Sunday, January 20th, 2013
Event totals: 0.5” Snow/0.11” L.E.
The morning started out fairly dry here, but precipitation came in during the 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. period while we were at mass in town. It actually started out as some rain down here in the valley elevations, but pretty quickly it changed over to snow. It came down with moderate intensity at times, and there was that Pacific Northwest feel as we were getting pelted with dense, wet snow in the lower elevations. Back at the house, the most notable event was a quick, intense burst of precipitation. My older son came upstairs to tell me that sleet or something was coming down, and after a quick check outside, I let him know that it was graupel. A good discussion about the differences between hail, sleet, and graupel then ensued. The graupel storm was very intense, with graupel balls (in some cases shaped like “Hershey’s Kisses”) a third of an inch or even a bit more in diameter at times. It dropped a quick half inch of accumulation in the span of what seemed like only a few minutes. Watching on the radar, I saw some 45-50 db echoes explode right over us as the event was unfolding. You can see it in the radar loop below, right in the middle frames of the series where the mass of red forms right at the intersection of I-89 and the Chittenden/Washington County (just to the left of the I-89 icon):
Anyway, I’m not sure how much liquid fell before that event, but I pulled 0.11” out of the core (slushy and quite dense) on the board, and the rain gauge held a fairly similar 0.10” when it was melted down. Now the sun is back out – we’ve been back and forth between sun and snow as these bands come through. There’s been another tenth of an inch of accumulation since the noontime observations, and it looks like there will be more of the on and off precipitation based on the radar:
Details from the 12:00 P.M. Waterbury observations:
New Snow: 0.5 inches
New Liquid: 0.11 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 4.5
Snow Density: 22% H2O
Temperature: 35.6 F
Sky: Partly Cloudy
Snow at the stake: 4.5 inches
I went up to Bolton Valley yesterday for a quick tour on the backcountry network, so I can pass along some observations. The depths I found for unconsolidated/powder snow atop the old base were in the 3-4” range at the 2,100’ level in the Village, and 4-6” range up around 2,700’. Measuring right outside the Bryant Cabin in the clearing at the 2,700’ elevation revealed that the powder was at 6”. Fluff in the 4-6” range isn’t quite enough to get you floating on anything too steep, but it was enough for some great turns on lower angle terrain, especially with the aid of fat skis, so bring those powder boards and have some fun. Since we’ve picked up a bit of snow here at the house, and Stowe has had at least a couple of inches, I suspect Bolton in between has picked up some as well. I’ve added a couple of pictures below, and there are some more in the full report is at our website.
Nice little band just set up in the I-89 corridor between Burlington and Montpelier. Not sure how long it lasts, of course.
Thanks for the heads up – I’d looked outside just 10-15 minutes before that and there was nothing going on. Flakes are fairly small, but there’s light to moderate snow with a couple of tenths of an inch down.
Monday, January 21st, 2013
Event totals: 1.2” Snow/0.13” L.E.
We picked up a final 0.6” for this event before that band moved northward yesterday evening:
As one can see from the last few frames of the radar animation, when the snowfall moved north of here it was hitting the spine right in the Bolton Valley/Stowe area. I didn’t grab any later images of the radar, but it sat there for a while so I was surprised that those resorts weren’t reporting more than the 3” indicated in their snow reports this morning. There weren’t a lot of those brighter pixels in the echoes as the band sat to the north though, so presumably the snow was pretty light.
For those Vermont ski areas that provide their 7-day snow totals on their websites, I’ve added them below in the usual north to south listing. The larger totals have certainly been up in the northern part of the state, with Jay Peak near the international border doing the best, but some of the southern resorts are also showing some decent accumulations:
Jay Peak: 17”
Bolton Valley: 8”
Mount Snow: 7”
Details from the 7:00 A.M. Waterbury observations:
New Snow: 0.6 inches
New Liquid: 0.02 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 30.0
Snow Density: 3.3% H2O
Temperature: 2.1 F
Sky: Mostly Clear
Snow at the stake: 4.5 inches
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