Saturday, January 15th, 2011

 

 

Event totals: 1.3” Snow/0.05” L.E.

Saturday 1/15/2011 4:00 P.M. update:  We were up at
Bolton Valley and had just boarded the Wilderness Lift (elevation ~2,150’) when the clipper snowfall started there today; I looked at my watch and it was just a couple minutes before noon.  The snowfall was comprised of small, 1 mm flakes, but from the initial flakes it ramped up in intensity very quickly.  Of course, we were ascending about 1,000’ on the lift at the time as well, so that could have played a part in it too.  The snow continued all afternoon, increasing in intensity to moderate snowfall by later in the afternoon, but with the small flakes there was only about a half inch on our car down at 1,500’ when we were leaving around 3:30 P.M..  Not surprisingly, the skiing was excellent as the mountain is reporting 3 feet since Monday and the new snow was already starting to freshen up the packed areas.  The recent dumps are topped off with a good dose of Champlain Powder™ blower, so it skis like a dream.  The trees and other untracked spots held great snow, and we generally found powder depths of 20-24 inches above the base layer, with spots close to 30 inches:

 

 

The intensity of the snow let up as we descended into the Winooski Valley in the Bolton area, but it was snowing harder at the house a few miles east along the Bolton/Waterbury line (495’).  As of 4:00 P.M. I found 1.3 inches of snow on the snowboard, and we had light to borderline moderate snow falling.  The flake size had definitely increased from what it had been at the start of the afternoon on the mountain, with some flakes up to about 4 mm in diameter.  Our point forecast calls for an additional 1 to 3 inches tonight, and a little more tomorrow before the system winds down, so there should be another excellent ski day on tap.  The snowfall has been just slow and steady over the past couple of hours, with an additional 0.4 inches on the board as of 6:00 P.M.  I’ll plan to do another update at 10:00 P.M. if I haven’t headed off to bed.

 

Some details from the 4:00 P.M. observations are below:

New Snow: 1.3 inches
New Liquid: 0.05 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 26.0
Snow Density: 3.8%
Temperature: 19.2 F
Sky: Light Snow (1-4 mm flakes)
Snow at the stake: 16.5 inches

 

 

Event totals: 2.0” Snow/0.06” L.E.

Saturday 1/15/2011 10:00 P.M. update:  Flakes have been much bigger this evening, but the snowfall has been very light.  We did however hit the 2-inch mark for the event with this round of precipitation.  The
NWS says the best forcing for snowfall has moved east of the area, and the precipitation will now become more orographic, so we’ll see how that plays out around here.

 

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

New Snow: 0.7 inches
New Liquid: 0.01 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 70.0
Snow Density: 1.4%
Temperature: 19.8 F
Sky: Light Snow (2-10 mm flakes)
Snow at the stake: 16.0 inches

 

 

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

 

 

Event totals: 3.9” Snow/0.13” L.E.

Sunday 1/16/2011 6:00 A.M. update:  We had another decent round of precipitation overnight, picking up 1.9” snow and 0.07” additional liquid.

 

Below are some of the Vermont ski areas snow totals I’ve seen for this clipper, listed north to south.  There’s not too much of a trend with latitude, as the totals jump up and down quite a bit along the spine:

 

Jay Peak: 7”

Burke: 3”

Smuggler’s Notch: 3”

Stowe: 9”

Bolton Valley: 3”

Mad River Glen: 4”

Sugarbush: 7”

Middlebury: 4”

Pico: 4”

Killington: 4”

Okemo: 3”

Bromley: 3”

Magic Mountain: 1”

Stratton: 3”

Mount Snow: 6”

 

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

New Snow: 1.9 inches
New Liquid: 0.07 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 27.1
Snow Density: 3.7%
Temperature: 18.5 F
Sky: Light Snow (2-4 mm flakes)
Snow at the stake: 17.0 inches

 

 

Event totals: 4.7” Snow/0.15” L.E.

Sunday 1/16/2011 4:00 P.M. update:  After this morning’s update, we had some additional snowfall at the house in the morning.  It was nothing too intense, but the fluffy flakes had piled up to about 0.7” by the time we headed up to the mountain around 9:00 A.M.  In their morning report, the mountain reported 3 inches of snow in the past 24 hours, but I’d say that was a bit underreported as Powderfreak mentioned for
Stowe.  I did find about 3 to 4 new inches at the base of Timberline (~1,500’), but farther up on Spell Binder there were plenty of areas with 6 to 8 inches.  It’s not bad to have a bit of underreporting though.  It snowed some in the morning on the mountain, then it seemed like the sun was going to win out during the middle of the day as it poked through the clouds at times.  As we moved into the afternoon though, it started to dump close to an inch per hour with huge upslope-style flakes, even with the sun still shining through the clouds.  After a while though, the sun disappeared, much heavier clouds moved in, and the huge flakes redoubled their efforts.  It was pretty amazing, considering the snow as supposed to taper off today.  The skiing was really spectacular with all the new snow; we found areas with up to 30 inches of powder thanks to all the fluff that has been falling with the recent systems

 

 

Some details from the 4:00 P.M. Waterbury observations are below:

New Snow: 0.8 inches
New Liquid: 0.02 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 40.0
Snow Density: 2.5% H2O
Temperature: 21.6 F
Sky: Partly Cloudy, Flurries
Snow at the stake: 16.5 inches

 

 

Monday, January 17th, 2011

 

 

Event totals: 4.9” Snow/0.16” L.E.

Monday 1/17/2011 6:00 A.M. update:  We finished off the clipper with a couple more tenths of snow since the 4:00 P.M. wiping of the board yesterday.  Both this clipper and the one from Jan 4th have been quite decent, bringing about 5 inches each.  Now it is clear and cold; the temperature was at -5.1F as of observation time, but has still been dropping.  Wherever it ends will be our coldest of the season, as the previous lowest was -3.8 on Dec 10th.

 

It’s nice to see the watches up all the way north to Washington County.  It sounds like the QPF is still in question based on the morning BTV discussion, but if northwest flow develops on Wednesday that would probably help the northern mountains:

 

QPF: THE 00Z NAM SHOWS VERY LITTLE QPF ACRS OUR FA BUT 06Z NAM SHOWS BTWN 0.75" SOUTHERN VT TO 0.35 CPV...WHILE GFS HAS 0.33" AT BTV...0.60" AT MPV...AND 0.85" AT VSF. THE SREF HAS BTWN 1.0" AND 1.25" AT ALL 3 SITES...WHILE THE BTV12 HAS 0.60" AT BTV...0.75" AT MPV...AND NEAR 1.0" AT VSF...AND THE BTV4 SHOWS MUCH LESS WITH NOTHING AT BTV/MPV AND 0.16" AT VSF. GIVEN ENSEMBLE TRACK OF SFC LOW PRES OVER THE CAPE...AND USING A MODEL BLEND FOR QPF WOULD SUPPORT BTWN 0.75 AND 1.0"...SOUTHERN/CENTRAL VT ZNS...ESPECIALLY EASTERN SIDE OF THE GREEN MTNS...WITH 0.50 TO 0.75 MPV AREA...AND BTWN 0.20 AND 0.40" CPV AND PARTS OF THE NEK DUE TO SHADOWING OFF THE WHITES...WITH 0.10 TO 0.25" ACRS NNY. HOWEVER...AS NW UPSLOPE FLW DEVELOPS ON WEDS...WESTERN SLOPES WL SEE A REDEVELOPMENT OF SNOW WITH ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATION LIKELY INTO WEDS NIGHT.

 

Based on BTV’s current storm forecast map it looks like accumulations for our area would be in the 8 to 9 inch range.  I’ve added a couple of the BTV graphics below:

 

 

 

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

New Snow: 0.2 inches
New Liquid: 0.01 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 20.0
Snow Density: 5.0% H2O
Temperature: -5.1 F
Sky: Clear
Snow at the stake: 16.0 inches