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Snowfall Totals for the 2014-15 Season

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure how Liftopia can say "Snowfall Totals for the 2014-15 Season" when there are a couple places still open, such as Mammoth and Arapahoe Basin. ;)

 

That being said, this is an interesting take on the snowfall totals. 

Jay Peak being the most snowfall of the season(so far) and the Sierra's getting an honorable mention for the most horrid totals. 

post #2 of 8

I am in process of collecting season snow totals.  I have about 55 areas so far and usually end up with about 80.

 

Jay, like several others (Jackson, Alyeska, etc.) collects both upper and lower measurements but only quotes upper in press releases.  In Jay's case the lower number was 214, so a representative mid-mountain number would be 294 inches. 

 

Alta measures mid-mountain so its 324 inches is probably the highest ski area snowfall in the lower 48 states even though it may be Alta's record low season!  I say "may be" because the Alta Collins mid-mountain site was not in use in 1976-77.  The Alta Guard site at 8,700 feet (maintained by UDOT) recorded 277 inches this season vs. 314 in 1976-77.

 

In the prior extreme western drought seasons of 1976-77 and 1980-81  Targhee tallied 372 and 382 inches (vs. 301 this year), so it's safe that whatever the highest continental US snow number is for 2014-15, it's a  record low.

 

In Canada the Mt. Fidelity weather station at 6,100 feet above Rogers' Pass recorded 417 inches.   Nearby Revelstoke Resort gets considerably less snow and does not measure in April, but based upon snowfall before April and the relationship to Fidelity, Revelstoke at 6,000 feet probably got about the same as Alta.

 

I would not be surprised if the more obscure ski areas to the north, Shames and Powder King, got more snow, but I've never been able to track down data from either place.  No other Canadian areas got as much snow as Alta or Revelstoke.

 

Finally, I'm still waiting on Alyeska's mid-mountain stats.  The upper site got 491 inches in 2014-15, but Alyeska was known to have a lot of rain lower down like the rest of the West Coast. Last year Alyeska had 446 at the top but only 292 mid-mountain.  

 

There are many record lows this year: Bear Valley, Heavenly, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Squaw's base, Alpine Meadows, Snoqualmie Pass.   I don't have them yet, but Mt. Baker, Stevens Pass and the Central Sierra Snow Lab near Donner Pass will surely be record lows also.

 

Quote:
Mammoth and Arapahoe Basin.

Mammoth has had 145 inches.  A-Basin had 266 through April, so might get close to 300 before it closes.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 5/16/15 at 6:19pm
post #3 of 8

Tony, after the other record low years, how was the bounce back the next year?  Is the a correlation?  Is there any scientific explanation for this year's low like Pacific temps, stubborn high pressure somewhere, etc?  

post #4 of 8

Really scary stats, I would like to hear/read more about snowfalls in the Alps.

 

Weathertoski.co.uk is not ready to declare season end totals since some serious snowfalls are still going on ?

 

OTOH, why is Mt. Bohemia not included in Midwest area? They've received over 300" of lake effect fluff.

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
 

Tony, after the other record low years, how was the bounce back the next year?  Is the a correlation?  Is there any scientific explanation for this year's low like Pacific temps, stubborn high pressure somewhere, etc?  

While 1977-78 and 1981-82 were very good snow years, that's a negligible sample size and long term there is zero correlation between one year's snowfall and the next.  This is not surprising because there is weak correlation between one month's snowfall and the next, and zero correlation between time periods two months apart.

 

I leave the why to the meteorologists.  Here's one discussion on the topic:

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/03/why-has-weather-been-so-unusual-past.html

The bottom line is natural variability, not El Nino, not global warming. 

 

Remember, the persistent western drought/eastern cold and snow was even more extreme in 1976-77.

 

Quote:
Weathertoski.co.uk is not ready to declare season end totals since some serious snowfalls are still going on ?

I'm sure Fraser has the same problems I do.  It takes time to collect season-end data, and his "Who Got the Most Snow" articles are typically published in mid-June.  For the past 2 years I've been writing that article for Weathertoski.co.uk for North America.  My understanding is that the Alps had a severe snow deficit up to late December and fairly average snowfall thereafter.

 

I have not tried yet to collect data from Mt. Bohemia.


Edited by Tony Crocker - 5/23/15 at 4:02pm
post #6 of 8
A-Basin is reporting 307" before whatever fell today, per their Facebook page. 47" in May. However, and I have been postulating this on the CO weather thread, the snow has fallen disproportionately high this season, even at A-Basin altitude standards.

This pic is from the top of the mountain from May 10th last year, with an 80"+ base and about 410" reported. Not my pic, from the resort's blog.



I took this yesterday, May 22nd, for purposes of comparison at 103" less reported snow and base at a reported 58".



The May snow is falling at particularly high altitudes this year, so while this won't matter to official stats, it's interesting to note.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

A-Basin is reporting 307" before whatever fell today, per their Facebook page. 47" in May. However, and I have been postulating this on the CO weather thread, the snow has fallen disproportionately high this season, even at A-Basin altitude standards.

This pic is from the top of the mountain from May 10th last year, with an 80"+ base and about 410" reported. Not my pic, from the resort's blog.



I took this yesterday, May 22nd, for purposes of comparison at 103" less reported snow and base at a reported 58".



The May snow is falling at particularly high altitudes this year, so while this won't matter to official stats, it's interesting to note.


It looks like a foot of difference. The high altitude snow and weather must not be that different.

post #8 of 8
A-Basin at 338" now.

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