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Old 11-24-2010, 01:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Understanding Snow Base Counts

Was perusing the ridiculous storm totals at Sierra and noticed that the base levels are significantly under the reported total that dropped. Why does the 7 day snowfall count at the summit = 85" but the base depth is still only 67"? Doesn't seem like it would have evaporated that quickly.

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Old 11-24-2010, 01:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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because powder will consolidate after being skied on
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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also, they lie.

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Old 11-24-2010, 05:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Snow packs down, blows away, melts, etc...
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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base = where the bottom is above the dirt,
snowfall = potential for fresh, but you got to pay attention to other things like... rh, temps, moisture content of the recent past...few hours or day or two.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Summit and base totals will differ because typically more snow falls at higher elevations then lower ones. At my mountain we might get only 4 inches fresh at the bottom but at the top there will be 12 inches. Typically most mountains will also report a mid-mountain depth so you get a good idea of the overall mountain snow depth. That measurement is taken from an unpacked, unskied area.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by legallyillegal View Post
also, they lie.

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Old 11-24-2010, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You also need to think of it as a snow ball. When you pick it up, it's light and fluffy and contains lots of air. Once you pack it down and make it hard enough to throw, it's compressed and solid.

Grooming does the same thing. When the cats go over the snow it packs down and performs a base
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by legallyillegal View Post
also, they lie.
This. Breck is notorious for it. The Breck locals will defend them but fuck that. I've been on that mountain enough times when they were reporting 6-8" when there was a little pow off the 6 chair but the rest of the mountain was essentially dust on crust. According to Breck's measurements I should be tripping over my dick.

Loveland on the other hand is notorious for under reporting.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah your better off calling and talking to someone. I know the website has told me totally differant stuff than an actual person before
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