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Jay Peak Summit: Most Snow in the Lower 48 in 2014-15???

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:00 pm
by Admin
Regarding those Jay Peak numbers, I simply don't buy that summit figure. I patrolled there for 10 years. That summit is the rockiest, most windswept place on the planet, save for perhaps the Mt. Washington Observatory. There is absolutely no reasonable way to measure snowfall at that altitude at Jay Peak. Combine that with the fact that it barely rained throughout the entire season, and there is no reasonable explanation for the substantial discrepancy between the base figure and the summit figure. I would be reasonably confident that the base figure is a reasonable approximation for the snowfall throughout the ski area's entire vertical drop.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:06 pm
by jamesdeluxe
Angry Admin

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:39 pm
by Admin
jamesdeluxe wrote:Angry Admin


Not angry, just calling :bs:

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:38 am
by Tony Crocker
admin wrote:substantial discrepancy between the base figure and the summit figure.

I was surprised by that 57% ratio as the long term relationship is 80%.
admin wrote:I would be reasonably confident that the base figure [at Jay Peak] is a reasonable approximation for the snowfall throughout the ski area's entire vertical drop.

Scott Braaten measured 290 inches at Stowe's 3,014 foot snow plot, which leads me to believe 294 is a reasonable number for Jay. There has been ongoing local controversy about Jay's upper reporting since Conrad Klefos left around 2000. However that upper number is measured (or made up), averaging it with the lower number seems to fit in with the 1982-1999 data provided by Conrad Klefos.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:46 am
by Admin
The fact is that Jay's summit is a windswept point of almost solid bedrock right at tree line on an already notoriously windy mountain. Jay officials have a hard enough time keeping any snow there at all, as evidenced by the snow fencing lining the upper Vermonter and Northway trails, the two runs that leave the Sky Haus tram top station. Without that fencing, snow would be blown straight to Canada. Instead, that fencing creates drifts that may be redistributed and groomed by snowcat to cover those two trails. I personally can't imagine how anyone could accurately measure snowfall in that kind of environment. And with such a cold, rain-free winter, why in the world would there be such a discrepancy between the upper mountain and lower mountain figures? All of this leads me to suspect that the upper mountain snowfall figure is complete fantasy.

Tony Crocker wrote:Scott Braaten measured 290 inches at Stowe's 3,014 foot snow plot, which leads me to believe 294 is a reasonable number for Jay.


Not necessarily. Even in a typical year, there can be a marked difference between the two mountains that are separated by an hour's drive. However, this year many of the big snow events tracked south as coastal storms, evidenced by the record snow that fell in places like Boston. These coastal storms aren't Jay's calling card -- in fact, "Nor'easters" generally deliver bigger snow to places further south along the Green Mountain spine and much closer to the ocean, like Killington. Jay is simply too far from the Atlantic and separated from that giant bathtub by too many mountains. Where Jay excels is on Alberta Clipper-type storms that come in from the northwest. The first mountain of any substantial elevation that those storms hit is Jay, resulting in orographic lift that produces substantial snowfall in a similar way to how Targhee squeezes moisture from storms that roll in through the Snake River Valley of Idaho. It's no coincidence that Jay fans refer to the "Jay Cloud" and Grand Targhee is also known as "Grand Foggy."

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:24 pm
by Marc_C
Admin wrote:The fact is that Jay's summit is a windswept point of almost solid bedrock right at tree line on an already notoriously windy mountain. Jay officials have a hard enough time keeping any snow there at all, as evidenced by the snow fencing lining the upper Vermonter and Northway trails, the two runs that leave the Sky Haus tram top station. Without that fencing, snow would be blown straight to Canada. Instead, that fencing creates drifts that may be redistributed and groomed by snowcat to cover those two trails. I personally can't imagine how anyone could accurately measure snowfall in that kind of environment. And with such a cold, rain-free winter, why in the world would there be such a discrepancy between the upper mountain and lower mountain figures? All of this leads me to suspect that the upper mountain snowfall figure is complete fantasy.

Tony Crocker wrote:Scott Braaten measured 290 inches at Stowe's 3,014 foot snow plot, which leads me to believe 294 is a reasonable number for Jay.


Not necessarily. Even in a typical year, there can be a marked difference between the two mountains that are separated by an hour's drive. However, this year many of the big snow events tracked south as coastal storms, evidenced by the record snow that fell in places like Boston. These coastal storms aren't Jay's calling card -- in fact, "Nor'easters" generally deliver bigger snow to places further south along the Green Mountain spine and much closer to the ocean, like Killington. Jay is simply too far from the Atlantic and separated from that giant bathtub by too many mountains. Where Jay excels is on Alberta Clipper-type storms that come in from the northwest. The first mountain of any substantial elevation that those storms hit is Jay, resulting in orographic lift that produces substantial snowfall in a similar way to how Targhee squeezes moisture from storms that roll in through the Snake River Valley of Idaho. It's no coincidence that Jay fans refer to the "Jay Cloud" and Grand Targhee is also known as "Grand Foggy."


But Tony has numbers and data and spreadsheets and graphs. Surely you realize all that trumps actual experience on the hill in question! :stir: :troll:

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:30 pm
by Tony Crocker
Killington was farther below average (80%) than Jay and Stowe were (90%). Cannon was the only place I track close enough to the Atlantic to get a bump (131%) from this year's weather pattern.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:48 pm
by Admin
Tony Crocker wrote:Killington was farther below average (80%) than Jay and Stowe were (90%). Cannon was the only place I track close enough to the Atlantic to get a bump (131%) from this year's weather pattern.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with my point that Jay's summit number is :bs: other than my anecdotal comment that Killington often does better from coastal events.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:58 pm
by Tony Crocker
Actually neither of us knows where Jay's press release snow number comes from. It could be from some well sheltered leeward tree stash or it could be a SWAG. Admin and I agree that it's not representative of ski terrain as a whole. In that respect it's similar to Alyeska and Jackson, where legitimate snow plots are located in far snowier locations than most of the ski terrain.

As far as the coastal bias of 2014-15 storms go, no Vermont areas, even Okemo and Stratton, were close enough to the coast to be pushed above average in snowfall.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:28 pm
by Admin
Tony Crocker wrote:Actually neither of us knows where Jay's press release snow number comes from. It could be from some well sheltered leeward tree stash or it could be a SWAG.


I personally believe that given the base area figure, it comes from a wet dream in the marketing department.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:38 pm
by Harvey44
OK not really following this but Admin are you saying that you don't believe Jay gets more at the top than at the base?

I do think it's reasonable to assume that the two mountains are often within 10% of each other.

Jay2 2014-15

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:34 pm
by Admin
Harvey44 wrote:OK not really following this but Admin are you saying that you don't believe Jay gets more at the top than at the base? .


I do. But in a season where it hardly ever rained I don't believe that it's 43% more. And I also don't believe that it's possible to accurately measure at the summit of that particular mountain.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:34 pm
by Admin
Harvey44 wrote:OK not really following this but Admin are you saying that you don't believe Jay gets more at the top than at the base? .


I do. But in a season where it hardly ever rained I don't believe that it's 43% more. And I also don't believe that it's possible to accurately measure at the summit of that particular mountain.

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:04 am
by Harvey44
Wouldn't that affect/equalize base depth more than the amount that fell?

Re: Western Weather 2014-15

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:09 am
by Admin
Harvey44 wrote:Wouldn't that affect/equalize base depth more than the amount that fell?

That's kind of my point, actually, even though no one here is discussing base depths. If the only historical measuring point is at the base, and the long term correlation of that figure to this submit figure is 80%, and given that this year those two figures should've been more closely correlated, not less, it casts doubt on the credibility of the summit figure.