Category Archives: climate

First Snow

20161026_7214_2WI know it was 70 last week, but the first snow has arrived on Vermont’s Mount Mansfield, and skiers and boarders have been walking up to ride down. Right on schedule. These are from yesterday. Rocky and grassy in places, but skiable.

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Also posted in fall foliage, Skiing, Snow, Winter

Making Skiing by Making Snow

It’s a sad commentary on the weather, but the Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center had to continue making skiing out of nothing last week when it held the Super Tour Finals and national distance championship cross-country ski races, virtually all of it without natural (real) snow. They did it with a three-story pile of manmade snow, an excavator, 500 dump-truck loads, big ski groomers and the skilled workers and volunteers who spread the snow nearly two-feet thick along a 3.5-kilometer ribbon of winter winding through the otherwise snowless woods. It not only saved the event, but skiers said the conditions were excellent. Next winter? Who knows?

It takes a lot of energy to make and move the snow, although Craftsbury works to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible, including capturing heat from the big generator that powers the snowmaking equipment and using it to heat its buildings.

These photos show some of what it looked like, some of how Craftsbury did it and a bit of the racing. Click here for a very full gallery from all four days of racing.

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Also posted in Craftsbury Outdoor Center, cross country ski racing, Uncategorized, Vermont, Winter

Nocember

DSCF6988copyAW2It’s turning into a bit of a wait for winter here in Vermont: Mid-December and temperatures commonly into the 40s and 50s. No snow, except the kind that comes out of snow guns, greens surviving in the garden, open water, unfrozen ground, people in lightweight jackets buying Christmas trees. Pleasant enough, but weird.DSCF7060copyW DSC_3265copy_1W   DSCF6924copyW

Also posted in black & white, Vermont

Wet But Dry

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The mountains of the Pacific Northwest can usually depend on snow melt and summer rains to keep things wet, but this year lack of snow and summer drought have driven water levels down. Above, Detroit Lake, in the mountains east of Salem, OR, is a dam-controlled reservoir that is drained in the winter, but it’s supposed to fill during the summer. This year it’s far below normal. Even rainy Seattle is drier than normal, though you could hardly tell from the old Dodge pick-up truck, below, parked in the city’s Green Lake section. Puget Sound natives like to say they grow up in a climate so wet that they grow moss between their toes. The pick-up, which looks like it was last moved in about 1985, is working on it, despite the drought.

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Also posted in Oregon, Pacific Northwest Tagged |