2011-12: How Bad Was It?

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2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:47 pm

Here we go again :stir:
SnowTrend12.JPG


In a few past discussions I've noted that we have not had an across-the-board bad snow year in North America since 1991-92, fairly impressive since there were 4 of them in the 16 years through that season. 2011-12 does not make the cut on an equal region rated basis either mainly because 2 regions (Pacific Northwest and western Canada) had excellent seasons well above average. 1980-81, 1986-87 and 1991-92 stand out because no regions were above average, similar to 1981-82 and 2010-11 being the only seasons with no regions being below average.

1976-77 is still prominent despite being a huge season in the East because it was so extreme in the West. All 7 western regions were bad and for 5 of them it was the lowest overall season in 40+ years.

Unlike last year 2011-12 comes out differently if you weight by skier visits (I'm using 15 million for the natural snowfall relevant Northeast). The 2 highest regions for visits (the other being Front Range Colorado) are also the 2 with the worst snowfall. So by skier visit weighting 2011-12 comes out similar to 1986-87 and 1991-92 with only 1980-81 and 1976-77 being worse.

Details on the low snow regions:
Northeast
Only 1979-80 was as low for snowfall, and given the March meltdown I think there's a case for 2011-12 being qualitatively the worst ever season for the Northeast.

Northern and Central Colorado
By snowfall 2011-12 is the worst, but there are a lot more areas with complete season data now than in 1976-77 and 1980-81. There's quite of bit of monthly data for those seasons, and comparing those I would say that 2011-12 was about the same as 1980-81 with 1976-77 being not quite as bad. During the latter 2 seasons the early season drought persisted through most of January but March snowfall was actually above average compared to the record low this year.

California
With Sierra volatility there have been 7 lower snow years than 2011-12. But since half the snow came in March qualitatively it was the 3rd worst behind 1976-77 and 1990-91 (more total snow but 3/4 of it in March).

Utah
1976-77 was clearly the worst but 2011-12 is similar to about 6 other seasons next in line. For slowest start through mid-January 2011-12 was probably 3rd worst behind only 1980-81 also.

Southern and Western Colorado
3 seasons were much worse and another 3 similar to 2011-12. The Southwest was the only region with decent December snow in 2011, so qualitatively those areas may have had better overall skiing than the raw numbers would indicate. I include Aspen and Crested Butte in this region but they were much worse than the areas farther south and more comparable to the areas farther east along I-70.

The U.S. Northern Rockies were overall close to average, though most areas were below average offset by a few near the Canadian border that were far above average.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Admin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:47 pm

In that chart the last line is incorrectly labeled as 2010-12. Just FYI.

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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:35 pm

Fixed. It can take a while figuring out how to convert to picture format, particularly if the chart is of unusual size dimensions. At least it doesn't take so long the 4th time. :lol:
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Marc_C » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:42 am

It's sure colorful, but what do the colors mean?
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:50 am

Colors just make it more user friendly to identify the good and bad seasons.
Blue = 120%+
Green = 108-119%
Yellow = 93-107%
Orange = 81-92%
Red = 80% or less

Color is not automated, so adding an extreme season (of which there are many the last 2 years) moves the percentages, I have to review the whole table for colors and it's very easy to miss a few.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby EMSC » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:12 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:olor is not automated, so adding an extreme season (of which there are many the last 2 years) moves the percentages, I have to review the whole table for colors and it's very easy to miss a few.


Why?

Are you trying to split the colors to 20% of each type or band of seasons or something? I would think using more standard definitions would be more appropriate. Say 90%-110% is 'normal'. Which by the way I would use a color other than Yellow for - it makes it visually look like those are not very good seasons since that color is ingrained in us to be a caution color. Then with some judgement add color bands for say 80-89%, below 80%, 111-120%, > 120%

Then you can also simply use conditional formatting in the spreadsheet (even today). It's very easy to learn and use that function in Excel.
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:08 pm

Colors are in spectrum order; I started it that way with the http://bestsnow.net/scalhist.htm chart over a decade ago and have stuck with that for other charts. Red as worst seems logical to me, orange next etc. Isn't that the way Homeland Security does it? :lol:

90-110% would be many more seasons than 80-90% or 110-120%. I was trying to make the divisions more equal.

I will have to look into the conditional formatting.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Marc_C » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:58 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Colors are in spectrum order; I started it that way with the http://bestsnow.net/scalhist.htm chart over a decade ago and have stuck with that for other charts. Red as worst seems logical to me, orange next etc. Isn't that the way Homeland Security does it? :lol:

90-110% would be many more seasons than 80-90% or 110-120%. I was trying to make the divisions more equal.

I will have to look into the conditional formatting.

More than three colors, implying more than 3 brackets, is pretty much pointless. It sucked, it was typical, it was fantastic is all that's really needed. More than that is splitting semantic hairs (and we all know how painful that can be).
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby EMSC » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:33 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:90-110% would be many more seasons than 80-90% or 110-120%. I was trying to make the divisions more equal.


That's actually kind of my point. The typical/average seasons should predominate and the outliers then stick out. I don't think many, if any, of us think of the 'middle 20%' as the only typical seasons. More like 50%+ of seasons seem 'fairly typical' (for the most part). The above and below average would have maybe 15-20% of seasons each and then the truly horrible or spectacular seasons would very clearly stick out as being only a couple of them on either side of the distribution. Obviously I'm thinking in terms of a bell curve type of distribution as being most likely...
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:21 pm

The average of all regions is not that far off from what EMSC envisions:
1 high, 7 above average, 14 average, 11 below average and 4 bad.

That entered into my thinking of the 80/120 breakpoints. Those 4 bad seasons did stand out subjectively from my memory and research and I thought it was quite interesting at the time I first set up the table a few years ago that there had never been an overall 120+% season in 30+ years.

Of course the individual regions will show more extremes.
Western Canada the least volatile is 4-5-12-7-9 high to low.
Then there's notoriously extreme California: 9-4-4-9-11.

The distribution is not a bell curve, it's somewhat skewed. The highs are more extreme than the lows so the median is consistently lower than the average.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby Anthony » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:02 pm

I would agree with the North East stat as 79/80 being on par with the 2011/12 as the worst ski season ever. Having skied through both of these seasons , can remember how bad the 79/80 season was with the limited snow making that was available at the time .
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Re: 2011-12: How Bad Was It?

Postby WintersDeann » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:42 am

The chart looks pretty bad :( it could have been done much better
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