April 2nd, 2013 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates

 

 

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

 

 

Event totals: 1.1” Snow/0.03” L.E.

 

I hadn’t really paid attention to the forecast, but I looked out toward the back this morning to find that no longer was it just the leftover snow, but everything was whitened again.  So it looks like it’s back to spring in NNE.  There was 1.1” on the snowboard as of the 6:00 A.M. CoCoRaHS report, and by the time I was heading out around 7:00 A.M., another 0.4” had accumulated.

 

I stopped in at Bolton Valley on the way to Burlington, and light snowfall in the valley was a decent 1”/hr snowfall up in the Village at 2,100’.  A couple of minutes after parking and beginning to get my gear together, I re-parked the car with the back facing to the east because everything inside was getting covered with flakes due to the heavy snowfall on those westerly winds.  That reorientation was apt, because then it really decided to snow; while I finished gearing up for the ascent, the snowfall ramped up to probably the 2-3”/hr or more, with visibility dropping to less than 100 yards.  It seemed like the parking lot picked up another inch in just 10 minutes.  On my ascent to the Vista Summit I made the following measurements for new snow over the old spring subsurface:

 

2,100’:  3-4”

2,500’:  4”

2,600’:  5”

3,100’:  5-6”

 

I wasn’t sure if the resort would be reporting snowfall today since they aren’t running the lifts until the weekend, but indeed they did report and came in with 4”.  That’s certainly reasonable based on what I found, and either a bit on the conservative side for the summit or they may be reporting just from the Village since the groomers hadn’t been out.  Measuring the depth of the new snow was somewhat difficult with the winds, which somehow seemed to find a way to mess with everything on the compass that had any sort of westerly component.  There had definitely been some southwesterly winds, because during my ascent of Cobrass I saw that the powder had been pretty blasted in most areas, and indeed up at the Vista Summit I found the wind turbine facing a somewhat uncommon southwesterly direction.  Seeing that wind, I opted for a more northerly aspect on Alta Vista for the descent, and it was notably better with respect to scouring.  Still, the snow is indeed quite dry as my snow data below indicate, so even with 115 mm underfoot I was still hitting the subsurface on 50% of turns.  The skiing was certainly decent, but depths are definitely not what I’m seeing in Powderfreak’s recent shots from Stowe – it looks like Mt. Mansfield was definitely the spot for this event based on those images and the reports coming out of the rest of the Vermont ski areas.  The temperatures seem to fit with today’s snowy views – my car’s thermometers were reading in the mid teens as I was leaving the Village and only around 20 F down in the valley at the base of the Bolton Valley Access Road.

 

Below I’ve added the north to south listing of available 24-48 hr snowfall totals from the Vermont ski areas:

 

Jay Peak: 4”

Burke: 1”

Smuggler’s Notch: 4”

Stowe: 8”

Bolton Valley: 4”

Mad River Glen: 2”

Sugarbush: 4”

Pico: 3”

Killington: 3”

Okemo: 4”

Bromley: 1”

Stratton: 4”

Mount Snow: 0”

 

As of ~10:30 A.M. I can see on our web cam that there’s been another 1.2” at the house since the 6:00 A.M. snowboard clearings, so that puts the total for this event at 2.3”.

 

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

 

New Snow: 1.1 inches

New Liquid: 0.03 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 36.7

Snow Density: 2.7% H2O

Temperature: 24.1 F

Sky: Light Snow (1-2 mm flakes)

Snow at the stake: 1.0 inches

 

 

Well, PF was spot on with his comment about not worrying about loss in the snowpack this week – enjoying the gains is more like it:

 

 

 

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

 

 

Event totals: 2.3” Snow/0.05” L.E.

 

I hadn’t really had a chance to finish my updates from Tuesday’s snow, but I’ve got the final evening analysis below.  I suspect there would have ultimately been a bit more liquid in the core than the 0.02” I was able to get out of my gauge, but I’m only able to monitor accumulations by web cam so far – for some reason I’ve not figured out how to get the snow cores that way.  There was certainly some melting and/or sublimation that went on since most snow in sunny areas had totally disappeared, but we work with what we’ve got.

 

As for up on the mountain, I sent in my initial update on Tuesday, but I’ll pass along a couple of pictures below, and the full report from the outing is on our website.  The intense snowfall while I was gearing up and during the initial stages of my ascent was impressive:

 

 

 

The point forecast suggests more chances for snow are on the way over the next week, so that should be fun to watch

 

Details from the 6:00 P.M. Waterbury observations on Apr 2nd are below:

 

New Snow: 1.2 inches

New Liquid: 0.02 inches (rain/snow gauge)

Temperature: 30.7 F

Sky: Cloudy

Snow at the stake: Trace

 

 

Nittany88, on 04 Apr 2013 - 07:15 AM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

 

I think that was way overdone and mostly virga on this side of the Greens. Didn't see a single flake along the western slopes.

 

Indeed, as soon as I saw PF’s post I took a look out back and suspected to see snow falling – but there was nothing.  It’s strange, because there’s some nice signal right over us on the county line at I-89 there, and if there are any sort of pixels over us we’re usually getting something.

 

 

powderfreak, on 04 Apr 2013 - 5:03 PM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

 

Yeah in all honesty, I'm now sort of done with it after that finale...

In a perfect world we would close and 3 days later there wouldn't be any snow left on the mountain...

 

Sacrilege!

 

In a perfect world we’d like to see a few more April events like this last one, or maybe with dense snow to really cover up the spring subsurface and substantiate that snowpack – something along the lines of April 10th of last season with 24”+.  Then things could taper down gradually through May, and by June when the trees finally have all their leaves and temperatures warm, it will be time for more off snow activities.  We must be into the glorious “cutoff season” by now I’d think, at least in terms of the calendar.  On average it’s a couple more weeks before the snowpack at the stake really starts to decrease in an appreciable way:

 

 

 

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