Epic Upslope

Courtesy: Stowe

I got an email this morning saying:

“I have a condo up north in the mountains and I was very concerned after reading your tweets about up to 2 feet of snow this weekend… you need to be careful about your alarmist tweets”

It turns out that some areas in Vermont will wind up with 3 1/2 feet of snow from an absolutely exception upslope snow event along the spine of the Green Mountains from Killington on north!! Killington has picked up a foot, Stowe and Jay over 30″ as of 7 p.m. Saturday and it’s still dumping.

Snow like this is localized to along the spine of the mountains that run the length of the state. In this case the snow was focused in central and northern Vermont with relatively little in the south.

With westerly and northwesterly wind and plenty of low level moisture the rapid rise in elevation from the Champlain Valley to the Greens forces the air to rise rapidly. The lift  is comparable to a storm that just parks over the same spot and doesn’t move (you can’t move mountains like you can move a storm). Instead of lift being cause by processes in the atmosphere in “upslope” we get lift cause by the wind blowing up over terrain which yields upward vertical motion and if strong enough clouds and precipitation.

Here’s the radar from Burlington that shows the impressive dump of snow that continues in the mountains.

Courtesy: WeatherTap (click on image to animate)

It looks like many areas in central Vermont will see 1-2 feet total from this storm. The mountains in northern Vermont north of I-89 should see around 40″ of powder. Absolutely epic!


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