Western Weather 2016-17

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby q » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:32 am

Has there been much snow in Utah this year in mid January? :stir:
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:19 am

q wrote:Has there been much snow in Utah this year in mid January? :stir:


Instigator.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Marc_C » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:32 pm

Admin wrote:Finally, with regard to Marc_C's advice to visitors seeking powder to avoid mid-January if possible, those flat lines clearly demonstrate why he gives that advice, and I can assure you that none of those visitors skiing in the current decade gives a flying $hit what happened 20 or 30 years ago. This year was an aberration as was 2010-11, but if I wanted to travel to Utah looking for powder, would I deiberately avoid a two-week period that has repeatedly had nearly 0% chance of powder skiing based on the past 5 years? Hells yeah I would. Case closed.

Recall also that when I wrote that advice, I peppered it with about 8 disclaimers and never once suggested that it was a statistically reliable likelihood. *That* is the strawman that Tony created and has been arguing against all these years. Yes, snowfall amounts from 30 years ago are indeed irrelevant.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:38 am

admin wrote:two-week period that has repeatedly had nearly 0% chance of powder skiing based on the past 5 years?

Not the past 5 years, but the Januaries of 2011-2015.

January during those 5 years averaged 62% of normal snowfall at Alta Collins. Sounds pretty bad, but the 8 Januaries from 1993-1999 averaged 150%. It's called weather volatility and in both cases my bet over the long run is reversion to the mean. 2016 and 2017 with well above average snowfall have started that reversion IMHO.

The above exercise could be narrowed down to Jan. 5-25 using the Snowbird SNOTEL data but I don't have the time for that now. I'd be surprised if the results are any different.

It's also helpful in dealing with unusual weather patterns to have a credible meteorological explanation, which there is for the midwinter inversions for example. Those inversions are also quite common in the Alps as I observed last weekend.

January (or mid-January) being drier than other winter weeks/months in Utah or the western US in general is not a phenomenon for which I have ever read a meteorological explanation. Furthermore there would need to be a reason it applies now but did not in the 1990's.

MarcC wrote:Yes, snowfall amounts from 30 years ago are indeed irrelevant.

Perhaps in some marginal locations where the rain/snowline has risen over that time period, but for LCC I strongly suspect long term stats are indeed what's relevant.


I would be pleased to wager on the level of snowfall for future Januaries, or a subset such as Jan. 5-25. Just tell us how much less than that obsolete 30 year average you expect the future to be. Time to put up or shut up.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:43 am

Tony Crocker wrote:
admin wrote:two-week period that has repeatedly had nearly 0% chance of powder skiing based on the past 5 years?

Not the past 5 years, but the Januaries of 2011-2015.


Really? How many Januaries are there from 2011 to 2015?

Tony Crocker wrote:January during those 5 years averaged 62% of normal snowfall at Alta Collins. Sounds pretty bad, but the 8 Januaries from 1993-1999 averaged 150%.


Once again, no one booking a vacation in the current decade gives a flying $hit what happened 20 years ago. Recent history is all that matters.

Oh, well...the waning of Tony's obstinate refusal to accept reality lasted only a couple of days. Am I surprised? Knowing the man, the unfortunate answer is not at all.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:38 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:January during those 5 years averaged 62% of normal snowfall at Alta Collins. Sounds pretty bad, but the 8 Januaries from 1993-1999 averaged 150%. It's called weather volatility and in both cases my bet over the long run is reversion to the mean.

This brings us full circle back to your misunderstanding of the issue. Until you understand why averages don't work, because of how they smooth the data and eliminate the precise patterns of storm cycles in what we're talking about, any further discussion is pointless. Like we have said seemingly 100's of times, we're not the ones making the suggestion - we are saying what long term residents, in particular the local meteorologists, have been telling us ever since we moved here. Our direct experience happens to match what they're saying.

If you have an issue with this, take it up with Kevin Eubanks.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:33 pm

admin wrote:Really? How many Januaries are there from 2011 to 2015?

Five. But the past 5 years include 2016 and 2017 with abundant January snowfall. Admin chooses to ignore that obvious definition since it erodes his assertion.

admin wrote:Recent history is all that matters.

Really? The past 5 years of North American snowfall at 85%, 90%, 92%, 68% and 93% included lots of western record lows in 2015 and eastern record lows in 2016. This must prove that the global warming alarmists are right and the North American ski industry is going to hell in a handbasket. Oh wait, 2017 is running at 120+% so far. Sort of like mid-January snowfall the past two seasons.

Either 5 years is credible to prove a permanent weather trend or it isn't. Admin can tell us which side of this argument he is on. But I'd love to see the contortions he'll go through to say 5 years is credible for one assertion but not the other.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:56 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
admin wrote:Recent history is all that matters.

Really? The past 5 years of North American snowfall at 85%, 90%, 92%, 68% and 93% included lots of western record lows in 2015 and eastern record lows in 2016. This must prove that the global warming alarmists are right and the North American ski industry is going to hell in a handbasket. Oh wait, 2017 is running at 120+% so far. Sort of like mid-January snowfall the past two seasons.

Either 5 years is credible to prove a permanent weather trend or it isn't.

Wow. You really don't have any comprehension of statistics other than means and averages.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:03 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
admin wrote:Really? How many Januaries are there from 2011 to 2015?

Five. But the past 5 years include 2016 and 2017 with abundant January snowfall. Admin chooses to ignore that obvious definition since it erodes his assertion.


2016 had a massive flatline through...you guessed it...mid-January, as has already been demonstrated:

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Marc_C wrote:Wow. You really don't have any comprehension of statistics other than means and averages.


+1. That's because he's an actuarial, not a real statistician, and the only statistics that actuarials need to learn are means and averages.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:41 pm

The month with the flatline in 2016 was February, not January.

No response on how much lower they think some specified dates in January will be in the future than their 30 year average.

No response on what the difference is between the 5 years of overall low snowfall vs. the 5 low Januaries in terms of credibility for predicting the future.

It is truly amazing that questions are evaded and the Marc's can't do any better that trot out the "averages" :dead horse: .
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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
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:06 pm

Marc_C wrote:This brings us full circle back to your misunderstanding of the issue. Until you understand why averages don't work, because of how they smooth the data and eliminate the precise patterns of storm cycles in what we're talking about, any further discussion is pointless. Like we have said seemingly 100's of times, we're not the ones making the suggestion - we are saying what long term residents, in particular the local meteorologists, have been telling us ever since we moved here. Our direct experience happens to match what they're saying.

If you have an issue with this, take it up with Kevin Eubanks.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby EMSC » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:19 pm

Nice sized Avi closed Berthoud pass for much of the day today (not sure if it's open yet, but should be soon-ish). Road was closed and CDOT triggered during avi work. Up to ~20 feet deep on the road.

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/08/berthoud-pass-avalanche/
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:50 pm

It's disappointing interlude in CA while I'm home for 10 days.

It snowed 5-6 feet in the SoCal mountains Jan. 19-24. I was looking forward to my first full operation ski days at Baldy since 2010. But it rained last Friday, this Monday and Tuesday and is predicted more rain this Friday. This will make 11 rain days so far this season, which I believe is the most in one season since I've been skiing SoCal for 40 years. The window of great snow conditions with all natural terrain open may have been a short one from ~ Jan. 25 until the first rain event Feb. 3.

We also usually go to the SIA demo event which was scheduled for today and tomorrow at Mammoth. But Mammoth is getting another atmospheric river storm with high winds, rain/snow line near Main Lodge and about 10% of the mountain open. The demo is held at the Stump parking lot, which has had no lifts open since Monday, so it has been cancelled. I could see this coming with the weather forecasts so we stayed home.
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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: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby Admin » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:44 am

From today's Utah Avalanche Center daily report:

The Utah Avalanche Center wrote:CURRENT CONDITIONS
Maritime. The coastal ranges called, they want their weather back.
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Re: Western Weather 2016-17

Postby lono » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:16 am

Shoveled my roof in rain yesterday, only second time in 18 years.
Sore as hell today,but safe.
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