Posted on May 4, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
NASA Airborne Snow Observatory measurements of snow water equivalent (top image) and snow albedo, or reflectivity (bottom image) for the Tuolumne River Basin in California’s Sierra Nevada on April 21, 2013. The snow water equivalent measured the total water contained as snow in the basin on that date at 375 million cubic meters, or enough to fill the Rose Bowl about 1,180 times. The albedo map expresses the percentage of sunlight reflected back to space by the snow. The lower the albedo, the faster the snowmelt rate and runoff. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Aerial surveys with high-tech instruments will create detailed snow maps, yielding better runoff forecasts
FRISCO — Data from an ambitious new NASA aerial program could help resource managers get a jump on global warming, with more precise and timely snowpack measurements.
By Summit Voice
NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory began it’s three-year demonstration mission in April, with weekly flights over the Tuolumne River Basin in California’s Sierra Nevada and monthly flights over Colorado’s Uncompahgre River Basin. Scientists involved in the program hope to start covering the entire Upper Colorado River Basin.
The data is already paying off for power companies and water managers, who can use real-time updates to allocate water resources more efficiently, for storage, irrigation and municipal supplies.
Most snowpack measurements are currently collected via ground-based surveys and from automated SNOTEL sites. Airborne mapping can cover more ground and gather data from areas without observation stations, resulting in more accurate forecasts. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, global warming, Snow and weather | Tagged: climate, Sierra Nevada, snow, snowpack, Upper Colorado River Basin, weather | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
First snow, last snow …
Mt. Guyot sunlit above the shadows after one of the last snows of the season.
FRISCO —A little mix and match in today’s photo essay, with some shots from one of the last snowstorms of the season juxtaposed against early season snow images. It may just be that time of year, but the light feels a little warmer in late April than it does in October, but the feeling it evokes is similar. And while we may not have had the best snow season, it’s worth remembering that the storminess began more than seven months ago, and may well go into May, which would be month eight. Just sayin … (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Morning photo, photography, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, Frisco Colorado, Photo-essay, snow, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Springtime in the Rockies
Morning light highlights the texture of fresh spring snow on the frozen surface of Dillon Reservoir in Summit County, Colorado.
FRISCO —It’s not unusual to get April snows in the high country. After all, when you live at 9,000 feet you have to willing to accept the fact that there are really only two seasons — snow and non-snow. But this year seems a little unusual, especially compared with last year, when spring weather went to the other extreme, with a March heatwave that broke records. The cool and showery weather this month won’t break any records, but it’s been fun going out to capture the late winter scenes around Summit County. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather, Uncategorized | Tagged: April weather, Colorado, photography, snow, Spring snow, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Winter hangs on
No, it’s not cotton. It’s fresh snow piling up on aspen catkins.
FRISCO — Another day, another snowstorm in Summit County, but the good thing is, you don’t really hear anyone complaining about the snow. Well, maybe a few good-natured comments about flip-flops and bikes, but for the most part, people are quite aware that these April storms are the only thing standing between us and extreme summer drought. As far as photography, you just gotta go with the flow — or with snow, in this case. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Morning photo, photography, seasons, snow, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: aspens, Colorado, snow, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
One more sparkly winter morning!
This big boulder along the shore of Dillon Reservoir is always much more interesting when it’s covered with sculpted snow.
FRISCO — It’s not every year that you can get up on an April morning and find scenes that look like mid-winter, but after a snow-sparse year like this, I’ll take it whenever I can get it. Probably the most amazing thing was how fast all that new snow melted, probably helped by the dark-colored dust that settled on the surface. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Morning photo, photography, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, snow, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Not quite a drought-buster …
FRISCO —While this mid-April storm may not quite qualify as a bona fide drought buster, it sure won’t hurt and it will definitely take the hard edge off concerns about summer water supplies. As of Monday afternoon, about 16 inches had piled up here in Frisco, and more snow is, supposedly, on the way. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: April snowstorm, Colorado, photography, season, snow, spring, Summi County Colorado | 5 Comments »
Posted on April 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Biggest snowfall of the year …
Meadow Creek sparkling after an overnight snowfall dropped about 7 inches of snow on Frisco, Colorado — the biggest single-day snowfall of the year.
FRISCO — Mother Nature delivered a nice surprise over the weekend, dropping anywhere from 6 to 15 inches of snow across parts of the north-central mountains. Along with making for great conditions on one of the final ski weekends of the season at some resorts, the storm brought some much-needed moisture to the Colorado River Basin. It may not be a drought-buster, but it sure won’t hurt. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, seasons, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado snow, snow, Summit County Colorado, Summit County photography | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
This is a collection of snowflakes photographed automatically as they fell at Alta, Utah, by the new Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera developed at the University of Utah. Photo courtesy
Tim Garrett, University of Utah.
New info on shapes, mass of flakes to help boost winter weather forecasts
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Snow enthusiasts have a long tradition of photographing snowflakes, going back nearly 100 years, when Wilson A. “Snowflake” Bentley spent hundreds of hours in a chilly barn in Jericho, Vermont compiling about 5,000 photomicrographs.
But until a couple of years ago, there was no way to take 3-D pictures of free-falling snowflakes before they hit the ground. That’s when University of Utah researchers developed a digital camera system and installed it on the slopes of Alta, one of the snowiest ski areas in the country. The high-speed setup has enabled the scientists to significantly expand existing catalogs of snowflake images in a completely new way.
“We are photographing these snowflakes completely untouched by any device, as they exist naturally in the air,” said Tim Garrett, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences, adding that the unique camera device has captured about a half-million images so far. A gallery of flakes is online here, and you can watch flakes falling live at this Alta Ski Area web page. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, Snow and weather | Tagged: Alta Ski Area, climate, snow, snow photography, Snowflake, University of Utah, weather radar, winter weather forecasting | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Ski hills celebrate powder; snow snarls roads, ups backcountry avalanche hazard
A spring snowstorm noses into Colorado Saturday, April 13.
Almost 7 inches of snow in Frisco, Colorado.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Mother Nature saved her best for late in the season, as a mid-April storm dropped more than 12 inches of snow across the Colorado mountains, as well as some beneficial rain along the Front Range.
The potent storm blew in on the nose of the jet stream, with a strong and moist northwest flow blasting through the mountains Saturday night. Many areas reported their biggest single-storm snow totals for the entire season, including downtown Frisco, where 7 inches piled up overnight. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado avalanche danger, Colorado skiing, Colorado weather, cowx, powder, skiing, snow | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 13, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Around the reservoir
Big snowdrifts are slowly melting in the lee of what were once islands in Dillon Reservoir.
FRISCO — After a spate of cold, gray days (and there are more to come), April sunshine finally broke through Friday afternoon. What a great way to start the weekend! It didn’t take long for the snow to start melting away in the flats around Dillon Reservoir, showing how far the water level dropped this winter. Beneath a few meltwater ponds, the dry, cracked mud of last autumn is still visible — apparently it takes a while for the thirsty Earth to replenish itself. More snowy and cold weather is expected starting Saturday afternoon right into the first half of next week, but the afternoon sunshine gave a hint of warmer days ahead. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Morning photo, photography, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Dillon Reservoir, Frisco Colorado, snow, spring, Summit County Colorado, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »