBURY          22.0   400 PM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 NE SUTTON           21.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

...CHITTENDEN COUNTY...
   1 E NASHVILLE         24.0   645 AM  2/06  NWS EMPLOYEE            
   HANKSVILLE            24.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 SSE RICHMOND        23.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   1 NNE HUNTINGTON      22.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

...ESSEX COUNTY...
   1 N ISLAND POND       37.0   150 PM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

...FRANKLIN COUNTY...
   ENOSBURG FALLS        33.0   700 AM  2/06  COOP OBSERVER          

...LAMOILLE COUNTY...
   MOUNT MANSFIELD       65.0   400 PM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   5 N JEFFERSONVILLE    33.0   825 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 S EDEN              30.0   947 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 NE HYDE PARK        22.0   830 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

...ORANGE COUNTY...
   CORINTH               30.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 NW CHELSEA          30.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

...ORLEANS COUNTY...
   JAY PEAK              52.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 NW DERBY CENTER     29.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   1 WNW WESTFIELD       29.0   745 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   NEWPORT               28.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 ENE BARTON          26.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   1 SW IRASBURG         24.0   800 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

...RUTLAND COUNTY...
   1 N RUTLAND           26.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   1 N WEST RUTLAND      19.5   900 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                

...WASHINGTON COUNTY...
   4 ENE CABOT           29.0   900 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   3 NW WATERBURY        29.0   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   3 NE WATERBURY        29.0   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   5 NNE WATERBURY       26.5   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   1 N NORTHFIELD        26.0   835 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 SE WAITSFIELD       25.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   2 N NORTHFIELD        25.0   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   2 W WAITSFIELD        25.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 SW EAST CALAIS      24.5   600 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   PLAINFIELD            24.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 SW MONTPELIER       24.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   2 W WORCESTER         22.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          

...WINDSOR COUNTY...
   4 N BETHEL            32.0   700 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   3 N POMFRET           30.0   700 AM  2/06  COCORAHS                
   1 S ROCHESTER         24.0   724 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER          
   WOODSTOCK             21.0   800 AM  2/06  CO-OP OBSERVER                  
                

[/code]