Snow measurements at Timberline
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5 users
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jonjon
December 16, 2004
Member since 04/2/2004
70 posts
Timberline is currently reporting 38" of snowfall for the season. This is an astonishing number considering that Whitegrass is reporting 24" and I have measured a total here in Davis of around 23", and Snowshoe is reporting 20". Could it be that Timberline is now measuring from the Summit instead of the base?? If so, we could see some real big numbers from them this winter!

P.S. Morning low in Davis this moring of -10 degrees. Brrrrrr.
andy
December 16, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
Jonjon,if you get 3 inches at the base its a good bet there will be 5 at the summit.I believe its a combination of elevation & the fact that colder air at the top just increases or fluffs up the snow.So the 38" figure is prob right for the summit.Snowshoe measures from the top as do all the other big big resorts in the country.You know killington isn't getting 250"'s from 1500'!If all the snow that fell on the top of Timberline fell at 15 degrees or lower you would see close to 300" totals for the year.Snowshoe seems to be the loser on all these lake effect type snows...They might make up some ground on the bigger storms.Years ago it was the norm to think that the shoe got more snow than the valley but i think that was because they measured from the top.If T-lines total for the top is correct then the 4000'+ tops around the valley are whipping butt!!
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 16, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004
3,062 posts
Not true that most big resorts measure from the top. Alta, Snowbird, etc. measure from a mid-mountain stake. This provides a much better picture of the truth.
The colonel
JR
December 16, 2004
Member since 01/1/2003
276 posts
I have no doubt they have alot of snow but until they decide to actually start giving us some more up to date information on their website I'll take their 38" claim with a grain of salt. Besides, this morning they reported 28" total and this afternoon they say 38". Did I miss a 10" storm today? If I remember right last year they reported snowfall about every 3rd or 4th storm and then just said something like "Total Season Snow = 200+" since they hadn't a clue. I'll prefer to check out whitegrass's site for more reliable info.
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 17, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Andy:

Measuring snowfall is a tricky and notoriously innacurate business. Unless a resort follows the NOAA approved methodology, take their claims with a grain of salt. In this region, Snowshoe is one of the only resorts that follows the NOAA methodology. Hence, their claims are generally the most reliable.

NOAA methodology for measuring snow:

http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu/wrds/wsc/reference/snowmeas.html

From my understanding of the situation, no resort in the Canaan Valley follows this NOAA methedology. Most go with a simple snow stake--a poor reader of snowfall.

PS I e-mailed the T-line webmaster about the problem and requested that T-line begin measuring snow using the NOAA methodology. There's no way in heck that T-line can claim 38 inches of natural snow and CV, 14. That makes NO SENSE.
andy
December 18, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
Timberline is still posting the thur snow report this sat morn at 945am.That 38"'s of snow is bogus now that i have got over my wishfull thinking! Maybe they are waiting for the snow to actually catch up to thier report before they change it!Most every other ski area is right on time EVERYDAY with an update..but not TL,thats one thing they are consistent with.Hey who needs a snow report..we got webcams!!Johnf,you would think the stake method would actually lesson the snow count due to settling.There is a hydro(daily obs)report posted on NOAA's site for all of WV including the valley..you would think the measurments are taken using thier methods.
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