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Author Topic: It's been a tough year so far  (Read 1565 times)
ski_photomatt
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Posts: 361


It's been a tough year so far
« on: 02/03/03, 06:04 AM »

Looking back at the ski season so far, I first remember clear dry days in the fall, a week or two of snow around New Year's, then of course lots and lots rain.  It's always interesting to quantify it.  Here's some selected climatological data from Sea-Tac (source:  http://www.atmos.washington.edu/cgi-bin/list_climate.cgi?clmsea)

NOVEMBER CLIMATOLOGICAL REPORT FOR SEA-TAC AIRPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
PRECIPITATION DATA......
TOTAL FOR THE MONTH......   3.71   DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL...   -2.19
TOTAL SINCE JANUARY 1....  26.09   DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL....  -5.35
GREATEST 24 HOUR RAINFALL WAS 0.90 INCHES ON DAY 12

That's 63% of normal for the month of November.  Not so bad as long as it picks up.  Check out the January data:

JANUARY CLIMATOLOGICAL REPORT FOR SEA-TAC AIRPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
100 AM PST SAT FEB 1 2003

TEMPERATURE DATA......
                            (DEGREES F)
AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE.... 45.8  DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL... +4.9
AVERAGE MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE.... 51.1
AVERAGE MINIMUM TEMPERATURE.... 40.4
HIGHEST TEMPERATURE WAS 58 ON DAY 26    
LOWEST TEMPERATURE WAS 32 ON DAY 15              

PRECIPITATION DATA......
TOTAL FOR THE MONTH......   7.95   DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL...    2.82
TOTAL SINCE JANUARY 1....   7.95   DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL....   2.82
GREATEST 24 HOUR RAINFALL WAS 0.95 INCHES ON DAY 1

..NUMBER OF DAYS..
WITH  .01 INCHES OR MORE....18     HIGHS 32 DEGREES OR COLDER....0
WITH  .10 INCHES OR MORE....16     HIGHS 90 DEGREES OR WARMER....0
WITH  .50 INCHES OR MORE....7      LOWS  32 DEGREES OR COLDER....1
WITH 1.00 INCHES OR MORE....0      LOWS   0 DEGREES OR COLDER....0

WIND DATA.............
THE AVERAGE WIND SPEED FOR THE MONTH WAS 7.4 MPH  
THE FASTEST TWO MINUTE WIND WAS 30 MPH FROM THE SOUTHWEST ON THE 2ND.
THE HIGHEST INSTANTANEOUS WIND GUST WAS 37 MPH FROM THE SOUTHWEST ON
THE 2ND AND 22ND.

RECORDS...
RECORD MAXIMUM WAS SET WITH 57 ON THE 6TH AND 58 ON THE 26TH.
A RECORD HIGH MINIMUM OF 48 WAS SET ON THE 30TH.
MEAN MONTLY AVERAGE OF 45.8 DEGREES IS SECOND WARMEST ON RECORD
AT SEA-TAC BEHIND JANUARY 1995.

The precipitation for January was 155% of normal, and coupled with the second warmest month on record means lots of rain.  This is reflected in the current snowpack (source: http://www.seawfo.noaa.gov/products/CLISNO)

CLIMATOLOGICAL SNOWDEPTH INFORMATION
NORTHWEST WEATHER AND AVALANCHE CENTER
ISSUED THROUGH NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE

FOR : DAY  1  MONTH  2  YEAR  2003

DATA IN INCHES, -99 DENOTES MISSING DATA

           CURRENT  CLIMATE  PER CENT   LAST  THRU 2002  THRU 2002
           DEPTH    AVERAGE  OF NORMAL  YEAR  MAX/YEAR   MIN/YEAR

MT BAKER     82      124       66        131   234/1933    17/1981
STEVENS      58       87       67        113   152/1964    10/1981
SNOQUALMIE   41       80       51        108   154/1964     8/1977
STAMPEDE     46       88       52        118   228/1946     2/1977
PARADISE     78      133       59        188   240/1969    27/1977
WHITE PASS   26       53       49         86    88/1997     0/1977
MT HOOD      41       99       41        161   161/2002    15/1981

Let's hope it starts snowing soon.
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Snowboarder_John
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Posts: 30


Re: It's been a tough year so far
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/03, 07:32 AM »

nice report on the statistics.
Whistler-Blackcomb reported earlier this season that there was no need to worry as the last time El Nino came through January was one of the biggest dumping months on record. No so lucky this year.

Also, how does El Nino effect the New Zealand winter?
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Charles
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Posts: 1090


Re: It's been a tough year so far
« Reply #2 on: 02/04/03, 05:38 PM »

Looking at that last table, all I can say is at least it is not '77 or '81 all over again. The current snowpack is looking downright massive in comparison!
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ski_photomatt
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Posts: 361


Re: It's been a tough year so far
« Reply #3 on: 02/05/03, 04:56 AM »

I don't know much about El Nino, but do know that it is a tropical pacific phenomenon and that it usually gets going around summer to fall, peaks around December or January and dies out by the following summer which happens to be New Zealand's winter.  It is also relatively far south so will feel relatively less effect than locations closer to the equator.  I'll pass along this link http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/impacts.html  It discusses a little of the global impacts and contains tons of other links to explore.

At least it isn't '77 or '81 again is right.  The skiing right now is actually quite good Charles, check out my trip report info relevant to tomorrow.
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