Summary:  6.5” new snow in Waterbury (495’) as of 8:00 P.M. 


I first saw flakes this morning when I was out checking on the snowboard – I looked at my watch and it was 8:51 A.M.  It continued to spit flurries occasionally like that until around 10:15 A.M., when we started to have some consistent snowfall.  Even then the snowfall was extremely light, and the flakes were very tiny (<1 mm diameter) so there was no accumulation.  At around 11:30 A.M. the flakes got a bit bigger and the snow finally started to accumulate.


We had about an inch of new snow accumulation at the house when Ty and I headed up to Bolton Valley in the 2:30 to 3:00 P.M. timeframe to catch the fresh powder at the end of the day.  Already on the ascent of the access road we had to pass two cars that just couldn’t seem to move on the steeper inclines, whether due to two wheel drive and/or lack of snow tires.  From a temperature around freezing and light to moderate snow down at the house, we found ourselves at 24 F in the top tier of the village parking lots (~2,100’) with heavy snowfall.  There wasn’t much wind at that point, but I could tell by eye that the snowfall had to be in the 1 to 2 inch per hour range.  We caught the last part of the ski day, which was nice and powdery, and I’d say they were already working on 3 to 4 fresh inches by the time we were leaving the slopes at around 4:00 P.M.  At that point I was pretty sure the snowfall was close to the 2 inch per hour range because after about 45 minutes away from the car, we returned to find and inch and a half of new snow on it.  The wind had started to pick up a little by that point, but it was still pretty tame.





The trip home was slow – I’d say it took us in the range of 40 minutes or so where it normally takes us about 10.  Most of the time was spent coming down the mountain on the access road, as the 2 inch per hour snowfall had covered the road up very quickly.  Everyone took it justifiably slow, and at times we were at a standstill.  Even down at around the 1,000’ elevation range I’d say the snow was still falling at roughly 2 inches per hour or more.  While I was stopped in traffic I had to kick my windshield wipers up to the third notch because the windshield was getting covered in just seconds.  There were a few spots on the lower part of the road where the wind had picked up, and combined with the heavy snowfall and snow falling off the trees, I couldn’t see past the hood of the car momentarily – another reason everyone was taking is so slow.  There were several cars off the road, one up in the flats around 1,000’, and then three more had slid off right at the final steep pitch above route 2  - which is only in the 300’-400’ elevation range.  Just as we got past all those cars, we looked up directly above us at the I-89 bridge at the Route 2/Bolton Valley Access Road intersection, and there was an ambulance attending to another incident.  Then, a couple more miles down route 2 toward Waterbury, there was a police car attending to yet another incident on the highway, or perhaps controlling traffic for the one near the bridge.  The snow back down in the valley was only falling at about an inch per hour, but the wind was howling in the open areas as it had been increasing since we’d left Bolton Valley.  On the way home through Bolton Flats there were various sections of whiteout, and places where the location of the road wasn’t obvious so I had to simply follow the tracks of previous vehicles.  Arriving home not long before we did, my wife said that she also saw various accidents in her short trip into the center of town.  I’d say the bottom line is, don’t travel through the upslope regions tonight if you can help it.  Even though many of us knew this was coming, I think a lot of people got caught off guard by how fast it came in and ramped up to very heavy snowfall and wind.


We got back home around 5:00 P.M. to find a nice slug of fresh snow at the house, and I made my usual observations:


Sunday, December 7th, 2008:  5:00 P.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow: 4.3 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.15 inches

Snow/Water Ratio: 28.7

Snow Density:  3.5%

Temperature:  25.9 F

Humidity:  88%

Dew Point:  21.6 F

Barometer:  29.71 in. Hg

Wind:  Calm

Sky:  Heavy Snow

Storm snow total:  4.3 inches

Storm liquid equivalent total:  0.15 inches

Current snow at the stake:  6 inches

Season snowfall total:  27.1 inches


Knowing this event was coming, I took a few intermediate snowfall observations throughout the day.  From the data it’s clear that we were averaging snowfall at over an inch per hour for much of the evening.  The temperature drop just during the past couple of hours has been quite impressive.  The snowfall appears to be slowing down a bit now, but we’re also getting some wind down even into the sheltered location of our neighborhood and that is decreasing the loft in the snowfall.


12:30 P.M.:  0.3” total accumulation, 33.6 F, 73% RH, DP 23.9 F

1:00 P.M.:  0.5” total accumulation, 33.4 F, 75% RH, DP 24.4 F

2:00 P.M.:  0.7” total accumulation, 32.5 F, 77% RH, DP 24.2 F

5:00 P.M.:  4.3” total accumulation, 25.9 F, 88% RH, DP 21.6 F

7:00 P.M.:  6.2” total accumulation, 16.7 F, 87% RH, DP 12.0 F

8:00 P.M.:  6.5” total accumulation, 14.5 F, 83% RH, DP 8.4 F




Send e-mail faster without improving your typing skills. Get your Hotmail® account. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont.

To unsubscribe, visit