February 22nd, 2011 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates



Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012



About an hour ago, tendrils of snow began to appear above the spine of the Greens, and now Mt. Mansfield is obscured in snow, although judging by the color of the precipitation it appears to be rain in the lower elevations.  We’ve also had some light rain here in Burlington as well.  I thought it was going to be starting up later this evening, but apparently this is the front end of the precipitation from the low pressure system coming out of the Ohio Valley.



As of ~8:45 P.M. we’ve got frozen precipitation working in with the rain down here at roughly 500’.  Temperature is 36.1 F, but I think the more intense precipitation is helping get the frozen stuff down lower in elevation.




Thursday, February 23rd, 2012



There’s was no new snow overnight to report down at the house (495’), but we did pick up 0.19” of liquid, which of course meant another round of snow for the mountains.  Stowe had a nice early 6:00 A.M. report in of 5-6” fresh up high (thanks PF if that was you), so it was easy to make the call to grab some turns at Bolton on the way in to Burlington.  It was interesting to find that it was actually snowing way down at the base of the Bolton Valley Access Road (340’), but there was just a skiff of new white there.  In fact, the snow line for getting into to good snow is actually pretty high.  Even up at 1,000’ on the access road I’d say there wasn’t much more than a dusting, and there was probably only an inch up at the Timberline Base at 1,500’.  In the Village at 2,100’ I found 2-3” of new snow on the ground, although that might be the accumulation from the last two days because the cars that appeared to have spent the night in the lot probably had an inch or so on them.  I skinned up for an early run before they fired up the lifts, and the depth of new snow started to climb pretty quickly; I found 4-5” at ~2,500’ and 5-6” around 3,000’ with pockets up to 7”.  I’m assuming those are two-day depths with the resort reporting just 2 inches overnight.  The snow was great, I’d say standard medium-weight stuff on most of the upper mountain, and I was detecting just a bit of thickening in the last couple hundred feet above the main base.  Definitely staying high was the way to go with the steep elevation dependence of the snow, so I did a couple of laps of the Vista Quad and there was no need to head down to Timberline.  I’ve added one shot from this morning at Wilderness:



On the way into Burlington, there were actually pockets of accumulation in the valley, with a decent coating in Richmond, and another good coating at the I-89 rest area in Williston.  There were even a few pockets of accumulation visible here at UVM.


Below is the north to south list of 48-hour totals reported by the Vermont ski areas, which covers the first two small systems of this stretch.  The northern resorts on the spine have clearly been getting hit, and the north to south trend is pretty evident omitting Burke (48 hr total = 1”), which is off the spine:


Jay Peak: 11”

Smuggler’s Notch: 10”

Stowe: 8”

Bolton Valley: 5”

Mad River Glen: 6”

Sugarbush: 5”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 2”

Okemo: 2”

Bromley: 2”

Magic Mountain: 4”

Stratton: 1”

Mount Snow: 2”


It looks like the snowfall totals will continue to rise, since Winter Storm Watches are now up for all of BTV’s forecast area, with some moderate snow totals expected.  I see that the latest projected accumulations map was added above, but I’ve added the map with the watches below as well:




In his broadcast this morning Roger Hill said that things were looking good for the mountains, and while temperatures in the valleys would be more marginal, they weren’t far away from the lower elevations getting a decent dump as well.  Our point forecast from the NWS has 3 to 5 inches during the day tomorrow, so apparently they’re thinking it will be cold enough for some snow in the lower valleys.



Event totals: 0.5” Snow/0.23” L.E.


I wasn’t sure if we were going to get any accumulating snow down at our elevation with this second system, but we picked up some this evening.  When I was leaving Burlington a bit after 5:00 P.M. today, there were some breaks in the clouds, but still a few spits of precipitation.  I saw a bit more as I headed into the mountains, and clouds dancing among the peaks looked like they were dropping something, but once I passed the town of Bolton and the base of the Bolton Valley Access Road, the precipitation really kicked in.  For several minutes it was snowing quite intensely, and although I could tell that the flakes had a lot to them, they weren’t huge.  It turns out that it was because many of them were large graupel balls – pretty impressive ones in the ¼” diameter range.  When I checked the snowboard at 6:00 P.M. there was 0.5” of new accumulation, with some slushy snow but also lots of those huge graupel balls in there.


With the addition of this event, February snowfall at this location now stands at 7.2”, and it’s amazing to think that almost 40” more would be required to get this February to even average status based on the 5 years worth of snowfall data I’ve collected.  Another interesting note is that in all the Dec, Jan, Feb snowfall data I have collected since 2006 (17 months) the leanest month up to this point is December 2006 with 20.2” of snow.  February 2012 has definitely been in the running to claim that low spot, however this next storm may help depending on how it plays out.  The current point forecast here calls for 5-9” through tomorrow night, with additional snow Saturday and Saturday night.


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


New Snow: 0.5 inches

New Liquid: 0.04 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 12.5

Snow Density: 8.0% H2O

Temperature: 33.4 F

Sky: Partly Cloudy

Snow at the stake: 7.0 inches




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