December 9th, 2012 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates

 

 

Friday, December 7th, 2012

 

 

powderfreak, on 07 Dec 2012 - 08:53 AM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

This looks a bit more wintery this morning... granted its for 3,000ft but nice not to see back-to-back rain icons.

 

Yeah, even our valley point and click has frozen in every precipitation panel through Tuesday, and snow somewhere in most of them, so that’s much more encouraging than panels of rain.  For the mountains it would certainly be nice to set down some frozen liquid equivalent into the snow pack, even if it’s rather dense and cruddy in texture, before the snows kick in.  There’s a decent amount of QPF anticipated, so that could be a nice base.

 

 

3:15 P.M.:  I was just outside and we’ve got sleet falling here at the house.

 

 

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

 

 

8:30 A.M. – Similar to yesterday, there’s light sleet falling here with a trace of accumulation so far.

 

 

Nittany88, on 08 Dec 2012 - 1:03 PM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

Snow through December 8th last season at Burlington, VT- 7.7"
Snow this season through today this season at Burlington, VT- 4.3"

Hard to imagine we're doing worse (or better depending on your point of view) than last year...

 

I made an assessment relative to average a few days ago, but I hadn’t thought of looking at how snowfall compared to last season:

 

Snow through December 8th last season at VT-WS-19 - 15.4"
Snow this season through today at VT-WS-19 – 8.0"

 

So we’re at 51.9% of last season’s snowfall through this date, very similar to Burlington’s progress (55.8%).  I generated the usual plot showing this season (red) relative to the mean (green with 1 S.D. error bars) and previous seasons from my data set.

 

 

It’s interesting to note that we’ve been at 30 to 40 inches of snowfall by this point in some seasons, which helps to make the current snowfall progress feel rather slow.  We’re still just inside the 1 S.D. mark though, so this is nothing too aberrant yet.  The snowfall hasn’t been as low as 2009-2010 was at this point (4.4”), but it is similar to the slow-starting 2006-2007 (10.0”).  It certainly seems like there’s more potential for NNE snowfall as we move forward in the next couple of weeks, but there will need to be a lot done in the second half of the month if it is going to get near average – mean December snowfall is over 40 inches here based on my data.

 

 

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

 

 

I just saw that the BTV NWS has Winter Weather Advisories posted for the CWA to cover the storm starting tonight.  Point forecast here calls for 1-3” of snow/mix, and the advisory text and forecast discussions mention a general 1-2”.

 

 

ctsnowstorm628, on 08 Dec 2012 - 6:23 PM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

Looks like there is a signal for 1-2" on the back end of this system Monday night on every piece of guidance. Something to watch.

 

Indeed, like ctsnowstorm says, the GFS, ECMWF, and NAM all appear to show some additional snow on the back side as well to varying degrees.  I just grabbed a couple of the 06Z GFS plots off the WunderMap®, since they were the most robust example of the three, but there’s precipitation well after the 540 line and appropriate 850 mb temperatures have passed through the area.  I believe adk has mentioned before that the mountains can get going with snow well before the thickness has dropped to 540 dam.  I didn’t look at any other thicknesses or parameters, since usually when the cold air comes in on the back side of these systems, it’s consistently cold, but hopefully others will give their thoughts.  The forecast discussion has the following for now with regard to tomorrow night:

 

GOING INTO MONDAY NIGHT AS SYSTEM LIFTS N AND E OF THE REGION...CD AIR WRAPPING AROUND SYSTEM WILL CHANGE REMAINING PRECIP OVER TO SNOW FROM NW TO SE. LIGHT ACCUM OF 1-3 INCHES IS POSSIBLE WITH HIGHEST AMTS OVER HIR ELEV. BY TUESDAY MORNING...SOME LINGERING PRECIP POSSIBLE FOR FAR NE VT...OTHERWISE HIGH PRESSURE RETURNS FOR MUCH OF THE DAY WITH MORE SEASONAL TEMPS FOR MID DECEMBER.

 

Anyway, storms with this sort of track are never optimal for snow, but at the same time it’s interesting to see just how much actual snow can be pulled out of them by the Greens, and how much liquid equivalent can be put into the snowpack.  In any event it should be fun to watch how things transpire tonight and tomorrow night.

 

 

 

 

10:45 P.M. – I just looked outside and we’ve got light snow falling here in Waterbury.

 

 

Monday, December 10th, 2012

 

 

Event totals: 0.6” Snow/0.17” L.E.

 

Snow had started up last night by 10:45 P.M., and I measured 0.6” of accumulation on the snowboard before I headed off to bed by midnight or so.  I heard some ticks of sleet in the 2 to 3 A.M. range as that started to mix in, and this morning the precipitation had changed over to rain.  I pulled 0.14” of liquid coring the slush on the snowboard, and the rain gauge contained 0.17” of liquid, so most of the precipitation from this event was still on the board.  The next round of snow is supposed to come in this evening with the back side of the system, and the NWS point forecast is calling for 1-3” here.

 

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

 

New Snow: 0.6 inches

New Liquid: 0.14 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 4.3

Snow Density: 23.3% H2O

Temperature: 36.5 F

Sky: Rain

Snow at the stake: 0.5 inches

 

 

powderfreak, on 10 Dec 2012 - 7:07 PM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

MY BEST ESTIMATE IS FOR ONLY VERY LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS TO OCCUR IN THE LOWER ELEVATIONS...SAY A DUSTING TO PERHAPS AN INCH...WITH A GENERAL 1-3 INCH ACCUMULATION EXPECTED ABOVE 1 KFT AND PERHAPS 3-5" NEAR THE SUMMIT LEVEL.

 

I was initially curious when I saw the projected snowfall for the higher elevations of Mt. Mansfield in the point forecast, but they don’t seem too out of line with the discussion.  Point forecast for our area in the valley seems to mesh well with discussion as well.  In any event, it will be nice to be back to snow as today was sloppy.  I probably won’t be up to report on the changeover time, so I’ll just have to see how it turns out in the morning.

 

Mt. Mansfield

Tonight:  Rain and snow, becoming all snow after midnight. Low around 10. Wind chill values as low as -5. Windy, with a west wind 26 to 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

 

Waterbury

Tonight Rain before 1am, then a chance of rain and snow between 1am and 2am, then a chance of snow after 2am. Low around 25. Calm wind becoming northwest 5 to 7 mph in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

 

 

Event totals: 0.6” Snow/0.69” L.E.

 

I checked the gauge at 7:00 P.M. and there was 0.52” of liquid to add to this morning’s frozen allotment, so liquid is close to two inches for the month thus far.  That’s pretty good for only 1/3 of the way through the month.  If the storms keep coming the mountains will produce.

 

 

powderfreak, on 10 Dec 2012 - 8:32 PM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

BTV VAD is showing a wind shift moved through within the last half hour... now WNW flow under 4-5,000ft with still WSW above that.

 

Mt. Mansfield is down to 32 F as of 9:00 P.M.:

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

 

 

Event totals: 0.6” Snow/0.99” L.E.

 

There’s no snow to report down at our elevation, but we’ve had just about an inch of liquid total for the event to bring the month to 2.10” at this point.  The mountains certainly got some snow, although it was surprising to see just an inch reported from Stowe this morning based on when the temperature started dropping on Mt. Mansfield yesterday.

 

 

Nittany88, on 11 Dec 2012 - 10:50 AM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

Looks like Bolton Valley did pretty well:

 

Yeah, I took at look at the Bolton Valley Live Web Cam, and it looks like there’s a nice new covering of snow in place:

 

 

 

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