April 12th, 2013 – Waterbury Winter Weather Event Updates

 

 

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

 

 

Well, the precipitation may not be 100% pure snow, but the snowpack at the stake is 77” as of this evening and based on the point forecast it could be a decent week of weather for Mt. Mansfield depending on where that frontal boundary sets up:

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

 

 

powderfreak, on 10 Apr 2013 - 11:58 AM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

 

One year ago on April 10th... middle of a massive upslope snow event. Total snowfall was near 30 inches once it was all said and done with 3.5" of liquid.

 

And just think, that was back when there were only a couple of feet of snow at the stake, and of course less than that in the lower elevations.

 

 

Imagine it on top of the current snowpack – that would last a while.

 

 

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

 

 

powderfreak, on 11 Apr 2013 - 09:32 AM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

 

I'm going with 3-6" for the ski area forecast up here... really doesn't seem like all that difficult of a forecast for the higher elevations. Mid-layer warming might be the only issue if its snow or sleet, but its freakin' cold up there already.

31F at the base and 23F at the summit and its probably not warming much today with continued low level cold drain.

 

Thanks for the heads up and the map PF; the point forecast for the higher elevations of Mansfield seems in line with your thoughts.  Roger Hill was certainly speaking about a good shot of snow for the area in his early morning broadcast – obviously with a focus on the higher elevations.  For the North-Central Vermont area he was going with T-3”, with the 3” in the higher elevations, but that may be the “populated” higher elevations.  It seemed like he felt that the mountain peaks were going to do well.

 

There’s nothing on the advisories map for the northern 2/3 of Vermont, although a lot of the surrounding advisories seem to be focused on the potential for ice, and that doesn’t seem to be as big a deal around here:

 

 

The anticipated totals on that map certainly falls off to the south, and it’s at a level of detail that it even drops to the black “none” for the lowest elevations in the Winooski Valley.  That’s consistent with what we’ve got in our point forecast, but with the marginal temperatures it can go either way.

 

 

It’s nice that there’s getting to be some discussion about the event in the general weather discussion thread though; for a while there it seemed as if that was just sort of focused on temperatures, grass, grills, etc.

 

Oh, I just saw the updated maps that bobbutts posted.  The advisories map is substantially updated as well, so I’ll get those to show the progression for archiving – I’ll see if any changes happen after the afternoon update.

 

 

I’ve added the updated advisories map below – the advisories now cover the entire BTV forecast area as the headline indicates.  I’ve also added the BTV NWS storm total snow forecast map – it doesn’t look like it’s changed from the earlier version, but I’m surprised that those highest projected accumulations appear to be east of the spine and not on it.

 

 

 

The map has us in the 2-4” and the point forecast here sums to 2-5”+ through tomorrow, although the point forecasts in the area seem rather out of synch with lower numbers in the mountains.

 

 

Friday, April 12th, 2013

 

 

Event totals: 0.2” Sleet/0.07” L.E.

 

As far as I could see, there’s only been sleet at the house thus far in terms of precipitation.  It was just cloudy at observations time, but there’s also some showery sleet around as well.  Although it continues to be a below average season in terms of snowfall (<90% of average), the number of storms has been above average; this is the 51st accumulating storm of the winter season, not far off from the highest value (53) recorded in 2007-2008.

 

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

 

New Snow: 0.2 inches (sleet)

New Liquid: 0.07 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 2.9

Snow Density: 35.0% H2O

Temperature: 30.7 F

Sky: Cloudy

Snow at the stake: Trace

 

 

It’s certainly slow compared to snow, but the web cam is showing the accumulating sleet at the house – it looks like another 0.4” is down as of noontime.  We’ve got a pretty heavy combination of sleet and rain here in Burlington as the big slug of moisture comes into the area:

 

 

 

As of ~1:50 P.M., we just changed over to 100% snow here in Burlington, and it’s finally starting to accumulate in this area.  At the house it looks like we’re around 1.3” of total accumulation for the event thus far.

 

 

On the web cam I can see that the precipitation is snow at the house, so it seems to be a fairly widespread changeover from sleet to snow.

 

 

Event totals: 1.4” Snow/0.60” L.E.

 

It’s just cloudy here at the moment, although there has been some showery sleet and sprinkles around.

 

Details from the 5:00 P.M. Waterbury observations are below:

 

New Snow: 1.2 inches (sleet)

New Liquid: 0.53 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 2.3

Snow Density: 44.2% H2O

Temperature: 32.9 F

Sky: Cloudy

Snow at the stake: 1.5 inches

 

 

The next rounds of precipitation are starting to come through the area now; the most recent one here has featured some pretty heavy sleet with a couple of additional tenths of an inch down already:

 

 

 

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

 

 

Event totals: 1.9” Snow/0.79” L.E.

 

Last night’s rounds of precipitation brought another half inch of accumulation and close to two tenths of an inch of liquid here at our location.  The only type of precipitation I saw was sleet, and the snow density (below) is right in that 30+% H2O range, suggesting sleet is the bulk of what’s in the cores.  If we picked up close to eight tenths of an inch of liquid equivalent down here though, the mountains could easily be at an inch plus, and that’s getting toward a solid resurfacing of the slopes.  The quality of the skiing will probably depend on just how the temperature fluctuations played out at elevation, but in any event it’s another good contribution to the snowpack.  The north to south listing of available snowfall totals from the Vermont ski areas for this event is below.  It looks like accumulations topped out in the north, with a nadir in the Central Vermont Ski Areas, and then a bit of a resurgence in the south.  Mount Snow is talking about a lot of ice on their lifts and they are not operating today because of it.  With no accumulation reported, perhaps they were too far south for this event.  Mad River Glen did report a couple of inches of new accumulation in the report on their website, but they indicated that they are not operating today due to a combination of deficient snowpack and surface conditions.

 

Jay Peak: 5”

Smuggler’s Notch: 4”

Stowe: 3”

Mad River Glen: 2”

Sugarbush: 1”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 2”

Okemo: 3”

Stratton: 3”

Mount Snow: 0”

 

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

 

New Snow: 0.5 inches (sleet)

New Liquid: 0.19 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 2.6

Snow Density: 38.0% H2O

Temperature: 33.8 F

Sky: Cloudy

Snow at the stake: 2.0 inches

 

 

powderfreak, on 13 Apr 2013 - 07:08 AM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

 

2.6" of white matter on the board at 1,500ft.

Plow piles are bigger than a 6-8" champagne event lol.

There's probably 3/4" QPF at least in this stuff. Walk on top of it, not in it.

 

There’s been 0.79” of liquid equivalent down here in the Winooski Valley, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the higher elevations are over an inch.  I’ve pasted in my morning report from the NNE thread for reference:

 

Event totals: 1.9” Snow/0.79” L.E.

 

Last night’s rounds of precipitation brought another half inch of accumulation and close to two tenths of an inch of liquid here at our location.  The only type of precipitation I saw was sleet, and the snow density (below) is right in that 30+% H2O range, suggesting sleet is the bulk of what’s in the cores.  If we picked up close to eight tenths of an inch of liquid equivalent down here though, the mountains could easily be at an inch plus, and that’s getting toward a solid resurfacing of the slopes.  The quality of the skiing will probably depend on just how the temperature fluctuations played out at elevation, but in any event it’s another good contribution to the snowpack.  The north to south listing of available snowfall totals from the Vermont ski areas for this event is below.  It looks like accumulations topped out in the north, with a nadir in the Central Vermont Ski Areas, and then a bit of a resurgence in the south.  Mount Snow is talking about a lot of ice on their lifts and they are not operating today because of it.  With no accumulation reported, perhaps they were too far south for this event.  Mad River Glen did report a couple of inches of new accumulation in the report on their website, but they indicated that they are not operating today due to a combination of deficient snowpack and surface conditions.

 

Jay Peak: 5”

Smuggler’s Notch: 4”

Stowe: 3”

Mad River Glen: 2”

Sugarbush: 1”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 2”

Okemo: 3”

Stratton: 3”

Mount Snow: 0”

 

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

 

New Snow: 0.5 inches (sleet)

New Liquid: 0.19 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 2.6

Snow Density: 38.0% H2O

Temperature: 33.8 F

Sky: Cloudy

Snow at the stake: 2.0 inches

 

 

powderfreak, on 14 Apr 2013 - 11:09 AM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

 

36.5 at 1500ft with 27F at 3600ft...just started snowing pretty hard again down here.

Lots of pop-up squalls on the radar heading towards the spine.

 

Indeed – quite the showery matrix of echoes on the radar:

 

 

There’s no sustained accumulation to report down here in the Winooski Valley, but there was a trace of sleet on the board this morning with 0.13” of additional liquid in the bucket and we’ve had on and off sleet today here at the house with breaks of sun as well.  I saw on in the BTV NWS forecast discussion that we’ve got fairly typical spring temperatures going on with the various diurnal forms of precipitation in the mountains and valleys, and indeed that’s just how it felt; classic April weather in NNE.  I’ve updated the north to south list of 48-hour snow totals I’ve seen for the Vermont ski areas; as is typical the Northern Vermont resorts are leading the charge, with snow totals trending downward as one heads south:

 

Jay Peak: 7”

Smuggler’s Notch: 6”

Stowe: 5”

Sugarbush: 3”

Pico: 2”

Killington: 3”

Okemo: 3”

Stratton: 3”

Mount Snow: 1”

 

 

Nittany88, on 14 Apr 2013 - 3:39 PM, said:https://www.amwx.us/public/style_images/American_Weather/snapback.png

 

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE THIS WINTER STOP.

 

Come on, give Mother Nature a chance; we haven’t even reached average snowfall for the season out in the mountains.  We’re still below 90% of average snowfall to date here at the house.

 

On that winter precipitation note, I can pass along an afternoon weather update from the Winooski Valley and Bolton Valley areas.  In the mid to late afternoon, I headed up for a tour at Bolton.  Up to that point we’d had on and off bouts of precipitation in the valley, often showers mixed with sleet, but no notable accumulation other than transient stuff.  Temperatures were in the mid 40s F in the 300’-500’ elevation range along the bottom of the Winooski Valley as I headed westward toward Bolton; we’d had breaks of sun among the clouds and precipitation, and I was preparing for some fairly soft and slushy spring turns up on the hill.  Precipitation was pretty sparse as I headed up the Bolton Valley Access Road, and while there’s patchy snow all the way up out of the valley, consistent natural snowpack really didn’t appear until roughly the 1,500’ elevation at the Timberline Base.  Temperatures had dropped into the upper 30s F by that elevation, and light snow was falling.  It was mid to late afternoon, but it was actually pretty dark with the clouds around, and more of them appeared to be building in from the west.  Based on the available light, it actually felt like a typical November outing in the mountains:

 

 

On the slopes, the snow wasn’t really the mushy spring snow that the valley temperatures had given me the impression I’d find; I think the temperatures and/or available sunlight really weren’t high enough to support that.  Instead what I found was the couple inches of wet snow/sleet that we’ve picked up from these latest storms, sitting atop the base.  The subsurface was still fairly soft and spring-like, presumably due to the recent rounds of wet precipitation percolating some moisture down in there.  The intensity of the snowfall was fairly light on the ascent, although I could see squalls around off to the west.  There was one off to the south, and another more ominous-looking one off to the north, they were both starting to devour the views of the Adirondacks and looked like the spine of the Greens was in their path:

 

 

Up around the Timberline Mid Station at 2,250’, the surface snow began to have a bit more coalesced consistency relative to what was below.  The temperature was approaching the freezing mark, and it appeared to be due to a combination of elevation and some cooler air coming in with the approaching weather.  I topped out at the Timberline Summit at 2,500’, and the temperature by that point was either below freezing or very close – the trees still held snow from the recent storms:

 

 

The snow was good on the descent, transitioning from that stronger, peel-away stuff in the higher elevations, to a wetter consistency down low.  It was very much like what we experienced yesterday at Stowe up to the midday hour before the freezing level rose up above the summit of the Fourrunner Quad.  There are certainly areas starting to develop bare patches at Timberline, but if you wanted you could ski natural snow terrain all the way down to the Timberline Base; that’s pretty decent for west-facing terrain down at those low elevations this time of year

 

The precipitation that had been looming off to the west finally pushed its way over the ridge and into the valley as I was switching out of my ski gear at the car.  In typical Bolton Valley style, it came strong, and it was snowfall that meant business.  It wasn’t quite the whiteout that I saw in Powderfreak’s Stowe pictures, I think in part because the flakes weren’t as large (probably about ˝” max in diameter), but a decent wall of snow came in and made its presence known:

 

 

If that snow had been rain, it would have been pouring, and indeed I was able to watch that transition as I descended back down the access road.  The snow stayed with me down to around the 500’ elevation, and finally mixed out to just a pouring rain.  That rain followed me through the lower elevations of the Winooski Valley, and then by the time I got up a bit higher back at that house along the Waterbury/Bolton line, snow was mixing back in.  Checking the radar a little while later, it showed a nice shot of moisture making its way through the Winooski Valley:

 

 

There’s no accumulation to report down here at this point, but there been roughly another tenth of an inch of liquid in the gauge from today’s on and off activity.  The snow from this most recent event has been hanging pretty tough in the yard, but it’s just about gone now, and then we’ll be back to just the leftovers of the winter snowpack.

 

 

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