November 17th, 2011 Ė Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates



Thursday, November 17th, 2011



I was up in Morrisville today, so I grabbed a shot of the snowmaking taking place on Mt. Mansfield on the way home around midday:



In the afternoon I was up at Bolton.† It had the look and feel of snow, and right at 3:03 PM when I was around 2,500í I started to hear the tick of flakes and graupel all around.† It snowed with varying light intensity for about an hour, and it accumulated pretty easily with temperatures in the low 30s F, but the snowfall was light enough that it still only produced a dusting.† Weíre got snow falling down here in the valley right now, but itís fairly light and Iím not really seeing any accumulation:




View Postpowderfreak, on 17 November 2011 - 10:07 PM, said:

now we are down to 32.7F with light snow and its started to stick to the colder surfaces.

Yeah, I just checked out back and itís accumulating on the snowboard.† It hasnít hit a tenth of an inch yet though, but Iíll check back and see if it hits that point for an official accumulation of more than a T.


View Postpowderfreak, on 17 November 2011 - 10:07 PM, said:

I've been thinking if we get lucky we can get a few more bursts overnight tonight and possibly whiten the ground with the colder overnight temps.

Nice shot of the snowmaking... the guys were cranking it out all day today. The fired up in the pre-dawn hours this morning.


It was nice to see the guns going today - even though itís the natural stuff that Iím really interested in for skiing, itís always nice to see the guns going because it usually means that itís at least cold enough for snow.



View Postpowderfreak, on 17 November 2011 - 10:41 PM, said:

Also another round expanding over the Spine.


Indeed, weíre getting hit much harder now here; there are actually a couple tenths of an inch down already to put in the books.




Friday, November 18th, 2011



View Postpowderfreak, on 18 November 2011 - 11:44 AM, said:

Flurries continue with sunlight, haha. Snow globe snow twinkling in the sunlight. Mansfield is getting enveloped by another snow shower as I just lost visibility of the mountain from the Nordic Barn.

Wall of white coming this way...just exploded over the mountain... doesn't look impressive on radar but it looks nice in person.


I can see it from over here on the west side of the range Ė itís very cool in that the rest of the peaks north and south are visible, so itís just like your radar image shows with the focus on Mansfield.



View Postpowderfreak, on 18 November 2011 - 08:03 AM, said:

Haha I'm not sure, maybe its not ethical to "not" measure it like that? NWS says your snowfall accumulation is the maximum amount achieved at any one point every 6 hours

Dilemma, dilemma...

View PostAllenson, on 18 November 2011 - 11:58 AM, said:

Ha-ha, not sure the height of a couple grouple pellets, with only 15-20% of the board whitened constitues any more than a trace....

Buuut, there was actually more on the truck than I expected when left the house--after I posted earlier this morning. I could go with a bonefide 0.1" after seeing what I did. It's weird, there wasn't much on my board--more board than white, as I said above--but the hood of the truck and the top of the toolbox in the bed were both solidly white. Might have to alter my dailies...

Every tenth counts, yo!


This is a good discussion for snow measurers, and hereís the link to the snow measurement guidelines for anyone in the forum that is new to the process:


From the heightened period of more intense snowfall activity last night in our area, snow accumulation got up to 0.2 inches, and that eventually melted back since we were a bit above freezing.† But, there was a new tenth of an inch of graupel pellets on the board this morning, so the whole event comes in at 0.3Ē based on my observations.† In this case I threw the first 0.2Ē into a midnight observation, and then the morningís 0.1Ē into my 6:00 AM observation, but in reality that doesnít have to be done, since anything that accumulated and then melts down can be added into an individual 6-hour total.† In theory, one could be out there watching every tenth of an inch or whatever accumulates during the snow bursts and then melts back when the precipitation slows, but thereís practicality and common sense to use as well.


On the snowboard coverage issue, thatís a great topic that Iíve thought about as well.† A while back I eventually decided that I wasnít going to worry about percent of board coverage or anything like that Ė it just seems too arbitrary anyway.† With the elevated board, I just stick my tenths of an inch ruler down on there with my eye level with the board, and if anything pops up above the 0.1Ē marker, the accumulation goes down as a tenth of an inch.† If it doesnít, which was the situation during my first check yesterday evening, then it goes down as a trace.† The beauty of using a board is that, as long as youíve got a representative, wind-free location, youíve got a nice, consistently-defined area in which you are looking for the accumulation Ė i.e., you canít go hunting around all over the deck or whatever surface looking for that spot where the three flakes stacked up and got unusually highÖ or likewise a spot where thereís nothing.† You can let the board be your boundary, and derive at least internal consistency by always limiting yourself to measuring there.† Unfortunately this falls apart a bit if you are in a windy location and have to use multiple boards and get an average, but you can still use the same method on each board before you take your average and be consistent in that manner.


In last nightís event, I never saw full coverage of the board, and this morningís graupel wasnít a full covering either, but I just stick to my method and let the height of the snow dictate the accumulation.† Itís not that big a deal either way, because the accumulation wonít usually get beyond a few tenths without full coverage Ė the most extreme case Iíve seen is when we have those massive upslope flakes that form globs on the board, where it might be a half inch etc.† One also has to keep the whole thing in perspective as well - even twenty or thirty of these tenth of an inch measurements together throughout the season (which is probably more than even I get with diligent measuring) is still insignificant in the grand scheme of an NNE winter.† I know there are folks in the forum that belittle the whole process of expending time to do the sub-inch snowfall measurements and call it a waste, but monitoring the season snowfall derived from a few big storms is much different than trying to get an accurate representation of the snow that falls from 40 to 50 storms varying from gargantuan all the way down to dustings.† Thatís the way things often go in the mountains though.



Saturday, November 19th, 2011



View Postborderwx, on 19 November 2011 - 06:03 PM, said:

Had to head above 2000' on N facing slopes to find a dose of winter


Not surprisingly, thereís no snow here in the Winooski Valley, but I was up at Bolton today and found some snow left from Thursdayís snowfall activity Ė started appearing at around 2,500í on the west-facing slopes.


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