Thursday, November 12, 2009

What? Chain Controls?

The Traffic Guy on my radio was reporting Chain Controls over Interstate 80's Donner Summit when the alarm roused me this morning. Nothing like starting your day with Heart Palpitations! Couldn't hit the snooze after that! I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and went surfing for intel.

The 9:45 AM Twitter Feed reported the controls were lifted everywhere save for the Mt Rose Highway over the Summit, and Hwy88 from Ham's Station to Hwy89. I-80 had controls between Kingvale and Truckee for a time early on.

All the Tahoe Basin Resorts tweeted their Joy, and announced their snowfall tallies...Northstar-3in, Squaw Valley-5in, Sierra at Tahoe-"up to 4in, in some sweet spots"... Sugar Bowl reported 5-7in and Boreal checked in with 8-10in...We Have A Winner!

Boreal announced they will be open to the Top on Saturday November 14th.

Even the National Forest Service is on Twitter now! They tweeted their intention to lock their Forest Road Gates for the Winter on November 15th. That sounds kinda final, no?

Looking at the Remote Sensors, the I-80 controls went down just as the mercury went up. At 4PM, there are no Snowmaking Fans running, temps are still hovering around 34F, and low clouds are hanging over Donner Summit.

I found further solace in the Reno NWS Office's Forecast Discussion. They report some trouble with the Models going forward, saying in essence that the solutions are all over the place for the next week. My most significant Take-Away is the trending to warmer temps, poor airmass mixing, and likely Inversion formation...Nothing for Snowmakers there...the Resorts need an extended period of 24/7 Snowmaking Weather. Two weeks of Around the Clock snowmaking would get plenty of trails open in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday Period.

That doesn't seem likely today. Perhaps next week the Jetstream will begin to migrate south far enough for some Arctic Air to find it's way into the High Sierra, so the Snowmaking Crews can start logging some overtime. Millions of gallons of water need to be transformed into ManMade before there's enough terrain for more than one Part Time Groomer out there.

I ordered the Turkey for the Family Feast guess is no new terrain save for Boreal's new longer trail will have opened by the time I'm carving that bird.

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