Friday, November 23, 2007

Snowmaking begins!!!

At 2:43 this morning I was woken by a beeping sound coming from my weather station. I had set the alarm to go off when the temperature hit 33.9 degrees and 47% humidity. For those of you who don't this, that equals a wet bulb of 27 degrees and therefore snowmaking is possible! Since then we have slowly been falling to a wet bulb of 25.8 degrees at 8:38 this morning. Humidity continued to drop through the day as well as the temperatures, in fact our high temperature for the day was set at mid-night with 34 degrees! And currently at 4:36 p.m the temperature is 31 and humidity is 19% to give a wet bulb of 23 which is EXCELLENT snowmaking weather!!! I expect the guns are already on at Creek or will be on within a few hours...

As for some natural snow HOLD TIGHT!!! The last few days of this month and early December are looking really GOOD for snowmaking and coastal developement.... :0

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Long range outlook Nov. 20th

After taking a short break from writing blogs I am back in action. The future for cold and snow looks upsetting to snowboarders and skiers but that's only according to the models. I am going to bring you through the models and we look from potential snow events and snow making opportunities.

A resort like Mountain Creek for example can't open with natural snow. They need to make their snow to build up their snow pack. It can be up to 50 degrees F and still allow for natural snowfall but in order to actually make snow they need to use the "wet bulb" temp chart. This chart takes the current humidity in the air and the temperature, all they need is a wet bulb temperature of 27. With 0% humidity snow can be made at 40 degrees! But we live in Jersey and humidity is much higher than that. With 100% humidity it needs to be 27 degrees outside before snow can be made, check out this chart to see what I'm talking about. Wet Bulb Chart

Now all we need is a few good days of low humidity and cold temperatures. Unfortunately I do not see that in our future. Up coming this Friday we should have a high temperature of around 34 degrees and snow making could be round the clock for around 36 hours but it's not enough to open up a resort. Here is the 18UTC NAM model for Saturday morning. I know it is hard to see but it is showing temperatures holding in the upper teens which are ideal for snowmaking. I think this is the first of snowmaking for Creek.

(The blue lines are the rain/snow line and each blue line shows different thickness values of the atmosphere which means how cold it is.)

As for snowmaking after this time period the models are not showing that to be a possibility, but I am going to risk my reputation and say that early December may be good for snow making. I am taking these computer models and throwing them in the garbage. There is just one thing that is bothering me, the NAO. The NAO is like a type of weather pattern and there are two phases, the negative and the positive. The positive phase means dry and warm weather for northeast U.S. and for Europe, while the negative phase is snowy and cold for both places. Just to show you how much this effects our weather the NAO was almost completely positive last winter and that is why it was less than ideal for riding. NAO also means that the east coast of the U.S MUST be watched for coastal storms or storms getting stronger as they hit the coast. Creek just got 6 more inches of snow Monday morning and guess what? We were in a slightly negative NAO phase. Keep your eye on this chart, when that red line goes negative expect cold and snow.

The thing is this winter according to some of the long range forecasters is NOT looking to very good snow and cold wise. They think that this December could be one of the warmest on record and that scares me. I am an optimistic person and I will doubt that until the time comes, I just don't see how things are going to be so warm at the solar cycle minimum right now and a neutral to slightly negative NAO forecast this winter. I am no professional yet (not until I finish college) but I think these others ideas of our weather are wrong, this is my gut instict and not set in stone just yet. Time will tell....


As for snow!!! I don't see anything major yet except for some lake effect possible on Friday but keep checking back for updates.