February 16th, 2012 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates



Wednesday, February 15th, 2012



View Postctsnowstorm628, on 15 February 2012 - 12:00 AM, said:

Looks like 1-3" above 1500ft with non accumulating snow below that. Profiles are cold enough for snow everywhere but at the surface. I could see Mansfield getting 3-5" while Stowe village gets a coating on colder surfaces lol


Roger Hill mentioned 2-4 for the mountains in his broadcast this morning, so that seems generally on track with your thoughts.  The forecast around here has been a bit nebulous and difficult to follow.  For the past few days I’ve been checking in on this potential storm, but the thread seems to have died as PF mentioned earlier.  I didn’t even see the BTV NWS talking about it in their forecast discussion when I checked last night; they focused on various small impulses and fronts coming through, of which I guess this is one.  Whatever the case, the Mansfield point forecast from last night sure looked a heck of a lot livelier than it has over the past week or two:




View Postpowderfreak, on 15 February 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:

Yeah this month is going to come in atrocious on the snowfall stats...


This quote was from the Feb 17 Storm thread, but the data are probably best put here in the NNE thread.  Since it’s mid month, and we have now reached the date where the effects of the 2007 Valentine’s Day Storm are incorporated into the cumulative seasonal snowfall data, it seemed like a good time for a snowfall update.  That Valentine’s Day Storm was a notable snowfall event, and it marks the breaking point for pushing this season into the category of least snowy out of the past six through mid February (red bar on the graph below).  Also of note is that while this season is not all that far behind ‘06-‘07 and ‘09-‘10 in snowfall, it has now fallen outside of the one standard deviation region (error associated with the green bar on the graph below).  At -1.052 S.D. below the mean, this puts snowfall for 2011-2012 in the bottom 14.6% of seasons based on my six years worth of data.  Also based on my data, the current 74.6” of snowfall received at this location is 67.0% of average.




Thursday, February 16th, 2012



View Postadk, on 15 February 2012 - 11:10 AM, said:

Looking at the Friday event I get the sense the models really still don't have a handle on the moisture patterns for the storm. Pretty clear we're not getting a phased storm but some dual weak low event. I'd like to see the northern low track trough ADK and VT to really get some mountain snowfall going. Right now it's progged to track along the border while a second weak low develops along the coastal regions. This spells confused models to me. Regardless I wouldn't be shocked if, when you add in the weak backdoor cold front set to pass on Saturday, The greens are in the 8 inch range.


Something like that for the upcoming period wouldn’t surprise me either, and since the slopes are in pretty good shape to begin with, it would make for some nice surfaces going into the holiday weekend.  I liked the look of the ECMWF snowfall in the overnight run, as the snow hung around from later this afternoon all the way through midday tomorrow.  Roger Hill is going with the same 2-4” tonight for the mountains as he had in his forecast yesterday, and it seems the NWS is going a bit leaner.  Our point forecast in the Winooski Valley sums to 2-3” through tomorrow, and then I’d suspect additional accumulation with the mention of the snow showers Friday night through Saturday night.  It certainly looks like it will be tough to get accumulation in the lower valleys at first, but eventually temperatures cool.



I’m looking forward to seeing how the potential snowfall plays out around here over the next couple of days; even if we’re not going neck deep this weekend, with a modicum of additional snow I think the potential is there for some great turns based on what you’ve been showing us with your shots from Stowe.



Friday, February 17th, 2012



We’ve picked up 0.08” of liquid from this event so far at our location in Waterbury, and while it was just a touch too warm for accumulation down in the bottom of the Winooski Valley, it did translate into 3” new up on the mountain.  I’ve added the usual north to south list of reported accumulations from the Vermont ski areas below:


Jay Peak: 1”

Burke: 1”

Smuggler’s Notch: 2”

Stowe: 2”

Bolton Valley: 3”

Mad River Glen: 1”

Sugarbush: 1”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 2”

Okemo: 0”

Magic Mountain: 1”

Stratton: 1”

Mount Snow: 4”


Reading a few of the comments from the resort websites and those from Powderfreak above, it’s not too surprising to hear that the new snow is dense and that the density varies with elevation, but the current round of snow has at least been a refresher as we head into the holiday weekend.  It also looks like cooling temperatures and additional small shots of snow are in the forecast for the mountains through Sunday.



The BTV NWS discussion mentions that there will be a west northwesterly upper level flow in place with changes for snow showers through much of the weekend, but it’s hard to get specifics on the timing of snowfall beyond that.  Anyway, over the past hour or so I’ve seen the clouds build in, tendrils of snow start to form along the western slopes, and now most of Mansfield has disappeared as it’s become buried behind a veil of snow.  We’ve even got flakes here in Burlington, so I wasn’t surprised to see precipitation moving through the area on radar.  I added some recent frames below:




Saturday, February 18th, 2012



Event totals: 0.3” Snow/0.09” L.E.


We picked up 0.3” of snow overnight, which is the first snow down here associated with this event; temperatures have presumably now gotten cold enough to get snow to most of the lower mountain valleys.  I’ve updated the north to south list of storm snowfall for the Vermont ski areas below using 48-hour snow totals.  It looks like a decent little storm for the Stowe through Sugarbush area:


Jay Peak: 2”

Burke: 3”

Smuggler’s Notch: 2”

Stowe: 4”

Bolton Valley: 4”

Mad River Glen: 5”

Sugarbush: 5”

Middlebury: 3”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 2”

Okemo: 0”

Bromley: 0”

Magic Mountain: 1”

Stratton: 1”

Mount Snow: 4”


PF – you probably know, but one of your moose pictures is being cycled on the Ski Vermont website, so that’s pretty cool.


Some details from the 7:00 A.M. Waterbury observations are below:


New Snow: 0.3 inches

New Liquid: 0.01 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 30.0

Snow Density: 3.3% H2O

Temperature: 32.0 F

Sky: Partly Cloudy

Snow at the stake: 8.0 inches



View Postpowderfreak, on 18 February 2012 - 06:45 AM, said:

However, J.Spin is getting crushed right now on these past couple radar scans. That 28-30dbz stuff is usually 1"/hr or greater in these situations.

Just sitting there over J.Spin just east of the actual spine (county line) and in the Winnoski Valley/I-89 corridor.. I'll be curious to see what he has when he wakes up. Probably closer to 2" than the 1" we had up here in town.


Interesting PF, just 0.3” here on the board; never would have known that things were so intense if I hadn’t seen your posts and radar images – I think that yellow spot of 28 db echoes must have just missed us to the east.  We’ve got a new coating though, and I’m liking the storm totals that the Stowe through Sugarbush stretch has put up so far for this event; great to have that boost for the weekend.



Sunday, February 19th, 2012



View Postpowderfreak, on 19 February 2012 - 06:15 AM, said:

The woods are skiing really good right now. Just cruising through the powder in all the secret shots.


The woods are skiing great, and it as is often the case it gets better the higher you go in elevation.  We parked down at the Timberline Base (~1,500') yesterday and the powder was just a couple of meager inches there, but we found a general 4-6” higher on the mountain.  I’d say at Bolton, above roughly 2,000’ was where the powder skiing got really good, so we stayed on the main mountain at Wilderness all day, only returned back down to Timberline when we were done.  It was so good that we’re thinking of heading out on their backcountry network today to get some more of that powder.  We found that in areas that had been hit with direct sun below ~2,500’, the powder was starting to take on a little extra density, but it didn’t seem like it was going to be a problem, and won’t be an issue in the trees.  I added a shot from yesterday below, and the full report is available at our website.





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