First snow in WV???
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RyanC
September 22, 2004
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
When does the very first snow (meaning flurries, snow showers, ANYTHING) usually occur in the Canaan Valley/Snowshoe area? We had temps in the 30s a few weeks back when I was up there, but I've never been to the area before (until this year) in the fall months. Guesses anyone? Wonder if there's ever been show in Sep. in the Dolly Sods area, or the MPC area perhaps...
andy
September 22, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004 🔗
175 posts
Could happen any day now.Talking to some friends that lived in davis they claimed that they would go trick or treatin more often than not in the snow.Seems that the end of sept you will here of a report of a dusting to a few inches of snow say above 3800'.The 1st frost in canaan came this year on the 19th (sept)
tgd
September 22, 2004
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
The last couple years in Canaan Valley, we've had some pretty decent snow showers by mid-October. I recall driving up in a snow and ice storm about a week before Halloween 2 years ago. I don't believe we saw the ground again that year until March. Last year we had a couple snow showers in mid-October, then not much of anything until early December. September is a little early for snow in the Vally; however, not at all unheard of. I read somewhere that it has snowed every month of the year in the Dolly Sods with the exception of August.
bawalker
September 22, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
While I'm not sure when CV or TLine gets their first flurries, I can vouche for hardy county receiving the first few flurries here sometimes in late October. While nothing obviously lays, I have been out in the fall playing football with the guys for it to get those huge grey puffy snow clouds and get a nice little snow shower around Halloween. Although I do keep notice of this because my birthday is Nov 15 and there is ALWAYS some sort of flurries or snow activity happening days before or after that here. Againwhile nothing sticks, it's like the ole mothernature snowmaking machine is warming up.

I will be documenting weather here in Hardy Co. for those of you on here interested with plenty of photos.
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Roger Z
September 22, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Ryan C- keep an eye on Whitegrass (www.whitegrass.com). They always have photos of the first snowfall every year. The last few years they've had 1-2 inches on the ground by late October, though it melts awfully quick that time of year.
RyanC
September 22, 2004
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
Interesting about dolly sods. i've heard a few people say that it snows every month except for August, also. I wanted to go hiking there in june or july to see for myself (taking pictures of snow in July would be really neat) but every time I went up to CV this summer was nothing but work, work, work, since my condo was close to 'handyman special' material when I bought it. At least I'll finally be done soon, in time to enjoy the place this winter....

bawalker, Your birthday falls on the same day as mine
tgd
September 22, 2004
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, it has snowed every month of the year. I remember climbing Mount Adams (in the snow) a few Octobers ago and met some folks who were returning to climb after being driven off the mountain by a snowstorm in June! Check this link out for the "Normals, Means, and Extremes" on Mount Washington:
http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/normals.html
Murphy
September 22, 2004
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Even some of the mountains in NC claim to have had snow every month out of the year. In fact some have never seen 80 degrees.
jb714
September 22, 2004
Member since 03/4/2003 🔗
294 posts
There is a section of the Whitegrass site (or perhaps site that I found through Whitegrass) call weird weather facts, or something similar. In any case I think that I read there that Canaan Valley has had some snow in every month except July and August.
andy
September 22, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004 🔗
175 posts
Afew years back at the 24 hours of canaan bike race on june 6th they reported snow falling at nite!(prob mixing with rain i'm sure)
ski_guy_59
September 22, 2004
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
I wish it'd snow in Gainesville, FL. Too bad I don't have my skis with me up here!
SCWVA
September 23, 2004
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
I saw snow during one of my night laps as I climbed up the fire road and again on Salamander. Never saw any rain. It was just plain cold down in the valley.
jonjon
September 23, 2004
Member since 04/2/2004 🔗
70 posts
July and August are the only two months that there has not been an official documentation of snow in the Canaan Valley area. However, there is a journal from a civil war soldier who referenced snow in August in Elkins, which, if true, would certainly mean it snowed up in Canaan Valley. So July is the only month I am aware of in which there is no evidence of it having snowed there.
October averages one inch of snowfall in Canaan, and it jumps up to over 13 inches in November. I suggest that anyone interested in interesting weather facts about the Canaan Valley/Davis/Thomas area should stop by the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge on Route 32 the next time they are up there and pick up a copy of The Climate of Canaan Valley by Dave Lesher. Its only 10 bucks, and its full of statistics and very old weather reports from the area. He is the NWS observer at Canaan Heights, elevation 3698. He includes observations from current weather observers, as well as some defunct ones such as in Thomas, Davis and Cortland. I do weather observations in Davis, elevation 3104, and he will be including my observations which began last November, in his next edition which I imagine will be coming out next spring.
On the same note, I am trying to get my weather observations online to help provide people with more up to date conditions up here. I use the Davis Vantage Pro weather station and I bought the software to have it upload to our website. However it is not working, and I am not savvy enough with computers to get it to work. Hopefully before ski season we will be able to get it up and running. I will be updating snowfall totals on the half hour, and Dave Lesher also has a site you can access through the Whitegrass website, where he posts updated conditions at Canaan Heights when it snows. Its always interesting to see how much more it snows up on Canaan Heights, even with only a 600 foot elevation difference. Anyone with suggestions on how to solve this upload problem let me know -- we would love to share our weather with others.
jimmy
September 23, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
HEY Bawalker, jonjon may be your first potential client in Davis.

We're cleaning up from the Ohio River flood right now. Bad enuf when the river floods but we had severe flash floods on both sides of the river. Our business is on the corner of 14th & WATER street. Now i know why they named it water. All I know for sure at the moment is that a bunch of fetal snow went to waste.

Jimmy
Mountain Masher
September 27, 2004
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
Unfortunately, milder weather is the overall LONG TERM trend in WVA due to global warming. Although we're coming off 2 rather cold and snowy Winters, the first measurable snowfalls in Canaan Valley tend to come later than ever before and the Spring snow-pack is now melting sooner than ever before. Of course, there can be tremendous variations in the weather from year to year even though the trend is one of warming.
Roger Z
September 27, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Do you have some cites for that data on first snow and snowpack in WV?
andy
September 27, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004 🔗
175 posts
Ck out dave leshers freaky weather facts for canaan vly thru the whitegrass site.Years ago the brochures for the canaan area would tell the story of how the early pilots would report snow still lingering well into april.There is a great shot of the flatrock run side of the MPC & roaring plains taken by jonathan jessup(.com)on may the 19th only a few years ago that show snow...sorry got to go..skins-cowboys just came on!!
Murphy
September 28, 2004
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Try this:

http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/climate/sercc/climateinfo/historical/historical_wv.html

Disclaimer: if some of the annual snowfall totals seem low, it may be due to the way they calculate them. They leave out any month where 5 or more days are missing. For example, it shows 116" in Canaan in '93-'94 but that doesn't include November or December.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 28, 2004
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,213 posts
Just checked the records and I got first tracks last year on Nov. 14. Story with pics here;
http://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0311c&L=skivt-l&D=1&O=A&P=7005
They actually had a little more snow than this in mid Oct. but I was out of town on business.
The first tracks of 2002 were considerably better, and probably more typical,
http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=4693&forum=1&0
In 2001 first tracks were in Oct.
http://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0110e&L=skivt-l&D=1&O=A&P=167
Roger Z
September 28, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Thanks Murphy. Here's some interesting links though that show how difficult it can be to assess climate change in a limited geographic region:

Canaan Valley, 1971-2000 monthly temps: http://cirrus.dnr.state.sc.us/cgi-bin/sercc/cliNORM2000tM.pl?wv1393

Canaan Valley, 1948-1996: http://cirrus.dnr.state.sc.us/cgi-bin/sercc/cliRECtM.pl?wv1393

So we can see that the temps in the last 30 years have averaged about .3 degrees F warmer than the total database. Could be an indication of a warming trend, and if it is an indication, the temperature change is certainly greater than .3 F (on an averaging basis, it would have to be).

Now let's look at Marlinton:

Marlinton, WV 1971-2000: http://cirrus.dnr.state.sc.us/cgi-bin/sercc/cliNORM2000tM.pl?wv5672

Marlinton, WV 1926-March 2004: http://cirrus.dnr.state.sc.us/cgi-bin/sercc/cliRECtM.pl?wv5672

Now we see a cool down of .3 F during the day and .1 F during the night. Granted that Marlinton's data goes further back, but could this be indicative that it was even warmer in the 1920s than it is today?

So... there's two locations. What's the trend in WV? Cooler, or warmer?
jonjon
September 28, 2004
Member since 04/2/2004 🔗
70 posts
My vote is that the trend is cooler and snowier based on the graphs and commentary in Dave Lesher's book on the Climate of Canaan Valley, which I referenced earlier in this thread. In essence, it shows that there was a gradual decline in temperature from the 1940s until about 1970, then a gradual increase in mean annual temperature until about 1991, and then a decrease in mean annual temperature since then. Furthermore, he includes a graph showing that over the last 13 years, there has been a slow rise in mean seasonal snowfall, and it should be noted that 4 of Canaan Valley's snowiest seasons over the last 60 years have occurred in the last decade. If there is global warming, it is either not affecting Canaan Valley, or is creating a pattern which is more condusive for colder, snowier winters. I'm an optimist, I believe that the trend is our friend!!
Mountain Masher
September 30, 2004
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
All that I can say is....that it sure seems like there is less snow in Canaan Valley these days than there was when I was young or when the DC Ski Club first started skiing there in the late 50's with a single rope tow (without snowmaking). If the trend is one of colder weather and more snow, then that's fantastic! We can only hope that this wonderful trend continues!
Roger Z
September 30, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Mountain Masher when you were young you were three feet shorter... of course the snow looked deeper! Just kidding.

Did any of you look around at some of the other weather stations in that Southeast database? Man, that site ROCKS! Mountain Lake was on there (Andy-- 35 in Jan and 52 inches of snow per year on avg, no there aren't any spruce trees there and I'm a little surprised by that), but did anyone see the weather at Pickens? That town averages 159 inches of snow per year and almost 15 inches a year more precipitation than Canaan Valley (15 inches total precip). That's nuts! They must get some incredibly deep snow by midwinter... a real natural snow mecca.
Murphy
September 30, 2004
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
There are a few red spruce around Mountain Lake. The UVA biological station does surveys and they reported finding a few acres of them.

That snow fall in Pickens is surprising, particularly since it's at 2,700 feet.
andy
September 30, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004 🔗
175 posts
There was a show on a local dc news station years ago that took a day trip to helvetia,WV which is right next to pickens.One of the residents commented that they lived in the snowiest place in the state.Kumbrabow SF has the record 24 hour snowfall for the state.(same area, higher elevation)I have been trying to figure out where this moisture flow ends up as it crosses the allegheny front.There is a 4400+ mtn in that moisture flow that gets 200+ inches a year.Could be tory as i have heard of deep snows in the job,wv area...could be MPC! Speaking of MPC why the lack of comments on the selling of the Teter prop? Who was that masked man who posted the sell? If it is true it is BIG NEWS!!! I just put a down payment to the contractor to build my home up in the canaan area & the name of the design was the "HELVETIA" Let it snow,let it snow!
Murphy
October 1, 2004
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Apparently the mid-west has had one of its hottest Septembers on record, seemingly supporting the global warming trend. The NWS out of Twin Cities Minnesota published the stats today (pasted below). Minneapolis and St. Cloud have historical data dating back to the 1800's. For both these cities, historical data shows that a disproportionate number of records warm Septembers occurred before 1950. However, if you look at Eau Claire, which only has data since 1949, a disproportionate number of records have been set since 1990.

So what's the conclusion? The only one I can draw is that there are a lot of time scales associated with climate fluctuations and it's hard to get a trend by only looking at modern data. Some trends are decades, some centuries, some a lot longer. Ice ages only come around every so often. It's hard for the average joe to determine if we are experiencing a real trend or just an upward slope in a constantly fluctuating phenomenon.



Here are the top 10 warmest septembers ever for Minneapolis back to
1891... and where September 2004 stands.

Rank highest avg temp year
1. 68.8 1897
2. 68.7 1931
3. 68.0 1908
4. 67.9 1948
5. 67.7 1891
6. 67.4 2004***
6. 67.4 1933
7. 67.3 1978
8. 66.7 1936
9. 66.6 1998

climate data used for this report for Minneapolis GOES back 114
years.

At the St. Cloud Airport... the average temperature for September was
64.1 degrees. This is 7.0 degrees above normal.

Here are the top 10 warmest septembers ever for St. Cloud back to
1881... and where September 2004 stands.

Rank highest avg temp year
1. 66.5 1931
2. 65.8 1908
3. 65.1 1891
4. 64.8 1933
5. 64.7 1920
6. 64.4 1906
7. 64.3 1897
8. 64.2 1948
9. 64.1 2004***
10. 63.4 1936

Climate data used for this report for St. Cloud GOES back 122 years.

Data from 1881-1903 courtesy of Dr. Bob weisman (st. Cloud state
university). Http://web.Stcloudstate.Edu/raweisman/index.Html

At the Eau Claire Airport... the average monthly temperature was 65.0
degrees. This is 5.6 degrees above normal.

Here are the top 10 warmest septembers back to 1949 for Eau
Claire... and where September 2004 stands.

Rank highest avg temp year
1. 65.6 1998
2. 65.0 2004***
3. 64.3 1978
4. 63.7 2002
5. 63.3 1994
6. 62.5 1990
7. 61.4 1997
8. 61.3 1983
9. 61.0 1971
10. 60.8 1979/1969

Climate data used for this report for Eau Claire GOES back 56 years.
Roger Z
October 1, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Interesting data on Minneapolis, Murphy. I would have thought with the growing urbanized heat island that the Minneapolis data would be warmer now... in Washington, if you look at the record temps the record lows almost all date back at the turn of the century.

Anyway... where are the spruce trees at Mountain Lake? A few acres? They might be over on Salt Pond Knob, I haven't been there yet (it's the highest point at just over 4300 feet). Mostly everything else is hardwood and hemlock, what's left of the hemlocks. I found one in the woods up there last weekend that was 100% healthy. I was convinced it was a spruce for a couple minutes, until I was able to get a good look at it's bark. Maybe because it's by itself way up at the top of a remote watershed it might have a chance of not getting killed. Doubtful, but we can always hope!
Murphy
October 1, 2004
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Roger,

Here a link that mentions one place where you can find the spruce near Mountain Lake. http://www.toessel.com/~gus/forests/warspur.htm

I personally have never been into forestry until I started reading this thread so I probably wouldn't have noticed them in the past if I saw them. Hear are a few links I've found recently that you might find interesting. (you might be familiar with some)

http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/factsheets.cfm
http://www.cnr.vt.edu/forsite/forestcommunity/countymap/
Roger Z
October 2, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Cool links! I've been in that hemlock forest once-- it's 15 acres of virgin forest. Whoo-hoo. The trees are impressive, but I never realized there were spruce trees mixed in there. Maybe that tree I saw last weekend was a spruce after all. Hmmmm...
pwillysim
October 2, 2004
Member since 09/2/2004 🔗
38 posts
I have spent several weekends the last few years in C/V-
T-Line and have seen flurries in Sept.. October brings snow in greater amounts. We have been blessed with snow the last few years. PWS
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