Friday, October 29, 2010

Skiing on the Big Oct 29 2010

Skiing on Big Mountain has been fun over the last couple of days. Not bad for October 29th. Quick report on conditions. Rain to snow transition at about 5200 ft this afternoon with rain and drizzle near the base of the area. 3 - 5 inches of new snow on the summit, no new at the base. There has been sustained snow near the summit with 25 - 30 inches of settled snow. Lower elevations are starting to show some deterioration in the snow with less than 6 inches of settled base and exposed rock near the parking lot at Hell Roaring. There is little settled base to speak of but the snow was thick and heavy with a side of mashed potatoes today. When you consider that it is the end of October, that really is not bad. It is amazing that less than 4 days ago we had little to no snow. It really is great to see some familiar faces up there. Looks like it is going to be a great season. Pray for snow......Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

another post

OCTOBER 25 - 29 - Bring in your used, well cared for nordic and telemark ski gear, technical clothing, climbing equipment (no alpine skis) for check in and pricing.


Store Hours - M - F 9:30am - 6pm
Sat 9:00am - 5:30pm
Sun Closed
okay, i finally got it figured out. here is the text that goes with the graph from a few posts ago. take the time to make the connections to the different posts, and also read snobots summary. plus read the new post about conditions on the hill in the past two days. a GRREAT start.

In the context of recent plunge of the MEI into strong La Niña conditions, this section features a comparison figure with strong La Niña events that all reached at least minus one standard deviations by June-July, and a peak of at least -1.4 sigma over the course of an event. The most recent bigger La Niña events of 1998-2001 and 2007-09 did not qualify, since they either did not reach the required peak anomaly (the first one) or became strong too late in the calendar year (both).

The most recent (August-September) MEI value shows a continued drop from earlier this year, reaching -1.99, or 0.18 sigma below last month's value, and 3.39 standard deviations below February-March, a record-fast six-month drop for any time of year, while slowing down a bit at the shorter time scales. The most recent MEI rank (lowest) is clearly below the 10%-tile threshold for strong La Niña MEI rankings for this season. One has to go back to July-August 1955 to find lower MEI values for any time of year.

Negative SST anomalies are covering much of the eastern (sub-)tropical Pacific in the latest weekly SST map. Many of these anomalies are in excess of -1C. For an alternate interpretation of the current situation, I highly recommend reading the latest NOAA ENSO Advisory which represents the official and most recent Climate Prediction Center opinion on this subject. In its latest update (7 October 2010), La Niña conditions are expected to last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2011.

There are several other ENSO indices that are kept up-to-date on the web. Several of these are tracked at the NCEP website that is usually updated around the same time as the MEI, in time for this go-around. Niño regions 3 and 3.4 showed persistent anomalies above +0.5C from June 2009 through April 2010, with a peak of +1.6C for Niño 3 and +1.8C for Niño 3.4 in December 2009, only to drop to about -0.5C or lower in both regions by early June 2010, reaching just shy of -1.0C for the month of July, and below -1.5C for September Niño 3.4 anomalies and below -1.2C for Niño 3. For extended Tahiti-Darwin SOI data back to 1876, and timely monthly updates, check the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website. This index has often been out of sync with other ENSO indices in the last few years, including a jump to +10 (+1 sigma) in April 2010 that was ahead of any other ENSO index in announcing La Niña conditions. After a drop to +2 in June, July rebounded to +20.5, August continued at an impressive +18.8, only to be followed by an even more impressive +25.0. The last time that this index showed higher values in September was back in 1917, which was also the only time on record that this happened for this month. An even longer Tahiti-Darwin SOI (back to 1866) is maintained at the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia website, however with less frequent updates (currently through March 2010). Extended SST-based ENSO data can be found at the University of Washington-JISAO website, currently updated through May 2010 (which ended up just slightly below the long-term mean value).

Stay tuned for the next update (by November 5th) to see where the MEI will be heading next. After peaking seven months ago at +1.5, it has dropped just about as fast as it can, and continues to correlate highest with 1970, of the 'analog' cases shown here. Given the continued drop in the MEI into exceptionally strong territory, La Niña conditions are guaranteed well into 2011.

issued by
7 October 2010
ENSO Alert System Status: La Niña Advisory
Synopsis: La Niña is expected to last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011.
La Niña continued during September 2010 as reflected by the large expanse of below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1). All weekly Niño SST index values were between –1.3°C and –1.8°C at the end of the month (Fig. 2). In addition, the subsurface heat content (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean, Fig. 3) remained below-average, reflecting a shallower-than-average thermocline in the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. 4). Convection remained enhanced over Indonesia and suppressed over the western and central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 5). This pattern was linked to a continuation of enhanced low-level easterly trade winds and anomalous upper-level westerly winds over the western and central equatorial Pacific. Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect the ongoing La Niña.
Consistent with nearly all of the forecast models (Fig. 6), La Niña is expected to last at least into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2011. Just over half of the models, as well as the dynamical and statistical averages, predict La Niña to become a strong episode (defined by a 3-month average Niño-3.4 index of –1.5°C or colder) by the November-January season before beginning to weaken. Even though the rate of anomalous cooling temporarily abated during September, this model outcome is favored due to the historical tendency for La Niña to strengthen as winter approaches.
Likely La Niña impacts during October-December 2010 include suppressed convection over the central tropical Pacific Ocean, and enhanced convection over Indonesia. The transition into the Northern Hemisphere fall means that La Niña will begin to exert an increasing influence on the weather and climate of the United States. Expected U.S. impacts include an enhanced chance of above-average precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, and below-average precipitation across the southern tier of the country. Also, La Niña can contribute to increased Atlantic hurricane activity by decreasing the vertical wind shear over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Ocean (see the August 5th update of the NOAA Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Outlook). Conversely, La Niña is associated with suppressed hurricane activity across the central and eastern tropical North Pacific.
This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts for the evolution of El Niño/La Niña are updated monthly in the Forecast Forum section of CPC's Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 4 November 2010. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message to:
Climate Prediction Center National Centers for Environmental Prediction NOAA/National Weather Service Camp Springs, MD 20746-4304
Figure 1. Average sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (°C) for the week centered on 29 September 2010. Anomalies are computed with respect


read this!!

On another note there has been 25 -30 inches of fresh snow on the summit and 14 at the base. Conditions are heavy wet snow in the lower elevations and lighter unconsolidated snow up top. Base is starting to form with the settling of the wet snow and the freezing temps at night. The warm ground may result in the formation of depth hoar in the coming weeks but is a good start to the season. There were a good number of folks skiing today and it was ski able from top to bottom. Good time had by all. Keep in touch. Skiing should still be good tomorrow as it was still snowing when I left this afternoon and temps were cool. Bring rock boards...... ~

okay, it is not even halloween, and the hordes and diehards have made their way up the hill, to some very nice turns and scratches, so i have been told. but it is a start, and if we can keep the temps cool, especially at night (refreezing), and add some white precip, we should be off to a great start.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

more La Nina

The graph Chris is referring to can be found at the link above, along with a technical discussion. Both compare a current ENSO index - a combination of sea surface temperatures and other measures of equatorial Pacific conditions - with the six strongest La Nina years since 1949. The years they highlight are almost all big snow and avalanche years in the Glacier National Park Region. Some, like the mid-50s and 1972, were huge. The current index is lower than all but one point in those years, and it's fallen faster in the past six months than any other six month period.

That doesn't guarantee the Glacier region will have an epic snow year. ENSO is a about probabilities. In El Nino years, there are more dry weather cards in the deck. In La Nina years, there are more wet and cold cards in the deck. The Glacier Region could still draw a dry card or a warm card. It's just not as likely. The discussion and the graph suggest that there may even be more than four big-snow-year aces in the deck we're drawing from this winter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


AlRIGHT! thanks snowbot for making some time to get this info onto the blog, in a very readable style. please all, take a look at the last two posts by "snowbot" for a bit on La Nina, 2010. this is NOT a guarantee, but it certainly bodes well. i will try to get the links to the more detailed and complex and very difficult to understand discussion from which this was drawn.

and with a great winter outlook, what better reason to really get out and enjoy this fantastic autumn weather we are having right now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

la nina 2010

i am attempting to paste or attach a couple of files on the current and predicted continued "La Nina" event for this fall and winter. i am at a loss as to how to get it on here, so i am going to try to find someone more tech savvy than i am. just so you know though, it is looking like as strong a la nina as we have seen in over 50 years, if i am reading the charts correctly. not a guarantee, for sure, but a positive outlook for those of us that love the winter outdoor sports.

and it must be getting nearer to winter, as 55 degrees is now considered a warm day, and the nordic ski patrol has begun their many fall refresher courses.

in the meantime, i am going to enjoy the indian summer for as long as it lasts, then start tuning up the boards and wait for the fluff.

if anyone out there wants to give me a hand with some tech stuff, let me know. i can only spend so much time before i give up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

blue skies

looking out the window at a nearly perfect autumn day. it is sunny and getting warmer. and finally, we had our first real frost this morning. i got some garden stuff done yesterday, just in the knick of time. of course, i had pretty much written off a few things once we left on our trip to the east coast, from the last entry, but since things were still going well thru this past weekend, i was happy to pull a few more squash, tomatillas, onion tops, etc. now all that is left is potatoes, carrots, and onions. it turned out to be a pretty good summer in the garden. except for the clean-up and put away that is left.

with fall hunting season about to begin, snow cannot be too far behind. only a couple of weeks left to ride the bike without concern. of course, i still ride once the hunt is on, but i am sure to wear bright colors, maybe put some flourescent flagging on my helmet and take care.

today would likely be a good day to hit the river for some fall fishing, but instead, i think i will try and get some deck staining done, as there are only a few days left when the stain might dry. although tomorrow might be a good day for warm weather as well, i do have some work duties that are calling me away. too bad.

Monday, October 4, 2010

fall trip

well, i took our poor weather back east with me, on our trip to RI to visit family and friends. and left behind what sounds like some perfect fall weather. so you are welcome for that.

unfortunately, i seem to have brought the weather back! sorry for that.

but it looks better later in the week.

it was a great trip regardless. got some time at the beach, got a tour of boston harbor in a small aluminum dingy, got to providence in a heavy fog, got to swim in the ocean (i have twice been in the water since i have been back, and the water here is WAY more frigid). it is so easy to swim in a lake compared to the ocean or even a bay. but that is part of the fun.

so now we are fully into autumn. time to finish fall projects, put away gardens (don't forget to plant your garlic before the end of the month) get in a few more bike rides and other adventures. of course, there is still time to climb, as the cooler weather is ;much more conducive to this activity. and then, just around the corner, it is time to start looking at the quiver and decide what ski equipment might be needed. are we headed for a big winter? too early to tell, but after a pretty slow one in 2010, i am certainly hoping so.

oh, hockey has started, as the rink opened a solid three weeks earlier than last year. i haven't been yet, but heard it has been crowded, as is typical to start the year. and there is word out there that there will be more curling time, and better times, available this year. need something new to do? this might be worth a try.