March 4th, 2012 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates



Sunday, March 4th, 2012



Event totals: 2.0” Snow/0.05” L.E.


We had a bit of snow in the air this morning around the house, but nothing that had accumulated before we headed off to Stowe in the late morning period.  Snow was falling lightly in the valleys to the east of the Greens while we drove to the mountain, and off to the west, the mountains themselves were hidden behind a veil of more intense snowfall.  As we approached Mt. Mansfield the snowfall grew steadier and heavier, and while it would still be considered light in intensity, it was accumulating even at the base elevations (~1,500) when we arrived at the resort.  As is often the case, the snow was heaviest over by the Chin:



Around midday we found new accumulations of roughly 2 inches of snow on Spruce Peak at ~2,500’, but with the warming yesterday there was a melt/sun crust below the new snow that made the off piste skiing not nearly as blissful as what it had been last week.  We headed over to Mt. Mansfield, and were planning to bring the kids on a trip to the Kitchen Wall, but weren’t going to do that unless the snow quality was there.  It turns out that high on the mountain, it must not have gotten above freezing, or certainly not enough that it mattered, because up around 3,500’ there were no signs of crust and the powder was fantastic.  There were some pretty cool snow formations out there:



There was definitely an elevation-dependent gradient in terms of where temperatures had warmed enough to affect the snow on Mansfield, but basically everything on the upper half of the mountain was very much like it’s been all week, especially with all the additional snow falling.  On the lower half of the mountain the melt layer from yesterday became more and more pronounced, so it made off piste skiing more difficult in the very lowest elevations, but conditions down there were still very nice on piste.


Near the end of the afternoon we took a run down Lookout; the snow was starting to come on stronger, and the size of the flakes was increasing:



Some of the heaviest snowfall of the day was coming down as we were leaving, and it was hard to tell because there was no melt layer up there to assess the new snow on top of the old, but there had to be at least 3 to 4 inches of fresh snow up top by that point.  I’m sure Powderfreak will have the information tomorrow.


The snow gradually dropped off in intensity as we headed toward Stowe Village, and was fairly minimal through Waterbury Center and Colbyville, but as we headed down the hill from Colbyville into Waterbury, it began to pick up and I suspected it was even more intense at the house.  We looked down the Winooski Valley and saw that indeed there was an impressive wall of white in that direction, and it was snowing moderately with 1.4 inches on the snowboard as of 5:00 P.M.  There’s been on and off snow tonight that has dropped an additional 0.6 inches on the board as of 11:00 P.M.  Data from tonight’s Waterbury observations are below:


5:00 P.M.

New Snow: 1.4 inches

New Liquid: 0.04 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 35.0

Snow Density: 2.9% H2O

Temperature: 32.2 F

Sky: Moderate Snow (5-25 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 11.0 inches


11:00 P.M.

New Snow: 0.6 inches

New Liquid: 0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 60.0

Snow Density: 1.7% H2O

Temperature: 18.7 F

Sky: Light Snow (1-3 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 11.0 inches



Monday, March 5th, 2012



Event totals: 2.4” Snow/0.08” L.E.


An additional 0.4” of snow fell overnight since 11:00 P.M., and with the density jumping way up to 7.5% H2O, I suspect that it either saw some settling and/or the flakes dropped way off in size.  It is notably colder out there now compared to what it was yesterday evening.  Below I added the north to south list of 24-hour snow accumulations reported so far by the Vermont ski areas:


Jay Peak: 2”

Burke: 6”

Smuggler’s Notch: 2”

Stowe: 3”

Bolton Valley: 4”

Mad River Glen: 5”

Sugarbush: 5”

Pico: 4”

Killington: 4”

Okemo: 6”

Stratton: 1”

Mount Snow: 0”


Burke says that they did well with a half foot yesterday after the lifts closed, so there should be some nice turns out there in the NEK today.


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


New Snow: 0.4 inches

New Liquid: 0.03 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 13.3

Snow Density: 7.5% H2O

Temperature: 10.0 F

Sky: Flurries (1 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 10.5 inches





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