Saturday, December 2, 2023

Stacking Up But Getting Messy

The first two waves of our storm cycle delivered in spades yesterday and last night with 23" of snow on the Collins interval stake and 0.78" of water equivalent as of 6 AM this morning.  The .78" includes .03" from just before the 24-hour period listed below. 

The snowfall numbers above are higher than being reported by the resort.  I'm not sure if that means the interval stake measurement was affected by wind transport.  Automated snow measurement is hard!

The storm started yesterday with very low density snow and overnight the winds blew like hell with peak gusts of 100 mph at 11,000 feet.  The weather and snow section of this morning's Utah Avalanche Center report suggests that many courageous dendrites died last night before they could be skied. 

I guess we can take solace in the fact that their remnants will help build the early season snowpack that we so badly need.  

Looking at the latest models, I can't help but think, avalanche conditions aside, that this is the storm cycle we've been looking for.  Most models have come around to the "wetter" solution.  Even the Euro is now putting out about 1.22" of water for Alta from 1200 UTC 2 Dec (5 AM MST this morning) through 1200 UTC 4 Dec (5 AM MST Monday).  For that same period, the GFS is dumping 2.03" of water and 23" of snow.  The HRRR, shown below, is even juicier with almost 3" of water and 30" of snow.  

If you do the math on the HRRR run, you'll find that 30" of snow and 3" of water yield a water content of 10%.  The combination of wind and warmth means we will see a lot of high-density snow out of this storm.  Although the wind is not really what we want, the water numbers are, so I say bring it on and build up the base.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for another great post.

    LCC guidance 18Z 02-Dec-2023 HRRR has 22 inches between 5pm Sat and 9am Sun, and another 6 inches for a total of 28 inches by midnight Sunday. Basically an inch an hour for the next 28 hours.

    ON TOP of what has fallen so far to 5pm Sat.

    Sadly rain/snow line looks to rise to at least 6500 feet, which is sure to worsen your ulcer.

    Baldy gusts to 70 overnight tonight, calming to 50 during the day tomorrow.

    Thanks for making all this information so readily available. I live for it.

    As to the prayer, I've mostly toned in down in the hopes of not offending Mother Snow Goddess.

    Recently, I have been focusing on lower wetbulbzero and ice nucleating particles.

    SWE at Snowbird snotel is now median 5.7 inches, yesterday it was below median 4.5 inches, tomorrow, if the forecast comes close to verifying it will be above median.

    Winter's been a little slow, but December's off to a good start. We're doing as well as can be expected. High wetbulbzero is an ulcer ... thoughts and prayers