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Topic: Snotel Data for Beartooths & Wind River Range< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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hawkinss Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 7:53 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This morning I looked up the Snotel data for two popular trailheads in the the Beartooths and WRR:

Lady of the Lake TH (Beartooths):  

Current Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) = 32.9

Historical Average on 5/1/13 = 34.9

% of normal as of 5/1/13 = 94%

Big Sandy Trailhead (WRR):

Current Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) = 10.3

Historical Average on 5/1/13 = 14.1

% of normal as of 5/1/13 = 73%


Looking at the data I am amazed at how much more snow the Beartooths receive on average compared to the WRR.  The current SWE for the Beartooths of 32.9 equates to 97 inches of snow currently on the ground!!!!

I hope this data indicates a low risk for forest fires this summer, but the Winds still seems to be at risk.

What are you locals hearing and/or observing?
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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 11:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As is usual, the Beartooths received a great deal of snow this spring.  It was relatively low until April, then we got our big dumps.  So snowpack is good.  How that will translate to the fire season this summer is hard to say. Down here on the plains where I live (Yellowstone Valley) were still in the grips of a severe drought.  However, the rest of the state is in relatively good shape.  We were supposed to get a good rainfall these past two days, but as is usual, it didn't materialize and it's still very dry.  Time will tell.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 12:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We've gotten over 8" of snow this morning here near Nye (I'm at about 5800ft altitude in the foothills of the Beartooth).  Not really unusual for Spring and we might yet reach 100% of the historical average (note though that the historical average used by the climatologists recently changed - I think they may update it every 10 years - the latest average is significantly lower than the previous one).  As Jerry says, it's hard to say what fire season will bring.

It sure is pretty looking out of my window, though  :D
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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 12:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Early fire forecast

http://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlook....ook.pdf
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PostIcon Posted on: May 01 2013, 9:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Wind's aren't that far down on snow water equivalent. They're near ave to above average.



And a wider view showing the BT's



But I always like the Montana - Fisher Creek (480) SNOTEL site, one of the snowiest I know of , currently showing 97" of snow.

The nearest SNOTEL site to the Rawah Wilderness is showing 72" of snow as of today.

The problem with relying on SNOTEL for snowpack amounts in the Winds is that they're so remote/roadless, that the only locations available for an accessible site are at the extreme lowest elevations, hence the low snowpack numbers.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 02 2013, 2:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

'The problem with relying on SNOTEL for snowpack amounts in the Winds is that they're so remote/roadless, that the only locations available for an accessible site are at the extreme lowest elevations, hence the low snowpack numbers.'

Exactly Dave, and a key point worth considering.

Much variation in the Winds.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 02 2013, 4:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Lower snow amounts at lower elevations is becoming the new normal in many mountains around the world.

There is almost always significantly more Spring precipitation East of the Divide. We got 6" in the Jackson area yesterday morning, some Absaroka and Eastern Winds Locations got 3 or 4 times that much.


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