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More on how when and how much it snows

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
While back I posted data from Tahoe area for Feb/March 07 showing daily snowfalls; very few days got even 5". Tahoe/fat ski partisans suggested I look at same slot, 06, much bigger year. OK, here it is:

Again, allowing a generous 10/1 conversion from preciptation, Feb 06 saw 1 day with a real dump (36"), 1 day with more than 10", and 2 days with more than 5".

March 06 saw three epic dumps (171", 160" and 61"), one big day (25"), 4 days with between 5 and 10" and 5 days with between 10 and 20"

The storms were bunched at the beginning of March (36" near end of Feb, then 11", then 160" a day later, then 13"), and the last week of March (61", two days later 25", two days later 170", two days later 15."

Now I think my conversions are too generous here (recall hearing about a lot of snow in March 06 at Tahoe, but two days of over 12 feet?); even if I accept them, what's interesting to me is how the serious snowfall is bunched. If you assume deep uncut pow will be available for at least two days after a major snow (over 20"), your chances of randomly selecting a destination trip here on these two months and really wanting Pontoons is about 20%. Sounds decent. But if you came in February, your chances were 7%. If you're limited to weekends because of your job, you were out of luck, too: Only two of the big days occurred on a Friday through Sunday. Everything else was early to midweek.

And unless you have AT gear, that three day window is realistically more like a day and a half, which makes all these probabilities worse.

So what do I take away here?

1) I spend much too much time geeking over data
2) The Greenhouse is now, but plenty of people from Washington will immediately tell me how they get 6,000 inches a month, and Tahoe just sucks anyway.
2) Even in winters REMEMBERED as having major snowfall, the numbers say you don't much need fat skis for flotation unless you live nearby and can take time off from work midweek. I need to be a novelist living in SLC. :
3) From a probability standpoint, fatties for the rest of us are mostly about smoothing out settled/chopped up pow and crust you guys near the mountains have left around. Unless we run out and buy AT setups, so we can overpopulate the backcountry.
4) Or they make great ski porn to fondle while we all dream about that great dump.
5) Which may be why I own several.
post #2 of 2
Or you could just go Heli-skiing!

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