Vermont’s first snows of December

We picked up our first December snow yesterday, just 0.4 inches here at the house, but Mt. Mansfield picked up a couple of inches and the slopes are looking much nicer with the fresh coat of white.  Powderfreak put up some great pictures of the new snow from both yesterday and today over in the New England Regional Forum at American Weather.  I’ve added some of my observations from yesterday below:

“I’m not sure of the temperature, but it was raining lightly when I left Burlington around 5:00 P.M.  At the Waterbury Park and Ride, the precipitation looked like a mixture of rain and snow, and the only accumulations I saw were a fairly thin coating of slush on the cars.  True to form though, once I hit the Cider House a couple miles west toward the spine, I started seeing accumulations of snow on the grass, and at the house I found 0.3” of slushy snow on the snowboard and a temperature of 33.3 F.  The snow picked up for a bit after the 6:00 P.M. board clearing, and we received another tenth of an inch of snow, but the snowfall has tapered off since then and it’s very light now.  It is nice to have the first accumulation of December in the books though, hopefully there will be plenty more to come.” Some details from the 6:00 P.M. observations are below:

New Snow: 0.3 inches
New Liquid: 0.06 inches
Snow/Water Ratio: 5.0
Snow Density: 20.0% H2O
Temperature: 33.3 F
Sky: Light Snow (1-2 mm flakes)
Snow at the stake: Trace

For the full details on this storm, head to the detailed report at the winter weather section of our website.

Bolton Valley, VT 23NOV2011

An image of fresh snow on an evergreen at Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont
Fresh snow from our pre-Thanksgiving storm coats an evergreen near the 2,800' elevation as I ascended Bolton Valley's Schuss trail today.

Our first big Northern Vermont storm of the season came in with a nice thump of snow during the overnight hours, and I awoke to find 7.1 inches of moderately dense snow on the snowboard for my 6:00 A.M. report to CoCoRaHS.  Later in the morning the National Weather Service Office in Burlington put out a map showing the overnight snow totals, but the snow was still coming down.  Snow continued to fall at the house all morning, and while it gradually tapered to very light snow, we picked up a few more inches to bring us into double digits for the storm total.

We played out in the snow for a while with the boys, and then in the mid afternoon I had to decide if I wanted to get out and make some turns in the new snow.  Ideally I was looking for a place where man-made snow had been put down as a base, but unfortunately most of the mountains that had been making snow were actually opening for lift-served skiing.  I thought about Sugarbush, since they aren’t opening until tomorrow, but they’ve been a bit testy with people earning turns in recent years and I didn’t want to drive over just to get turned away.

I eventually decided that I’d pop up to Bolton and see how the snow looked.  I wasn’t expecting much in terms of skiing without a prior base, but perhaps I’d be pleasantly surprised.  The temperature had gone a couple degrees above freezing at our house (elevation 495’), so the snow had been falling off the trees and the snow in the yard had also settled a bit.  As Powderfreak had mentioned, the snow accumulations really did fall off as I headed a couple of miles west past the Waterbury/Bolton line.  At the base of the Bolton Valley Access Road (340’) it was really amazing, there were just a couple inches of snow on the ground from the storm.  It had me really worried about what went on up at the mountain, but fortunately the snow depths began to increase as I climbed in elevation as usual.  Up at around 1,000’ near the Bolton Valley Resort sign, it looked like there were about 4 inches on the ground, and by the time I reached the Timberline base at 1,500’ it was notably deeper.  I stopped in near the lodge and did a quick measurement with my pole to reveal 8.5 inches of settled snow.  I saw one guy putting his skins on his skis for a tour, and noticed a couple of other cars that might have belonged to skiers, but I decided to head up to the main base area and see if things got a bit deeper.  While at the base of the access road the temperature had been a couple degrees above freezing just like at our house, it dropped to around the freezing mark by the Timberline base, and it was a couple degrees below freezing up at the village (2,100’).  As soon as I parked the car I checked the snow depth there, and found that it was about 10 inches.  To read the full report and check out the rest of the pictures, head to the Bolton Valley trip report from today.

First major winter storm of the season for Northern Vermont

An image of the Winter Weather Advisories and Warnings map from the National Weather Service in Burlington for November 22, 2011
Winter Weather Advisories are up throughout the state of Vermont for the upcoming storm

While the Northeast has already had a couple of big, snow-producing synoptic storms so far this season (one on October 27th, and another on October 29th), for Northern Vermont these events were fairly minor because the area was really on the fringe of the precipitation.  A storm is developing now however, which is expected to bring more substantial accumulations to the northern part of the state.  This storm is expected to head into the Ohio Valley later today, and then track east across Southern New England overnight.  This storm may have some mixed precipitation with it, but the current forecasts do not indicated much mixing in the northern areas, and the chance is there for greater than 6 inches of snowfall.  For a few more details, part of my morning report to the New England Regional Forum at American Weather is added below:

It was 17.6F and dropping when I left the house this morning around 6:00 AM, so this will certainly come in as the coldest morning of the season at our location thus far.  I flipped on The Weather Channel before I left the house, and was surprised to see that the local forecast called for 6 to 10 inches at the Winter Weather Advisory level, but after reading the BTV forecast discussion, they spoke of the potential for mixing keeping totals down.  The current point and click for our area down in the valley calls for 4 to 9 inches of snow, but doesn’t mention any mixing at this point.

Graphical point forecast for our location in Waterbury from the National Weather Service in Burlington for November 22, 2011
Snow is expected from tonight through Wednesday night, even for our location down in the Winooski Valley.

Today: Sunny, with a high near 34. Calm wind.

Tonight: Snow, mainly after 1am. Low around 24. South wind at 6 mph becoming north. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Wednesday: Snow, mainly before 4pm. High near 35. North wind between 3 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Wednesday Night: A chance of snow showers, mainly before 7pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 20. North wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

I didn’t really see much of a bump in the point forecasts for the local mountains, so we’ll have to see if that gets refined for the higher elevations.  I’ve added the projected snow accumulations map from National Weather Service Office in Burlington below:

An image of the projected snowfall accumulations for the upcoming November snowstorm in Vermont
The National Weather Service projected snowfall accumulations map for the northern portions of Vermont and New York as of the early morning on November 22, 2011

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 – Afternoon Update

The National Weather Service Office in Burlington has put out their afternoon update for snow accumulations, and our area has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warningto reflect the potential snowfall.  The latest advisory and projected accumulations maps have been added below:

An image of the afternoon updagte for the Winter Weather Advisories and Warnings map from the National Weather Service in Burlington for November 22, 2011
Winter Weather Advisories have now been upgraded to Winter Storm Warnings in some parts of Vermont and Northern New York to reflect the anticipated snow accumulations.

 

An afternoon update the projected snowfall accumulations for the upcoming November snowstorm in Vermont
The afternoon update for expected snowfall from the National Weather Service in Burlington

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 – Evening Update

This evening, Matt Noyes posted his latest snowfall prediction map for this storm, and he’s pretty bullish on some of the totals in Northern New England, including parts of Northern Vermont.  I’ve added his map below:

Matt Noyes' snowfall map for Northern New England snowstorm on November 22, 2011
Matt Noyes’ snowfall map for Northern New England with the upcoming storm

For more full details on this storm, head to the detailed report at the winter weather section of our website.

November snows starting to accumulate in Vermont

An image of November snow on the trees and ground up at Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont
A couple inches of snow greeted us on our Bolton Valley hike up at the 2,500′ elevation.

Just last week we had our first snows of November in Northern Vermont – Ty and I found that areas above 2,000’ still had snow when we were up at Bolton Valley last Sunday.  We got another round of snow yesterday, and this one was substantial enough that along with the mountains, many valleys got a coating as well.  We even picked up our first accumulation for the month at our house in Waterbury.  Today we were up at Bolton Valley picking up the rest of our season’s passes, and there was plenty of snow in the higher elevations.  The snow first appeared just above the base of Timberline at around the 1,600’ – 1,700’ elevation range, and by the time we were up around 2,500’ there was quite a solid coating of a couple inches.  The boys had fun making snowballs, and we had a great November hike.

An image of Dylan with a November snowball up at Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont
Dylan and a nice big snowball he rolled in the recent snow up at Bolton Valley

An image of Ty rolling a snowball at Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont after a November snowfall

More details on the storm associated with this snow can be found in the detailed report at the winter weather section of our website.

Pico, VT 30OCT2011

An image of Erica skiing powder on the Birch Glades Trail at Pico Vermont - October 30, 2011
E enjoys some of the October powder at Pico after back to back storms set up some great ski conditions.

On Thursday, Vermont got hit with its first major storm of the 2011-2012 winter season.  The greatest effects were felt in the central and southern parts of the state, where areas like Killington picked up about a foot of snow.  Then yesterday, an early season Nor’easter came through the Northeast, and it turned out be historic for the Mid Atlantic and Southern New England, where some areas picked up more than 30 inches of snow.  That’s a good dump of snow for any time during the winter, but it’s incredible for October, and numerous October snowfall records were shattered.  Through the combination of the two storms, some areas in the Berkshires of Massachusetts had already picked up over three feet of snow for October. Up in Vermont, the Nor’easter was focused on the central and southern parts of the state, just like the previous storm.  We did actually pick up 1.2 inches of snow at our house in Waterbury last night, but with areas south of us getting another good dump of snow on top of the base they already had from the previous storm, our eyes were definitely drawn southward for some potentially great October skiing.

Since Killington had already opened for lift-served skiing, we decided that Pico would be a much mellower option for earned turns, with similarly great snow.  Despite many days of skiing at Killington in the past, nobody in the family had actually ever skied Pico, but it’s hard not to admire the way 3,967’ Pico Peak towers well above Sherburne Pass on Route 4.  Since the base area of Pico sits at an elevation of ~2,000’, it’s got plenty of elevation to help keep the snow dry if lower elevation temperatures are above freezing.

E hosted a Halloween pumpkin-carving party last night, but I still had plenty of time after clean up to prep some of the gear and put the skins on the skis so that we’d be able to save time this morning.  After a hearty breakfast to ensure that the boys were charged up for the mountain ascent, they got dressed very quickly and headed out to play in the snow while we got everything together for the trip.  I recorded the final couple of tenths of an inch of snow that had accumulated on our snowboard from the morning’s light snow, and we were on our way southward.  To read the details about the skiing and see all the pictures, head to the full report from Pico on October 30th, 2011.

An image of Sherburne Pass from Pico ski area in Vermont with October snow
Looking down from the trials of Pico at the base area and Sherburne Pass, October almost seemed like mid winter.

 

Second major October snowstorm of the season for Vermont

The map from the National Weather Service for Vermont Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories for October 29, 2011
Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are up in Vermont for our second October snowstorm in three days.

Our second significant snowstorm for October, and in fact our second significant snowstorm of the past three days, is on our doorstep.  As with the storm from Thursday, Vermont snowfall will again focused on the southern part of the state, and this is likely to be a record snowfall event for areas of Southern New England, and the Mid Atlantic Region.  Although this storm is still focused to our south, it is large enough that even our area is under its first Winter Weather Advisory of the season.  The winter weather advisory maps from the National Weather Service Office in Burlington have been added here, and more updates about this historic early-season winter storm can be found at their website.

A map of the expected snowfall totals from the National Weather Service in Vermont

For the full details on this storm, head to the detailed report at the winter weather section of our website.

First major snows of the season for Vermont

An map of the winter weather advisories in Vermont for October 27, 2011
October 27, 2011: Vermont's first winter weather advisories of the season

The National Weather Service Office in Burlington put up the first Winter Weather Advisory for the state of Vermont today, thanks to a storm that is passing to our south.  The southern and central parts of the state have been receiving the snow, with generally just clouds north of I-89.  The Killington area picked up a nice shot of snow; adk from Americanwx.com reported up to 14 inches of snow there in his post in the Northern New England thread.  You can find more about his trip at Famous Internet Skiers – they’ve got snowy skiing pictures from both October 27th, and October 28th.  The great news is that there may be another storm coming in on Saturday night to cover up all the tracks that people have been making and set us up for some great October skiing.

Snow accumulations map for October 27, 2011 from the National Weather Service Office in Burlington, Vermont
Snow accumulations with this storm have been in the southern and central parts of the state.

Accumulating snow today on Mt. Mansfied

An image of snow that has been accumulating at the snow measurement stake up near the top of Mt. Mansfield in Vermont
October 22, 2011: The fabled stake atop Mt. Mansfield, picking up the first accumulating snow for Vermont's Green Mountains this season

I was reading the Northern New England Thread on the New England Regional Forum at American Weather, and just got the word that Mt. Mansfield received its first accumulating snow of the season.  Thanks to Powderfreak for passing along the message, and including a picture of the snow at the Mt. Mansfield Stake, which I’ve included here.  As far as I’m aware, this is the first accumulating snow in the Green Mountains of Vermont this season due to the fairly warm October.  It does look like the weather is going to cool down this coming week, so there will likely be more chances for snow in the high country.  We’ll keep our eyes on the mountains, weather forecasts, and weather boards to see if any of the white stuff shows up in the near future, but as we approach November, the season of snow and skiing is certainly close at hand.

A touch of October snow for the Greens

With the warm weather regime we’ve been in over the past few weeks, it’s actually been a month since I’ve heard of any snow in the Green Mountains – September 16th was when we had that cold shot that produced some flakes.  We saw some frosty nights at the beginning of the month, but there was no precipitation with that cold air.  However, new reports of snow have been coming in today.  Over at the Americanwx.com New England regional forum, Powderfreak got a report of snow squalls atop Camel’s Hump, there was a report of various forms of mixed precipitation on Mt. Mansfield, and there was also a report of frozen precipitation from near the Pinkham Notch area over in New Hampshire.  Not surprisingly, Mt. Washington picked up some accumulating snow, with 1.2 inches reported for the day.

First snow of the season for the mountains of Northern New England

An image of the fall season's first snow on Mt. Washington New Hampshire
As the afternoon wore on and the clouds dissipated, images from the Mt. Washington web cams began to reveal the white of fresh September rime and snow in the higher elevations

In association with our coldest weather of the season thus far, the mountains of Northern New England saw some snow today.  In Vermont, I heard about the frozen precipitation on Mt. Mansfield in a post from Powderfreak at Americanwx.com, and over in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire there were some visible accumulations above the 3,500’ to 4,000’ elevation level.  A great video from TheAutoRoad with scenes of snow falling along the Mt. Washington Auto Road was posted, and can be viewed below.  Even in the valleys the weather was quite cool today, with highs only in the 50s F, so the look and feel of fall was all around us.  Enjoy the video!