Tag Archives: snow

Posts about frozen precipitation that incites panic amongst people and leads to mass sales of bread, milk and toilet paper.

protractor_measuring_snow_northern_virginia

Winter 2013-2014 post-mortem

You know, I think what everybody wants to read about right now is the never-ending winter we just had, right?

My original intention was to post this concurrent with the spring equinox, but the looming threat of a Nor’Easter had me re-evaluating whether it made sense. Sure enough, we got more winter precipitation this week. It’s becoming a pattern:

This winter, BeltwayLand experienced an unprecedented amount of measurable snow storms. For a while there, it was not that different than the winters I remember growing up. Then it snowed two more times, closing everything in each occurrence. Than it snowed on Tuesday.

This post is also a mea culpa of sorts – at the beginning of the year, I changed jobs and entered the world of federal contracting. Gone were my four weeks of vacation and in was OPM deciding when I could work.

I’m sorry I jinxed us all.

For me, I lost almost a week of work which meant either taking leave or taking a hit. Due to vacation time at my previous job, federal holidays I now get to celebrate and all the FOUR OPM closures, I have not worked 10 work days in a row since the week of Thanksgiving.

Here is a recap of this year’s snow and what I measured:

12.08.2013 – I always celebrate the first snowfall with grilling | Football in the snow is the best football (ehh, they stunk up the joint that day, too bad). Then Fairfax, Loudoun

12.10.2013 – Alexandria, Va. December 10, 2013 snow fall total at 10 a.m. | Tysons, Va. December 10, 2013 snow fall total at 10 a.m. – THE PROTRACTOR IN SNOW STORM!

PROTRACTOR IN SNOW!

01.03.2014 – No measurement, but some sledding the day after
Arlington snow

01.22.2014 – 2 7/8 inches in Alexandria | 6 inches in the Town of Vienna

02.05.2014 – Enough snow for a two hour delay

02.13.2014 – Alexandria, Va. Pitchers and Catchers Day Storm snowfall total at 8 a.m. – 8.5 inches! | Burke, Va. Pitchers and Catchers Day Storm snowfall total at 9:18 a.m. – 12 inches!

Pitchers & Catchers Day storm snow man

02.25.2014 – It snowed during the day, but didn’t stick around

03.04.2014 – Alexandria, Va. final snowfall total for March 3, 2014: 5 inches

03.17.2014 – ErinSnowBraugh! SnowPatricksDay storm dumps over 7 inches of snow on Alexandria, Va.

Capital Weather Gang’s recap is up too: The long, white 2013-2014 winter: Bringing snowy back to the D.C. region (season statistics)The Post

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Massanutten Ski slopes view

I went skiing twice during official winter and thrice during meteorological winter. My ski trips in December were the first time I ever made it out in that month, so I’ve got 4 months of the year. I also skied in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the first time at Masanutten. Should the cold return in April, the temptation to go then and clinch a fifth month will be strong. For regional ski resorts, it was a robust season. If Whitetail remains open until next Sunday, they’ll hit 117 days for the season and has already broken a record.

Ski Roundtop also had a strong year:

PRIME SLEDDING YEAR

Remember last year’s weird slush storms in March? State of NOVA blogger Tom Jackman summed it up well:

Safe to say, the childrens were not robbed of a prime sledding year this winter.
sledding-cropped
In Alexandria, we had more sledding days than the previous 4 years combined! Throw in a day of ski camp and ice skating lessons and we embraced this winter and therin lies the lesson.

Don’t fight winter, USE IT.

Now bring on baseball, cherry blossoms and dining al fresco!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
mrplow

Snow plowing information for Virginia, D.C. and Maryland

Once again, we’re getting snowed on again (3¼ inches by 9 a.m. in Alexandria) and everything is closed. After my brother linked to the real-time VDOT snow plow map, I thought I’d compile a list.

COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

VODTplows.org – pretty good tracker of plows working on Virginia Department of Transportation routes.

Alexandria Snow Removal Priorities and Snow Plow Zones (PDF) – What the city I live in is doing.

Arlington County Snow Alert and Primary & Secondary Snow Removal Map (PDF)

Town of Vienna and primary & secondary street list

City of Falls Church
Snow Emergency Routes (PDF)

Town of Herndon

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Snow Response Reporting System

STATE OF MARYLAND

Snow Emergency Plans

THE PAYOFF

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Alexandria and other DC area schools delayed two hours on account of prettiness

School may not close on account of prettiness, but apparently a two-hour delay is fair game. Alexandria City Public Schools and many other systems are delayed this morning:

Last update: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 5:24 AM EST
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014: All Schools will open with a 2-hour delay.

ch871229

There was about an inch of beautiful white powder on my wife’s car at 5:45 a.m. The sidewalks were white and untreated for the second snowfall in a row by my condo association.

Closings and delaysWTOP

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

December 16, 2013 Whitetail recap

Snowdancer
MERCERSBURG, Pa. — The cold late November and December has given ski areas across the Mid-Atlantic a head start on their seasons. That and a combination of use-it-or-lose-it vacation time led me to Whitetail for my first ever December skiing.

Difficult traffic getting out of Northern Virginia delayed my arrival until 11 a.m. I was surprised to see about 100 cars in the parking lot. There was no line to get lift ticket and rental throughout the process. I went with some 170s instead of my usual 160s to see how I would do.

empty whitetail

I started on the green slopes serviced by the EZ Rider Quad lift. A run down Snow Park or Stalker confirmed that I had not yet done enough wall-sits, but I would be okay. It got a little sticky at the bottom though which was an omen for the day.

Having limited time and eager to challenge myself more, I headed over to the Whitetail Express Quad and started skiing on the trails on the middle of the mountain. Fanciful was in pretty good shape on the top 2/3s, but slowed me up at the bottom with its fresh, ungroomed machine made snow. Getting back to the lift was work. It was a good run though and probably had the most consistent conditions of the day. After a few runs on Fanciful, I headed over to Snow Dancer which mostly more of the same, but a little uneven snow-wise. After a run or two, I was able to find better paths to keep my momentum going close to the lift. Next, I head to the right of WEQ and skied down Homerun which was satisfying. Limelight was closed and several days from being ready, even with continuous snow-making in progress.

I next took Angel Drop into the Drop, but made the mistake of heading onto Fallmount instead of over to the black diamonds. Fallmount might as well be cross country skiing because it nearly completely flat. I gave up and picked up the skis, dropped $9.84 on chicken tenders & fries basket and a Pepsi at the cafeteria.

Exhibition and Ridge Runner

For the second half of the day, it was another couple of runs down Homerun and Angel Drop and then over to the Experts Choice Quad. Exhibition and Bold Decision were the only two open. I took a few runs down Exhibition, then moved over to Ridgeline to head back onto Angel Drop. Following that, I head over to Bold Decision which was deserted, ungroomed and sticky. It was the toughest run of the day and not in a fun way. Going down it felt like a chore and I took a minor tumble. I hope the groomers got it for skiers later in the week.

Running out of time, I skied Ridgeline back to the middle of the mountain and completed the day with a trip down Homerun.

OTHER NOTES

Lift ticket and rentals cost me $105 and included a lesson that I did not use.

snowmaking
Snow guns were in use throughout the day, despite periods of bright sunshine. Getting a little blast from them was no big deal.

The lodge reminds me of a college dining hall more than a ski lodge, but the lack of alpine ambiance is no big deal because the features are above average for mid-Atlantic resorts, though it is worth mentioning Whitetail is dry.

Some of the trails had only about 60% of the surface area available for skiing since it is early in the season.

Grading on a curve because it was mid-December, I award Whitetail a on a scale of green circle being the lowest and black diamond being the highest. More grooming was needed and Bold Decision probably should not have been open. Overall, I was pretty happy to knock another month skied in off my list. Also, with 935 feet of vertical drop, Whitetail is the best option for a quick trip from the DC area. I may be back to teach my son how to ski if the weather cooperates.

GETTING THERE

Whitetail is about 75 miles from the Capital Beltway (I-495) via I-270, I-70, MD 68 and Blair Valley Road (watch your speed).


View Larger Map

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)