Forum Index > Stewardship > The truth about wildfire severity and Beetle die-offs (Wildfire Today)
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
gb
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 4943 | TRs

gb
  Top

Member
PostMon Dec 03, 2018 8:28 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
thunderhead wrote:
Global warming has increased the height of the rain/snow line by about 300 vertical feet(and increasing).  This isnt going to effect the snowpack much in areas that are often above the freezing level but at lower, more marginal elevations, snowmass is decreasing a bit as precip falls more often as rain vs snow AND it was already near the lower snow limit, now running off immediately instead of joining the snowpack.  Decreased skiiability in the 2000-3000 foot range here is consistent with this.

I doubt a 300' increase in snow levels (and I suspect it is more than that) tells the whole story. To relate snow levels to snowpack one has to use a weighted average that includes water equivalent during snowfalls. This year thus far provides a good example. I don't know how far from average precipitation is in the mountains thus far this year, but I do know that the snowpack is very poor and will be in the lowest 20 percentile by December 15th. This is simply because most of this winter's precipitation has come with snow levels between 5500' and 8500'. Even at 5500' in the North Cascades I am sure snow depths are below average. Recently we have had substantially lower snow levels and have accumulated a whopping 10 to a maximum of 20" of snowfall during these cooler to colder periods. Then to look at snowpack you have also to look at temperature on average. This is likely not that relevant (lack of melt) in the November/December/January/to at least mid-February period, but is very relevant after about mid March (depending on elevation).

Climate models (and accordingly CPC forecasts) show most winter period precipitation years (last several years) to be above average with above average temperatures, but spring to be more close to average; but, of course, as we have seen, significantly warmer and drier than average mountain conditions in summer.

Anyway, at 3000', Snoqualmie Pass shows a rather significant decrease in snowfall particularly in the last decade. This year will undoubtedly further decrease the last decade's average. The weather pattern has alternated between short duration warmer and wet periods interspersed and dominated by cooler but drier periods in what looks to be a repeating split flow pattern. Hopefully, this will change by mid-February. And likely we will see some relatively short period of heavier snowfall at some point before then. But in 2014-15, we did not.

http://hyak.net/snowfallhist.html
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
jinx'sboy
Member
Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2008
Posts: 463 | TRs
Location: on a great circle route
jinx'sboy
  Top

Member
PostMon Dec 03, 2018 11:19 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
This may be slightly off topic....but it is fire.

Stephen J Pyne was interviewed on an NPR program in August.  He has a LOT to say about our approach to fire today.  If you don’t know Pyne, he’s a former firefighter, acknowledged as one of the best Historians of Fire.  A prolific author, he had written extensively on wildfire in the west and around the world....we’ll worth reading.  He’s a prof. at Arizona State.

Fairly short...but worthwhile.
https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/not-all-fires-are-equal
Both audio and transcript here.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
thunderhead
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 694 | TRs

thunderhead
  Top

Member
PostMon Dec 03, 2018 11:48 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Agreed that snoqualmie is showing a significant decrease in yearly snowfall, probably from about 550 inches per year pre-industrial to about 400 inches per year now.

300 feet of elevation change is enough... theres a decent percentage of typical storms that will convert from snow to rain there since snoqualmie is very often near the rain/snow line.


As for this water year, cascades precip totals are near or just below normal, with snowfall way below normal.

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/wcc/home/quickLinks/imap/!ut/p/z1/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIjo8ziPY0sHD0sgg283Z1NTAwcLZ3NQ3yCzQ28Q8z0wwkpiAJKG-AAjgb6XmAFePQDXWBU5Ovsm64fVZBYkqGbmZeWrx9RWJqZnJ2TmZddrB-RmZtYAHRHFCGrCnIjqnw8DNIBJKoI2g!!/dz/d5/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS80TmxFL1o2X0kyOEFIOFMwS0dDNDQwQTlDN1RMUzcwS1I1/#version=102&elements=&networks=!&states=!&counties=!&hucs=&minElevation=&maxElevation=&elementSelectType=all&activeOnly=true&activeForecastPointsOnly=false&hucLabels=false&hucIdLabels=false&hucParameterLabels=false&stationLabels=&overlays=&hucOverlays=&basinOpacity=100&basinNoDataOpacity=100&basemapOpacity=100&maskOpacity=0&mode=data&openSections=dataElement,parameter,date,basin,elements,location,networks&controlsOpen=true&popup=&popupMulti=&base=esriNgwm&displayType=station&basinType=6&dataElement=PREC&depth=-8¶meter=PCTMED&frequency=DAILY&duration=wytd&customDuration=&dayPart=E&year=2018&month=11&day=28&monthPart=E&forecastPubMonth=6&forecastPubDay=1&forecastExceedance=50&seqColor=1&divColor=3&scaleType=D&scaleMin=&scaleMax=&referencePeriodType=POR&referenceBegin=1981&referenceEnd=2010&minimumYears=20&hucAssociations=true&lat=44.318&lon=-120.524&zoom=7.5
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
thunderhead
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 694 | TRs

thunderhead
  Top

Member
PostMon Dec 03, 2018 11:54 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Switch to snow water equivalent if you want to be sad.  Cascades average is like 35% of a typical year, although the higher unsampled spots are surely better its a rough start to the ski season.

https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2018/anomnight.11.29.2018.gif

sea surface temps are still like 2 degrees C higher than normal upwind, covering the bulk of the gulf of alaska.  The sea surface temps are not as bad as the 2015 blob winter so far but it aint good.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
thunderhead
Member
Member


Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 694 | TRs

thunderhead
  Top

Member
PostMon Dec 03, 2018 12:01 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Meanwhile those bums in colorado are having a great start this year!  Sigh.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
treeswarper
Alleged Sockpuppet!



Joined: 25 Dec 2006
Posts: 8657 | TRs
Location: Don't move here
treeswarper
  Top

Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostMon Dec 03, 2018 2:38 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
jinx'sboy wrote:
This may be slightly off topic....but it is fire.

Stephen J Pyne was interviewed on an NPR program in August.  He has a LOT to say about our approach to fire today.  If you don’t know Pyne, he’s a former firefighter, acknowledged as one of the best Historians of Fire.  A prolific author, he had written extensively on wildfire in the west and around the world....we’ll worth reading.  He’s a prof. at Arizona State.

Fairly short...but worthwhile.
https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/not-all-fires-are-equal
Both audio and transcript here.

He's right on.  He doesn't get specific and the paragraph about helicopters and air tankers is true.  If those aren't flying, the general public thinks nothing is being done.

He isn't making a general assumption, because fires are different in different areas.  That seems hard for some folks to understand.

--------------
What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Stewardship > The truth about wildfire severity and Beetle die-offs (Wildfire Today)
  Happy Birthday Gabigabs, alpine964!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy