15-16 Snowfall predictions and past season measurment

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

15-16 Snowfall predictions and past season measurment

Postby EMSC » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:17 am

Tony has some new competition on the block for characterizing snowfall by resort, state, etc... Not to mention it is new fodder for discussion on this seasons forecast for a ton of resorts.

You should glance at the summary charts, but also can look at the past 5 years of snowfall characterized in charts at the bottom of the page.
https://opensnow.com/news/post/opensnow-winter-ski-forecast-for-2015-2016

Joel also has (free through Nov 2015 only) by-resort graphs of past 7 forecast and snowtel driven 'current snowpack' on each of the resort pages on Opensnow. Not as statistically pure or oriented as Tony's data, but in a more 'user friendly' Millennial generation type of consumption format.
User avatar
EMSC
 
Posts: 1998
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:54 pm
Location: Front Range of Colorado

Re: 15-16 Snowfall predictions and past season measurment

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:54 pm

Mammoth Snowman (Steve Taylor) says Joel is using SNOTEL sites within a 50(!) mile radius for Mammoth. I don't know how he can tell that but I can tell that the percents of average over the past 5 years are not the same as from the long term Mammoth patrol site.

I also know that for the entire region of upper New England Joel shows above average snowfall in 2014-15 while for most ski areas snowfall was slightly below average. The Eastern ski season was considered good due to a near absence of rain or thaw for nearly 3 months, which is extremely unusual. The above average snowfall was only along the coastal urban corridor, most famously Boston.

SNOTELs may be an OK source in Colorado but they most certainly are not when water content is variable and especially if there is rain/snow mix. I've spot checked a handful of other western areas besides Mammoth and found lots of small divergences and a few big ones. The other potential issue besides the source of data is how far back does it go. Since Joel back tested his model to the late 1970's, that's not coincidentally about how far back SNOTEL info is readily accessible online. I'm also guessing that for actual to average comparisons Joel wants the SNOTELs for automated data collection.

Using the actual snowfall from the ski areas is a labor intensive process, and that's why I do it only twice a month.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9799
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: 15-16 Snowfall predictions and past season measurment

Postby EMSC » Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:05 pm

This is where it will be interesting the next couple years.

Will OpenSnow data be good enough? Or will people complain if it show differences from ski area measurements that Tony uses? It's certainly in a very pretty user format, though tough to pin down precision and not a lot of pre-thought on using only data from when ski areas are open or other things that Tony has thought about, but that could cause wide divergence from on-hill experiences or etc...

Joel actively credits "Dr. Amato Evan from Scripps Institution of Oceanography" and strongly indicates that all of his data is Snowtel based.
User avatar
EMSC
 
Posts: 1998
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:54 pm
Location: Front Range of Colorado

Re: 15-16 Snowfall predictions and past season measurment

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:55 pm

I'm sympathetic to using the SNOTELs in-season. Most of the time the SNOTEL should have a reasonably close percent of normal to a nearby ski area. We know Joel wants this stuff to update on a daily basis, and it would take way too much time the way I do it. It has also been demonstrated by OnTheSnow that automated compilations of new snow from ski area reports are not accurate over time.

End of season retrospectives, as Joel has on his area webpages now, are a different story. Those should come from the ski areas IMHO. I do that grunt work, and Joel could get them from me by sometime in June.
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
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9799
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: 15-16 Snowfall predictions and past season measurment

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:48 am

Tony Crocker wrote:the entire region of upper New England Joel shows above average snowfall in 2014-15 while for most ski areas snowfall was slightly below average.

That is pretty shocking -- as Tony noted, virtually no northeastern ski areas that I can recall (other than maybe Cannon and Jay Peak's much-discussed claim) purported to reach their yearly snowfall average last season.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use