March 8th, 2012 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates



Tuesday, March 6th, 2012



View PostGinx, on 5 March 2012 - 07:31 PM, said:

I am sure you saw that upslope signal for your weekend.


I saw that when I ran through the ECMWF this morning; snow was in the midday Friday through midday Saturday range.  Not too much mention of it in the BTV NWS discussion at this point as expected, but we’ll see how it looks going forward.  The other potential period for snow that I heard about was from the Eye on the Sky forecast this morning, they mentioned tomorrow with the warm front.



Thursday, March 8th, 2012



View Postpowderfreak, on 5 March 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

Just checked the snow board at 3,000ft...

24 hour total (9am-9am) is 3.9", so that makes 2-4" last 24 hours.

Really doesn't feel like it though... skis like 1-2" due to the very cold temps and wind which has packed it down and blown it all over the place. Noticed some hard slabby areas in between moguls but that's just sort of par for the course up here.


With the way the snowfall intensity had ramped up when we were leaving Stowe on Sunday afternoon, combined with how it was coming down at the house, I was surprised there wasn’t more than ~4”, but perhaps it had slowed down pretty quickly on Mansfield after we left, and then of course there’s overnight settling.  I didn’t have a hard and fast number for how much snow would get me to head out for turns on Monday morning, but I was thinking in the half foot range, so with Bolton and Stowe reporting in that 3-4” range I decided to hold off.  I did have to drive into Burlington yesterday though, so I stopped off for a couple of runs at Bolton and can provide a report from there.


Yesterday morning wasn’t as cold as the previous, but it was still in the 20s F at the house when I made my observations at 6:00 A.M.  Heading up the Bolton Valley Access Road around 8:30 A.M., the temperature actually rose somewhat coming up out of the valley, but dropped as I approached the Village (2,100’) where it was still below freezing.  The powder from Sunday/Monday was still in good shape, with 1-2” down low at Village elevation, and 2-4” up in the 3,000” range depending on wind.  I even found up to 8” in places that weren’t obvious drifts, but certainly the wind had played a role in the deposition.  The Wilderness Lift wasn’t being used and hadn’t been since Sunday, so that was a good spot to head for some untracked snow.  When I arrived at the Wilderness Summit (~3,150’) I noticed that the snowpack was close to level with one of the benches up there, and with typically a couple more weeks of snowpack gain to go based on the Mt. Mansfield Stake Data, that’s a good sign of how the higher elevations have caught up from the slow start in terms of snowpack:



The day started warming up pretty quickly, with sun exposure and lower elevation affecting the snow, but it held off long enough for some good, albeit not overly deep, powder turns:



By mid morning most of the powder was getting thick/sticky, but the groomed runs were actually getting better and better in the sun.  That definitely got me excited about spring skiing, although I’m still more interested in the upcoming powder possibilities on Friday/Saturday with the front coming through.



We were just listening to the wind here at the house, which already says a lot of we’re getting wind down in this location, but it got us curious about what was going on up on Mt. Mansfield.  The real time data from the ridgeline indicates a gust to 96 MPH today as Powderfreak mentioned, and it looks like colder air is on the way because the temperature had just dropped 5 degrees F in 5 minutes.



Friday, March 9th, 2012



Event totals: 0.5” Snow/0.64” L.E.


I found 0.5” of new snow on the snowboard this morning, with the crusty accumulation from the snow to rain transition last night on the bottom making for an overall density derived from the core (14.0% H2O) somewhat elevated relative to the snow itself.  This is also the 40th accumulating snowstorm of the season at our location, putting ’11-‘12 well ahead of both ‘06-‘07 (37 total storms) and ‘09-‘10 (36 total storms) in that category, and suggesting the potential for a season ending up around average (44 storms).  In terms of total snowfall, in the neck-and-neck battle, ’11-’12 is running just ahead of ‘06-‘07 (108.2” through this date) and a bit behind ‘09-‘10 (117.5” through this date).  The current ’11-’12 accumulated snowfall of 109.0” puts the season at 75.4% of average, and within one standard deviation (-0.992 S.D. from the mean value of 144.6”).  Heading west of the Greens this morning, I saw little of any snow accumulation in the Richmond area, with just a few scattered dustings of flakes in sheltered spots here at UVM.


Reported accumulations at the Vermont ski areas thus far seem to top out in the 2-4” range for the northern half of the state; the north to south listing of available snowfall totals is below:


Jay Peak: 2”

Burke: 2”

Smuggler’s Notch: 3”

Stowe: 3”

Bolton Valley: 2”

Mad River Glen: 2”

Sugarbush: 4”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 2”

Okemo: 1”

Bromley: T”

Stratton: 1”

Mount Snow: 1”


It looks like there’s the chance for a bit more accumulation today/tonight as well.


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


New Snow: 0.5 inches

New Liquid: 0.07 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 7.1

Snow Density: 14.0% H2O

Temperature: 29.1 F

Sky: Light Snow (2-5 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 2.0 inches





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