December 25th, 2011 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates

 

A short summary of this winter storm is also available in the J&E Productions web log.

 

 

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

 

 

View PostAllenson, on 24 December 2011 - 08:00 AM, said:

Maybe things are turning around--looking at some light accumulations tomorrow night and perhaps again next week. We just might get on a little roll here.

 

The ECMWF was not quite as impressive with that system on the overnight 00Z run as it was on yesterday’s 12Z run, but there certainly seems to be potential.  BTV NWS is watching it, so I added their pertinent discussion below:

 

INCREASING CLOUDS EXPECTED DURING THE DAY TUESDAY AS SRN STREAM TROUGH MOVES FROM THE TN RIVER VALLEY ACROSS THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS AND SFC CYCLOGENESIS OCCURS ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES. STILL SOME MODEL DIFFERENCES IN TERMS OF DEGREE OF PHASING WITH NRN STREAM SHORTWAVE TROUGH PROGRESSING ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES REGION AT THE SAME TIME. THIS WILL SUBSEQUENTLY AFFECT THE EVOLUTION/DEEPENING OF THE SFC LOW AS IT MOVES NEWD TOWARD CAPE COD BY 06Z WEDNESDAY. ONSET OF PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY GENERALLY TUESDAY AFTN FROM SW-NE WITH HEAVIEST PCPN TUESDAY NIGHT. VERTICAL TEMPERATURE PROFILES GENERALLY COLD ENOUGH TO SUPPORT SNOW...THOUGH SOME RAIN/SNOW/SLEET MIX CAN/T BE RULED OUT DURING THE FIRST SEVERAL HRS OF THE EVENT TUESDAY AFTN...ESPECIALLY IN THE CT RIVER VALLEY AND S-CENTRAL VERMONT. LOW IS GENERALLY QUICK MOVING LIMITING OVERALL DURATION OF PRECIPITATION AND QPF AMTS. THAT SAID...A MODERATE SNOWFALL IS POSSIBLE WITH TRAVEL IMPACTS LATE TUESDAY...TUESDAY NIGHT AND LINGERING INTO THE MORNING COMMUTE HRS ON WEDNESDAY. IF THE NRN AND SRN STREAMS BECOMING MORE PHASED - AS IS SUGGESTED BY THE 00Z ECMWF SOLN - A SLOWER MOVING SYSTEM WITH GREATER SNOWFALL WOULD BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY. WE/LL CONTINUE TO MONITOR.

 

 

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

 

 

View Postpowderfreak, on 25 December 2011 - 08:32 AM, said:

-SN falling, no appreciable overnight accumulation.

 

We've been in South Burlington with family, but same thing over here – with some wind as well since it’s the Champlain Valley.  I’ve been seeing general comments from BTV for accumulations in the 1 to 3 inch range for the event starting this afternoon - the alert bar for the hazardous weather outlook on the BTV NWS homepage highlights the current thoughts up pretty well:

 

 

 

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTHERN NEW YORK...CENTRAL

VERMONT...NORTHEAST VERMONT...NORTHWEST VERMONT AND SOUTHERN

VERMONT.

 

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

 

SNOW SHOWERS WILL DEVELOP OVER THE REGION BY THIS AFTERNOON...AND

OVERSPREAD THE NORTH COUNTRY THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT PERIOD. MOST

AREAS WILL PICK UP 1 TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER

AMOUNTS IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN.

 

 

Event totals: 0.7” Snow/0.01” L.E.

 

It was just very light snow this morning in South Burlington with no accumulation, but back at the house in Waterbury around 10:30 A.M. I found 0.7” on the snowboard and light snow falling that was borderline moderate in intensity.

 

Some details from the 10:30 A.M. observations are below:

 

New Snow: 0.7 inches

New Liquid: 0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 70.0

Snow Density: 1.4% H2O

Temperature: 18.7 F

Sky: Light Snow (2-9 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 3.0 inches

 

 

View Postpowderfreak, on 25 December 2011 - 05:43 PM, said:

Wow! Did not expect that today. I'm speechless... just over 5" in the parking lot at 1,500ft between 10am-4pm.

Now I'm down in town and we've got around 4" of new snow today and it is still snowing. 3" from a trained spotter a couple hours ago makes sense.

...LAMOILLE COUNTY...
STOWE 3.0 246 PM 12/25 TRAINED SPOTTER

 

I’m out an about at the moment, but around 10:30 A.M. the snow had recently started up at the house there was already 0.7 inches of very dry snow on the snowboard.  Here are the observations from that point:

 

New Snow: 0.7 inches

New Liquid: 0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 70.0

Snow Density: 1.4% H2O

Temperature: 18.7 F

Sky: Light Snow (2-9 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 3.0 inches

 

I didn’t get to look at the radar, but I suspected that there was a nice shot of snow coming in with the way it was building, and checking on our web cam there’s another 3.2 inches out there now, so it looks like we got blitzed along with what you were seeing.  Wish I’d been there to watch, but it should be a nice addition to the slopes, even if it’s very fluffy stuff.

 

 

Monday, December 26th, 2011

 

 

View Postpowderfreak, on 26 December 2011 - 07:10 AM, said:

800ft in the village... *note I forgot to clear my measuring area, so that new snow overnight is just the increase in storm total depth. I have 7" on the ground in the past 18 hours.


New Snow overnight: 3.0"
Storm Total Depth: 7.0"
Total Snow Depth: 9.5"

 

That’s great to see, current event total for our location looks to be 5.1 inches, but I won’t be able to run the more detailed liquid analyses until later.  Hopefully the holiday resort visitors are loving the new snow and scenery.  For the areas that have reported in so far, I’ve got the north to south list of event totals (48-hour snow totals) at Vermont ski areas below.  The Smugg’s to Bolton stretch along the spine looks to have done nicely with this one, with Mt. Mansfield right in the sweet spot – glad to have you out there doing the snow analyses PF:

 

Jay Peak: 6”

Burke: 4”

Smuggler’s Notch: 10”

Stowe: 14”

Bolton Valley: 10”

Mad River Glen: 7”

Sugarbush: 4”

Pico: 1”

Killington: 1”

Bromley: 1”

Stratton: 0”

Mount Snow: 1”

 

 

View Postpowderfreak, on 26 December 2011 - 01:45 PM, said:

Snowfall totals from BTV...

My 8.5" at 1,550ft matched the Trapp Family Lodge 8.0" at 1,400ft in Stowe. They also have 6.8" for Stowe village which sounds right based on my roughly 7" 4:45am measurement on the driveway, lol.

 

 

Thanks for the map update PF – I didn’t send in my data to CoCoRaHS yet since I haven’t analyzed the liquid, but the plot the NWS put together looks good for our area based on what I’ve seen; the 5.1” of snow at our place looks to fit in perfectly in the second tier 5” - 7” purple shading south of the 7”+ fuchsia jackpot area.  It’s always nice to have the Northern Greens on one’s side to rip the moisture out of the air with these clippers.  Let’s hope for many more of these now that the base is getting established.  These are the sorts of events that help to put the Northern Vermont resorts up with the big leagues of powder skiing.  The very dry nature of the “Champlain Powder™” snow is a big part of it, but I consider another aspect to be the way that decent amounts of snow can fall in these clippers without the massive winds of huge systems that can deteriorate the snow quality.   Sometimes the winds to get ripping with upslope events (the moisture does have to be transported in some capacity) in the higher elevations, but they don’t seem to be the all-encompassing type of winds that come in with Nor’easters.  What were the winds like on Mansfield for this system?

                                                                                                                       

 

Event totals: 5.1” Snow/0.32” L.E.

 

We’ve been traveling around New England a bit over the past couple of days, so we were away for much of the recent upslope event, but now that we’re back I was able to run the liquid analysis on the rest of the snow; the final totals are posted above.

 

As for the trip, I’ll provide a quick weather-related synopsis.  As I detailed in my Sunday post, when we were leaving the house around 10:30 A.M., snow had already started.  I measured 0.7” of very fluffy new snow on the snowboards and cleaned them off for the next round.  I thought that the snow was going to start much later in the day, and you could tell that the snow was ramping up in intensity, so it had that feeling of a decent upslope dump.  It was a little frustrating to leave at that point, but I set up our web cam monitoring the calibrated measuring boards I set out when we’re away on these types of occasions.  I’ve got a couple of wooden blocks with 2-inch increments that are about 4 inches high, and then one larger block with 3-inch increments that is about a foot high.  Doing a quick frame grab from the web cam allows me to blow up the image in Photoshop and get a good measurement on the snow that has fallen.

 

So we headed south on I-89, and because of the storm the driving was actually a bit slow all the way through to that Northfield-Brookfield stretch (the high point of I-89) before finally tapering off in the Randolph-Bethel area.  Natural snow was actually present on the ground for a good chunk of our trip – the point at which it finally faded was around the junction of I-89/I-93 and the I-93 toll plaza in New Hampshire.  This trip was one of the more dramatic examples of NNE/SNE weather dichotomy; we left Waterbury with a temperature of 18.7 F, with full-on winter conditions of building snowfall, tricky travel, etc., and a few hours later we were along the east coast of Rhode Island (Barrington) where the temperature was ~40 F with breaks of sunshine, relatives were hanging out in the back yard and kids were playing on the trampoline.  While 40 F isn’t all that warm (and may not even be that far from average for coastal Rhode Island), the 20 F plus change in temperature and coming from a snowstorm to beautiful green grass was a bit of a shock.  It was really fun hanging out outside though.  We headed north to the South Shore area (Norwell) that evening, and the temperature during the drive was even warmer – it was mid 40s F with some rain.

 

I generally haven’t had to use my larger calibrated block for snow measurement when we’ve been away, but when I checked the web cam and saw that the smaller blocks were basically buried under the new snow, it was clearly one of those occasions.  A special thanks to Powderfreak for his many updates on the storm – the Stowe shots from both in town and on the mountain look great.  I’m especially excited for all the holiday visitors to Stowe and the surrounding area that definitely got their money’s worth in terms of Vermont winter scenery and snowfall – on Christmas Day no less!  It was fun visiting with family over the holiday, but it’s definitely nice to be back in the land of snow magic; I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of these next few snow events.

 

 

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

 

 

I popped up to Bolton to check out the results of the recent clipper/upslope snow and get in a couple runs.  Temperatures were around freezing at the main base (2,100’) and probably a few degrees below freezing up around the Vista Summit (3,150’).  At around 3:30 P.M. a little light sleet started to fall, and that was on and off.  I arrived back at the house to find light snow falling and a temperature of 34.3 F.

 

 

J&E Productions.com

Click the logo to return