Dry Summer/Fall what effect will it have?
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kwillg6
October 11, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
As streams dry up and resevoirs empty, I wonder what the pending ski season will bring us. In the past, water for snowmaking has been an issue with a lot of ski areas. With the crisis or near crisis situation with water supplies in the mid atlantic one has to wonder how or if this will affect local ski areas. Last weekend, I paid close attention to the streams in the CV area. Even the Blackwater River looked low. In the Red Creek area it appeared as though the fish were losing their homes as well. Virginia ski areas will be in even worse shape with the severe dry weather and high temps of the past several weeks. I'm getting worried....
dcmidnight
October 11, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
I thought of the same thing as I was walking my dog through Scotts Run Park this weekend. Streams that are normally very active this time of year are barely moving. I'm anxious to see how this will affect their early season snow making efforts.

Recently the Park Service (?) released a bunch of water from a dam somewhere upriver of MD/VA and the idea was to measure the flow and determine how much the drought has affected the area. I've read no follow up on this however.
yellowsnow
October 11, 2007
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
268 posts
I don't disagree with the observations, yet it's interesting to note that Dave Lesher, on the summit of Canaan Mountain between Davis and Canaan Village, WV, reports the year-to-date total precipitation as 8.3" above 'normal'.
kwillg6
October 11, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
That is misleading when looking at the recent "dry" event. Timing is everything. I believe if you look at when the abundant rainfall occurred, it was February through early July. There were a few times when there were heavy thunderstorms producing inches at a time with heavy run off. Several weeks ago, the valley had a t-storm with over 5" of rain with it. Where did the water go? Maybe November will be better to us than September. It is a concern.
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
October 11, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
On Columbus Day Monday the Rappahannock River as seen from I95 just north of Fredericksburg, VA was a rock strewn mess and as low as I've ever seen it in the last 25 years driving that way frequently.
comprex
October 11, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
The further concern is the effect on vegetation, and

- its ability to separate soil and snow so we don't get a muddy, rocky, mess with the first inches blown from snowguns.

-its ability to hold water and soil in place come early March.
crunchy
October 11, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
well the dry summer fall is having an effect on my fishin! especially trout. A few weeks ago i went to the beaver damn reservoir in Loudoun and it was almost completely dried up, very surreal looking because it a pretty big body of water. even the spring thats right before the rt32 bridge in Davis, WV was running running real slow last weekend, took over a minute to fill up a gallon compared to 10 seconds or so just a month ago. the only positive from all this is that ive only had to cut the grass about 3 times the entire summer.
skiTLINE
October 11, 2007
Member since 12/15/2004 🔗
230 posts
I wonder if we got a few minor snow falls between now and the season opening if this would help alleviate some of the water issues for snowmaking??????

Just a thought that if we had a few dustings here and there and then maybe a nice few inches 1 to 2 times in Nov if this would help

The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 11, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
If there is a storm with a lot of run off it should all go into the streams, rivers and lakes...unless they are spring fed.
The Colonel \:\)
SkiBumMSP
October 13, 2007
Member since 12/8/2004 🔗
224 posts
Unfortunately, this does not bode well:

Warm Winter predicted

I also thought I read elsewhere that it is also expected to be pretty dry as well.

A warm, dry winter can play hell on ski areas in this area. Basically, if too warm, can't make snow, and if a good cold snap occurs, the dry conditions would mean no or not enough water to make enough snow to really get good coverage. I remember such a winter occurring a few years ago (2001/2002?)
fishnski
October 13, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
In a little mini study of mine i have found that during the last 10 years Barrow,AK has only had 2 years where at least the 1st half of Oct was way below ave. Those 2 years produced the worst snow years in canaan.......Well even though its snowing everyday up there, the temps are running a little above norm....could be a good sign?!!...If we don't like el nino shouldn't we like el nina which is the pattern we are in?......early predict for at least an ave snow year for Canaan....stay tuned!
langleyskier
October 14, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
 Originally Posted By: fishnski
If we don't like el nino shouldn't we like el nina which is the pattern we are in?


Just fyi its La Nina and unfortunately a La Nina pattern does not bode well for a great winter. On the east coast it normally causes a warm winter with average precipitation.











However.... if we all cross our fingers and do a snow dance i think we can make this La Nina go away
comprex
October 14, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts

Thank you for not saying the 'r' word.

 Quote:
However.... if we all cross our fingers and do a snow dance i think we can make this La Nina go away


Funny you should put it that way.

La Nina/El Nino only describes the southern Pacific oscillation. There is another factor in play that could still get us some fair action through retail snow, namely the North Atlantic Oscillation.


Correlate the above chart to snows you remember.



(Sorry, no cool Hispanic name, maybe we can make up a Norse one). Which is why I'm watching Iceland temps and pressures.
langleyskier
October 14, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
for reference here is the current NAO situation and outlook. Just hope that it can dip negative come mid november.

fishnski
October 14, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
La nina...Yeh,I've heard it enough to know better & thanks for pointing it out..just a typo. From what I can see from your chart..it doesn't look that bad for the WV Alpps & PA SW Highlands.If you stick with central PA,it will be a little warmer but the precip actually is above ave.The elevation there might conpensate for the warmer temps. The chart doesn't cover the WV Alpps & the trend towards that direction could bode well for SS-Canaan.They seem to buck all the trends anyway..long live the Alpps!...
Comprex...The WV/PA highlands have seen an above ave Snow count for 5 years now...Hasn't there been umpteen phases during that time?..has there been an icelandic condition that has been the dominating weather factor for the last 5 years? I'll take whatever has been working lately!
langleyskier
October 14, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Ya i would not worry too much for the west va alpps. As we saw last year, even a horrendous start to the winter ended up with above average snowfall and it is almost always cold up there. I am more worried about the local, lower elevation areas. Snowfall for a resort like whitetail is not a big factor in the success of a season. For the local areas it is all about cold temps that are conducive to snowmaking. That said i really do not put too much trust in any long term forecasts for all we know the winter of 2007/2008 will be historically cold and snowy.
dcmidnight
October 15, 2007
Member since 11/11/2006 🔗
125 posts
Long term estimates are more like guesstimates. Remember when they said that because of global warming this would be one of the worst hurricane seasons ever for the United States - something like 5 intense storms would hit us? How's that estimate working out for us?

Agree that last year started out as a disaster and didn't end up too bad. Dont rely on long term models for much.
kwillg6
October 15, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
Still, we have another blocking high pressure over the mid-atlantic this week. This has been the pattern for the past couple of months. If this trend continues fo another month, most areas will not have the water to use for snowmaking. No snowmaking, no skiing. It could be really bad.
tromano
October 15, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Not a meteorologist, but my understating of their models was that the long term models are actually more accurate than the short term ones. That is its easier for a meteorologist to predict seasonal trends for a region generally than it is to predict the particulars for one specific storm event.
comprex
October 15, 2007
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
The best way I've heard ^that^ put is

"Even chaos has to operate within physical limits".

That's sig line material, there.
Roger Z
October 15, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Does anyone know how the water supply is specifically at the ski resorts? Otto and a couple other people work at the local hills, no?
Jeremy
October 16, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
68 posts
I'm able to look beyond the current temperatures ahead to winter, but with the drought and all the winter outlooks seeming to say warm and dry for the east...it's tought to think about plunking down money for a January weekend rental.
crunchy
October 16, 2007
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
i think we are over-reacting here. \:\) I don't know which farmers almanac is the more accurate, (ie: Farmers Alamanac, or The Old Farmers Alamanac) but I think I saw that they each have differing predictions for this winter?

the old farmers alamanac 2008 predictions for the appalachians:

"Winter will be one to two degrees above normal, on average, with especially mild temperatures in November and March. Precipitation will be near normal, but the cold periods in midwinter will allow for above-normal snowfall in much of the region. The coldest periods will occur in mid- and late December, mid- to late January, and early and mid-February. Heavy snowfalls will occur in mid-December, mid- to late January, and mid- and late February."

\:\)
David
October 16, 2007
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: crunchy
i think we are over-reacting here. \:\) I don't know which farmers almanac is the more accurate, (ie: Farmers Alamanac, or The Old Farmers Alamanac) but I think I saw that they each have differing predictions for this winter?

the old farmers alamanac 2008 predictions for the appalachians:

"Winter will be one to two degrees above normal, on average, with especially mild temperatures in November and March. Precipitation will be near normal, but the cold periods in midwinter will allow for above-normal snowfall in much of the region. The coldest periods will occur in mid- and late December, mid- to late January, and early and mid-February. Heavy snowfalls will occur in mid-December, mid- to late January, and mid- and late February."

\:\)



I like the way you think!
Jeremy
October 16, 2007
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
68 posts
yea, at the very least it's a pick me up \:\)
Roger Z
October 16, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Most likely they're produced by the same company who is hedging their bets on the winter forecast! \:\)
bawalker
October 16, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Just to put a perspective on this 'drought' situation, at the new house I'm building, the well drillers were here yesterday and today drilling the well for my house. Guess what? I am getting OVER 300 gallons per minute in water flow at less than 160' deep. I spoke with the lead engineer who was doing the drilling and he said alot of governments are way over reacting to the drought in place with water restrictions.

Appearantly there are several layers to the ground below us where the upper most layer does have constant water flow, but is more susceptible to dry periods where that water retreats back to the deeper levels of the earth's surface. Down there he said, he has yet to see any sort of affects at all that show those water tables are or will be affected by the periods of no rain we've had.
fishnski
October 17, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Good deal on your well Baywalker! Sigh of relief huh? Mine went down 300 feet to get 200 Gal per min. Had a problem with some sort of sulfer bacteria..Smelled like Hell when the hot water ran...Got er fixed & besides a little sand,mud & grit for awhile, its Sweet now!
bawalker
October 17, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Ours actually has a bit of sulfur in it. What did you use to clear that up? Filter inside the house or some sort of filter at the pump/well?
fishnski
October 17, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
After a whole lot of research we ended up having to shock the whole system & then put a filter in the house + we had to change the rod in our hot water heater which was reacting with the elements in the water.....took a while to figure that out! You will have to order a kit to test your water.That will tell you how to proceed....good luck & I'd be happy to give you more details if need be.
Roger Z
October 17, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Say if anyone wants any water and knows a good way to transport it, we've got plenty of it out here in Kansas. We probably got a year's supply in May alone and another 7 or 8 inches over the last five days. My basement is "creeking" again- this nice little dribble of water comes out of the south wall and heads for the sump pump. We have very expansive soil out here and dry basements are one of those legends homeowners pass around to each other ("I heard a guy up in Platte has a basement that doesn't leak!" "Nope! That was debunked on Snopes last week").

My buddy from Nebraska says there's usually a five year cycle out here: one wet year, one normal year, and three dry years. Guess I moved out just in time for the wet year. How wet has it been this year? Y'all mentioned lakes going dry. This spring, the Truman Dam about two hours from here was one heavy rainstorm away from overtopping.

So... how about a transcontinetal pipeline to help balance water supply out? Anyone?
David
October 17, 2007
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: Roger Z

So... how about a transcontinetal pipeline to help balance water supply out? Anyone?



Sign me up...I'll take 2!! Most good trout streams here in WV are pretty much non-existant right now. We need some help badly...
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