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I get holding your thumb on the scale a bit, but. . .

drjeff

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The reality is that yes, some snow reporters are a bit enthusiastic with their reported numbers from a storm and the season. The other reality is that when it comes to snow storms, one can only use "regional" forecasts to just get a feel for what might happen, since the reality is that each and every mountain is it's own individual micro-climate where a slew of variables come into play
 

machski

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Elevation plays a role in snowfall, but nowhere near any dramatic effect back East. Maybe a couple inches at most, and that is probably the minority of times.

Out here you can see 1+ foot differences, but even then, it is pretty rare outside of spring/fall.
Not all the time back east, but it definitely does, especially with the marginal storms. Early season can paint this most clearly. This October we had a early season storm at Sunday River. Zero accumulation at the base of the Locke Triple. By midstation, about 4 inches down. The summit of Locke had a legit foot of dense snow, enough we were skiing on some of the mellow naturals in October. So don't try and push it doesn't matter in the East. You might see more of a difference at Jackson more often given the greater vertical difference, but even 1500' can be a huge difference.

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flakeydog

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First of all I am thrilled to see an argument over mountains getting 2 feet vs 3 feet at the end of March. It's usually lack of snow that brings out the claws on this board but I digress.... Second, this late spring, elevation effect on snow accumulation is a thing and not all that unusual. I used to live at 1800' and have seen with my own eyes (and shoveled with my own shovel) 6 (wet) inches in Waitsfield and 20 inches at my house.

Temperature, as we know, has an effect on the ratio of snow to water. Snow that falls at 34-35 degrees is about 5/1, 28-30 deg is about 10/1 and at 20 deg we can be at 15/1. That is a 3x spread over 15 degrees (we can start another thread on how/why it can snow in temps >32 if we have to but maybe we save that for another day). Warmer temps on the surface can cause snow not to accumulate right away because there is some melting at the surface. Case in point, I now live at significantly lower elevation and saw that while it snowed a lot on Friday from a visual standpoint, accumulation was minimal until later. Shovel that snow and you see white on the surface but slush/mush underneath. Down in the slush you are probably at 3/1.

Really, we could level the playing field by melting the snow comparing water content but 20" of snow is way more fun that 2" inches of water. Plus who wants to sit around and melt snow, that's like spitting out wine after you taste it!
 

AdironRider

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I already agreed with you that you will see differences, but nowhere near a foot on the East Coast. Again, that is a rare event even in Jackson, with 4100 vertical relief from the valley floor.

Maybe a couple times on Washington, but no way on Sunday River.
 

speden

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I'll go if you agree to take a photography class at the same time. Maybe even just "how to use the picture function on my cell phone" class.

I don't think Zand should be allowed to go to Jackson Hole unless this happens. :smile:
 

Whitey

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Was this recent storm a rain/snow line event at the mountains in question, or are some of these examples clearly irrelevant to the topic?

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No, no rain/snow line at the mountains (except the really southern ones). Yes, examples that include references to times where the base area/valleys rained part of the time while the peaks stayed all snow throughout are not relevent.
 

Whitey

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I already agreed with you that you will see differences, but nowhere near a foot on the East Coast. Again, that is a rare event even in Jackson, with 4100 vertical relief from the valley floor.

Maybe a couple times on Washington, but no way on Sunday River.

Thank you. I am not debating the elevation effect on snow fall. But if you are going to tell me that this last storm created a 10" elevation differential over 2600', then I am gonna tell you I'm not buying that. And I just so happened to be at a mountain that has the same top elevation as SB and 2K in vertical and there is no way there was 10" differential base to top. Maybe 3-4. 10? No, not even half that.
 

cdskier

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Thank you. I am not debating the elevation effect on snow fall. But if you are going to tell me that this last storm created a 10" elevation differential over 2600', then I am gonna tell you I'm not buying that. And I just so happened to be at a mountain that has the same top elevation as SB and 2K in vertical and there is no way there was 10" differential base to top. Maybe 3-4. 10? No, not even half that.

You're comparing apples to oranges. WTF does Jay being the same top elevation as SB have to do with anything? And the 10" difference wasn't over 2K vertical. It was over more than 3K vertical because it was the difference between the valley snowfall and summit snowfall. The SB base is 1500'. The valley is around 900'. Difference between summit and valley is 3100'.

The snowfall difference between the summit of SB and the base of SB was 6" (which would be the proper figure to use to compare to your base to top 3-4" differential you mention at Jay). The difference between the base of SB and valley was another 4". Given the FACT that the valley was AT OR ABOVE freezing ALL DAY on Friday while the base of the mountain was just at or slightly below freezing and the summit was a good 5-10 BELOW freezing all day, I really don't understand how you fail to see a 10" summit to valley difference being possible. Those temperature differentials should easily show you how the snow ratios would be drastically different from valley to summit. Do you not at all understand the role temperature plays in snow ratios?
 

farlep99

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I already agreed with you that you will see differences, but nowhere near a foot on the East Coast. Again, that is a rare event even in Jackson, with 4100 vertical relief from the valley floor.

Maybe a couple times on Washington, but no way on Sunday River.

This isn't true at all. There are plenty of times when Mansfield stake has had 12" & there's rain to a dusting in town of Stowe. It's happened a few times this season alone. It tends to happen more in Fall/Spring with those marginal temps than in the dead of winter.
 

flakeydog

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Bingo- the marginal temps are the key here. It takes less variability in temperature to produce a higher variability in snow accumulation. Think of it this way, temperature changes about 5.4 degrees per 1000' of elevation change. This is in dry conditions. It is reduced to 3.3 degrees in a precipitation event. For sake of argument, temp difference between top of the mountain and down in the valley could be 10 degrees (3000 ft elevation differential times 3.3 deg/1000'). If it is 33 down in the valley, it could be 23 at the summit. Ratio goes from 5/1 and approaches 15/1. If we assume it is 12/1 at the summit, 10" below nets us 24" at the summit (or 2.4x). This assumes same water content for valley and summit. Often, more precipitation falls at the summit even as rain so this will push this up even more.
 

machski

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I already agreed with you that you will see differences, but nowhere near a foot on the East Coast. Again, that is a rare event even in Jackson, with 4100 vertical relief from the valley floor.

Maybe a couple times on Washington, but no way on Sunday River.
Well, just stay out west. It happens out here too, even at Sunday River occasionally.

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Zand

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I don't think Zand should be allowed to go to Jackson Hole unless this happens. :smile:

For 10 years I've been getting a FATAL ERROR message every single time I've tried posting pictures to this forum. If I ever figured out how to actually get it to work I'd load this place with pictures. People on Facebook are sick of me posting skiing pictures lol
 

slatham

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You're comparing apples to oranges. WTF does Jay being the same top elevation as SB have to do with anything? And the 10" difference wasn't over 2K vertical. It was over more than 3K vertical because it was the difference between the valley snowfall and summit snowfall. The SB base is 1500'. The valley is around 900'. Difference between summit and valley is 3100'.

The snowfall difference between the summit of SB and the base of SB was 6" (which would be the proper figure to use to compare to your base to top 3-4" differential you mention at Jay). The difference between the base of SB and valley was another 4". Given the FACT that the valley was AT OR ABOVE freezing ALL DAY on Friday while the base of the mountain was just at or slightly below freezing and the summit was a good 5-10 BELOW freezing all day, I really don't understand how you fail to see a 10" summit to valley difference being possible. Those temperature differentials should easily show you how the snow ratios would be drastically different from valley to summit. Do you not at all understand the role temperature plays in snow ratios?

What he said.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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JimG.

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I had an awesome time at K Mon Tues. And I didn't even get to ski any fresh snow, busy Sat Sun.

I guess something must be wrong with me.
 
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