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400 INCH CLUB

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Soo , whosgonna make it to 400 this year in North America. Anyone ? Jackson? Jay? Aleyeska? Revy? 500 seems unattainable by anyone , am I missing something here ?
post #2 of 30
Thread Starter 
Definitely posted this in the wrong section , my apologies.. Not sure how to move it to a more appropriate area
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by powderpanda View Post

Definitely posted this in the wrong section , my apologies.. Not sure how to move it to a more appropriate area


Moved.  Easiest way to request a move is to click on the Flag icon and leave a note for the Moderators.

post #4 of 30

According to UnofficialNetworks (http://unofficialnetworks.com/2015/01/top-20-biggest-snowfall-totals-in-north-america) here are the top 5 N.A. totals :

 

EDIT : These totals are from January 26th ... my bad on misleading anyone.

 

#1 = Revelstoke, Canada = 235″

#2 = Jackson Hole, WY = 234″

#3 = Alyeska, AK = 231″

#4 = Grand Targhee, WY = 225″

#5 = Breckenridge, CO = 192″

So unless you think someone is going to get another 165 or 170 inches this year, no one is going to make it to 400.

Niseko, Japan, on the other hand has already received 438 inches. (http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-daily-snow-weather-reports/Niseko-Now)

post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Those numbers are a bit dated.. As of yesterday Jay peak was over 300 inches as was revelstoke. Jackson is also right there .. 400 is a long shot but certainly a possibility
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by powderpanda View Post

Those numbers are a bit dated.. As of yesterday Jay peak was over 300 inches as was revelstoke. Jackson is also right there .. 400 is a long shot but certainly a possibility

 

Oops - I didn't notice the date on that Unofficial Networks page... thanks.

post #7 of 30

Tony Crocker also has updated numbers now as of March 15th, and is showing :

 

Revelstoke - 261 (Revelstoke's own report is 297 on the historical tracker page, and 300 on the main snow report page, both as of yesterday)

Jackson Hole - 244 (Jackson's own report is 297)

Jay Peak (mid) - 275 (Jay's own report is 310)

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 

jackson was around 230inches  when i was there in mid january. has been a rough last 2 months out there. I hope someone makes it to 400. I wonder if Tony Crocker knows how rare it is for no one in north america to reach 400 inches 

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by powderpanda View Post
 

I wonder if Tony Crocker knows how rare it is for no one in north america to reach 400 inches 

 

That's a good question. Paging @Tony Crocker ?

post #10 of 30

Northstar's snow total from their site, at the summit 112" 

In a decent year we're well over 400.

post #11 of 30

Last year Baker reported the lowest snowfall of any year since 2005 at 623".  This year I don't have the statistics, but it sure isn't in that league at all.  If we had 200" I would be surprised.

post #12 of 30

It's really been a pretty dismal year and it should not be surprising if there are no resorts in North America at 400 inches by spring.

 

Jackson optimistically reports 297" so far, but even with that inflated total, it would take a couple of large storms to make up the difference. The LCC areas report slightly smaller totals to date and the forecast there is for a dry spell through the end of Mar and the next potential for some precipitation in early April. Seems unlikely they'll get anywhere close to 400". Mt Baker, a place that averages 641", has something like 64" this season. Getting to even half of 400" would seem to require a miracle.

 

The Snow Water Equivalent (http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/data/water/wcs/gis/maps/west_swepctnormal_update.pdf) map is red (less than 50% of average - but some areas are much lower than that) nearly everywhere along the western edge of the US from CA & NV through OR and into WA. An ugly picture overall with only a few areas showing average levels of precipitation and none above average. With so many areas of the west depending heavily on winter snowpack for their water, it looks like the summer of 2015 is going to be a challenge in terms of supply. 

 

Given the poor snow season in general in the west, I have to marvel at my luck. I got to the Cottonwoods the day of a 20"+ storm in Jan and skied on very good snow that week. The two weeks I got to spend at JHMR/GT in Feb began with a couple of big snow days that left a total of 30+ inches, so we had great conditions for most of the stay.

post #13 of 30

It puts things in perspective. Wolf has had one of the worst years in recent memory, somewhat saved by a pretty good end of Feb.

 

270" at this point in the season is about 100" low, and 60" low from the last two (also light) seasons.

 

Still, that 270" puts us in top ten snowfall for the US.

 

I believe a WTF is in order.

post #14 of 30
People should refrain from inch club posts at this point, lest other comparisons..arise...
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

According to UnofficialNetworks (http://unofficialnetworks.com/2015/01/top-20-biggest-snowfall-totals-in-north-america) here are the top 5 N.A. totals :

 

#1 = Revelstoke, Canada = 235″

#2 = Jackson Hole, WY = 234″

#3 = Alyeska, AK = 231″

#4 = Grand Targhee, WY = 225″

#5 = Breckenridge, CO = 192″

So unless you think someone is going to get another 165 or 170 inches this year, no one is going to make it to 400.

Niseko, Japan, on the other hand has already received 438 inches. (http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-daily-snow-weather-reports/Niseko-Now)

HMMM, did Steamboat forget to pay their dues there or something?  Even with our anemic, lower than actual snow reports, they are still reporting 217" 

 

NOTE: Thanks @tam for bringing the date of the report to my attention, (January) 


Edited by Finndog - 3/19/15 at 10:15am
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

HMMM, did Steamboat forget to pay their dues there or something?  Even with our anemic, lower than actual snow reports, they are still reporting 217"

 

Psst... look at the date of the unofficial article...

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tam View Post
 

 

Psst... look at the date of the unofficial article...

steamboat isn't on the report.    but you are correct, thanks, its the little details isn't it? :D  I looked at the date of the post, but failed to look at the date of the report.  Why post a link to a report from January?  WTF


Edited by Finndog - 3/19/15 at 10:38am
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Why post a link to a report from January?  WTF

 

Well that was just a mistake on my part, as I also failed to look at the date on the report. :nono: I added a little note to my post above to avoid any further confusion. :)

post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 

vegas should take bets on this , i wonder who the bookies would have as the favorite.. Jay Peak is at 317inches  , maybe they'd give 6/1 ??

post #20 of 30

It's snowing in the northern Wasatch today, with up to 8" expected in the Cottonwoods. There's a bit more snow in the forecast for the area tomorrow, maybe another 4 or so inches. Even if the system delivers much more than expected, the Cottonwoods will still only be at the 300" mark though, still well below average. The Tues storm is expected to track north and favor the Idaho border area, and as it heads north and east, JHMR and perhaps GT could see some significant accumulations. While this is good news, neither area will be much over 300" when it stops snowing Weds - again well below their averages. This is the 3rd or 4th year that the Sierras have struggled, with the Cascades following suit.

 

This begs the question: When it comes to annual snowfall, will there be a regression to the historical mean or is 2014/2015 the start of the new normal for western North America?

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieRN View Post
 

This begs the question: When it comes to annual snowfall, will there be a regression to the historical mean or is 2014/2015 the start of the new normal for western North America?

 

 

Maybe it was just the marketing dept's having an influence on reporting, but I know Utah had a long run there with snow above average.  I think Snowbird had 2 years above 700".  I think normal involves 700" years being balancing by 300" years.

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
 

 

 

Maybe it was just the marketing dept's having an influence on reporting, but I know Utah had a long run there with snow above average.  I think Snowbird had 2 years above 700".  I think normal involves 700" years being balancing by 300" years.

 

Agree 100% with the comment about the influence of the marketing department. Snowbird got a large storm in April of 2011 (2+ feet) that got them to their official all-time high of 690" and it's likely that the marketing department was quite optimistic in was reported on the resort website. The Snowbird season high prior to that I think was 688", set pretty long ago in 1983/84, and that probably also got reported as 700+.

 

Though the moniker "Greatest Snow on Earth" may be debatable and whether due to the outsize influence of large dumps or not, the Cottonwoods have traditionally been close to the top in average annual snowfall in No America (Mt Baker being a notable exception). They probably will continue to lead in that role, but the problem is that it's relative and most places in western N America seem to be having more sub-par years nowadays. While I think JHMR/GT and Breck have more snow than LCC/BCC for the 2014/15 season, it's not by much and as the posts in thread indicate, the totals are nothing to write home about. Unless there's a couple of huge dumps in April, I think 2015 will finish as one of the worst seasons on record for the Cottonwoods. It's much worse for the Sierras, with a bad 2014/15 coming on top of several record-breaking bad years in a row. The misery is spread around some though: I think Mt Baker is on pace to see a new low record by a significant margin.

 

I hope I'm wrong, but it really seems like patterns are changing for the worse. Again I hope I'm wrong, but it appears that we are rapidly moving toward a time when big snow years will be unable to balance out an ever-growing number of poor snow years, which of course means declining annual averages. Even the best marketing departments will have trouble make gold out that dross.


Edited by CharlieRN - 3/25/15 at 8:55am
post #23 of 30

I hope for those that depend primarily on the snow pack for their water that this is a wet spring.

Also hope this map has a lot more green next season.

(with thanks to WSF)

 

 

 

 basin_snowpack


Edited by CharlieRN - 3/26/15 at 9:41am
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by powderpanda View Post
 

I wonder if Tony Crocker knows how rare it is for no one in north america to reach 400 inches 

That's a good question. Paging @Tony Crocker ?


I would swear I responded to this thread at the time, but perhaps not.  It is indeed rare.  2014-15 has slotted in with 1976-77 and 1980-81 as the lowest snowfall seasons on record.  In 1976-77 and 1980-81 Grand Targhee led North America's ski areas with 372 and 382 inches respectively. Targhee had 301 inches in 2014-15.   In all other seasons someone comfortably exceeded 400 inches. 

 

UDOT has been measuring snowfall near the base of Alta at 8,700 feet since 1946.  276.8 inches in 2014-15 is the record low for that location.  Alta Ski Area measures near the Collins mid-station at 9,600 feet since 1980-81.   2014-15 snowfall there was 323.5 inches, lowest of the 35 years measured there.  There are no Alta Collins records from 1976-77, the consensus record low western snow season before this one.

 

Jay Peak in Vermont measured 374 inches at the top and 214 at the base, so I count 294 mid-mountain for Jay.

 

Alyeska like most West Coast areas was plagued by a high rain/snow line in 2014-15.  The top of Alyeska's lift service at 2,750 feet had 478.3 inches of snow while mid-mountain at 1,500 feet had only 176 inches.  The long term relationship of mid to top at Alyeska is 79%, so the 37% this year tells you how much rain there was. 

 

Breckenridge in Colorado recorded 321 inches of snow through closing date Apr. 19 at 11,200 feet.  This site is not at the top of lift service but is considered by locals to be in a high snowfall part of the ski area.

 

Revelstoke in Canada recorded 224 inches December - March.  Based upon a nearby Canadian weather site I would estimate about 320 inches for November - April.  

 

There are a couple of very high snowfall areas in far northern British Columbia, Shames and Powder King.  I have never been able to obtain snowfall data from either.  It is very likely that Powder King got more snow than Alta in 2014-15, but I have no numbers to support that.

 

So in conclusion I consider Alta's 323.5 inches during its record low season to be #1 in North America for 2014-15!

 

Quote = CharlieRN:
I hope I'm wrong, but it really seems like patterns are changing for the worse.

Here's the update to a chart I posted a few years ago:

 

 

 

Is there a trend?  It's a little early to say that.  The recent dry period is quite acute, but compare to the 1985-1992 period where there were few seasons much above average even at the individual region level.

 


The graph above has a trend line.  This is the first year that it has even a slightly negative slope, obviously dragged down by the extremity of 2014-15.  If there was zero negative trend from 1973-2014, we need to see a few more years before concluding that there is a meaningful negative trend now.  Just 4 years ago we enjoyed the highest snowfall ski season of our lifetimes, and that trend line was up more then than it is down now.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 6/25/15 at 10:37am
post #25 of 30
A-Basin at 338" now with the big May totals. They could report a little bit of snow this week, depending on how things play out.
post #26 of 30

A-Basin November through May had 320 inches.  Considering that A-Basin was 6% open on November 15, I'm confident that my usual assumption of October snowfall being irrelevant is correct.

post #27 of 30
Al (the COO) posted 338" on his blog, FWIW. It definitely did not snow in Oct this year. CO had basically nothing until mid-Nov.
post #28 of 30

I received snow totals direct from A-Basin patrol. They had 12 inches before November 1.  Loveland's website snows 7 inches between their opening day and Nov. 1.

post #29 of 30

Official numbers for A-Basin:
Sept: 2.5
Oct: 12 (I exclude, A-Basin was 6% open Nov. 15 so Sept/Oct are clearly irrelevant)
Nov: 63.25
Dec: 54.5
Jan: 23.25
Feb: 43.75
Mar: 34
Apr: 48.75
May: 55.25
Total of above is 322.75, still 3/4 of an inch short of Alta.

The earlier numbers I was given were truncated instead of rounded, and the blog post didn't get quite all of May. Add in Sept. and Oct. and you get 337.5 which was rounded up to the 338 press release number.

post #30 of 30
^^^that makes sense smile.gif.
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