NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

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NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby dave » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:48 pm

Some snowshoers have been complaining about the lack of snow on the hiking trails. Well...they will now be complaining about too much snow in the Northeastern side of the Catskill Mountains. To make matters worse, http://www.weather.gov is predicting another 6-12" Thursday night in to Friday.

On Tuesday night http://www.weather.gov predicted 5-9 inches of snow. But, this morning, some residents found that another 24" of snow fell on top of the 6" from the previous day. Some people were surprised and caught off guard. As one hiker said, the Northeast side the the Catskills we got hammered with snow! On the northeastern side of Windham High Peak (In between Acra and East Windham) we got 30" of snow. In East Windham some people were reporting more then 3' of snow. Here is a picture from the front seat of a plow truck:

Image

The building is 16' high, and the top of the plow blade is 48" high. One plow driver said that his truck is specially set up for plowing deep snow. High R85 thin tires with HD chains and limited slip differentials. Even with this, he had to make the first pass with the blade almost completely up. Even then, the truck would come to a complete stop due to the volume of snow. It took all day to get the road open (1/4 mile long). He said that he got terribly stuck almost a dozen times. Twice it took over an hour of digging to get it unstuck.

Here is another picture of a commercial road that had a pass done with the plow blade up:

Image

The person who did the photograph said that the snow was almost waist deep in this spot.

Typically, Blackhead get twice as much snow as we do. Blackhead could easily have 4-5 ' of fresh snow on the summit. With the rain this afternoon, and warm weather tomorrow, hopefully the snow will compact down to a reasonable level. Hopefully, we will not get more snow on Friday.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby mike » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 pm

Today, we got around 8-10" of snow before I left around 5:30 pm. It was still snowing. It was raining below Cairo. The roads were rough. We had a big problem of places to put the snow. This second storm will be smaller then the first snow.

Snow totals appear to be less in other areas.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby dave » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:53 pm

I did a road trip from Catskill up to Windham and finally to Maplecrest. Catskill has virtually no snow. But, as you head up Rt 23, the snow builds up very quickly. By the time you get near the top of the hill, the snow banks are 6-9 feet high.

NYS DOT also brought in a large snowblower to remove some of the snow. The snow banks are too high for the conventional trucks to remove.

The overall totals for snow was around 3' for Windham. Maplecrest has well in excess of 4'. I did talk with some of the residents, and they believe that the snow totals will be in excess of 5' further up the road. I tried to drive up the road, but I started to get stuck with my AWD. I had to turn back. Maybe tomorrow I will try again. The biggest totals seem to be on the northeast sides of the mountains in the NE Catskills. Rt 23 coming up the hill had more snow then Windham. Almost a foot more. The snow totals include accumulations from both storms. Some settling has occurred. One person who was digging their car out, had 1' foot above the roof of their car. The wind last night also affected the depths.

I did run into two hikers who were stranded at the WHP parking lot on Rt 23. They had parked their 4WD in the parking lot, but could not retrieve it because of the 4-5' snowbanks to the entrance of the DEC parking lot. They said that the snow depth was in excess of 4' at the lean-to, but didn't know how much deeper it was. They said that their ski poles would completely disappear when pushed in, and they still had not gotten to the bottom. They said if they tried to walk thru the snow, they would easily sink into the snow up to their waist. They also said that they talked with someone on Hunter Mtn, and the snow depth was 60". They also said that there was a significant number of trees down and bent over. Snow loaded trees were a big problem. They were soaking wet in spite of the waterproof clothing.

The side roads off of Rt 23 are very rough. There is 3-6" of snow pack. Where there was sand, it became a slush hole. So, the road was very bumpy. The average speed was around 10 MPH. You have to stop often because of stuck cars and trucks. Plow trucks were often stuck. Even those with chains. Beyond the village of Maplecrest, the snow depth on the road exceeded 1'. Rt 23 was in fairly good shape. You can run 30-40 mph.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby mtnclimber » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:03 pm

Nice to see you today Mike. Boy, did you get a LOT of snow! I couldn't believe how much you got. You actually have a lot more then Windham. Do you have any totals after the 2nd storm?

Too bad you can't join me tomorrow. Not sure where I am going to go.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby mike » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:20 pm

We got 30" during the first storm
We got 8-10" at the beginning of the second storm
And 11-14" at the end of the second storm
We will probably get a couple more inches tonight.

So, the total amount will be 50-55". But, it appears that we are strategically positioned to receive more then most. From what I have heard, some parts of the catskills got only a fraction of what we got.

It really depended upon where you were, elevation, and the amount of rain they got. A few miles apart made all the difference. This morning when I came thru Coxsackie the ground was brown and NO snow. Catskill had very little snow. But, as soon as you started up the hill on Rt 23, the snow banks grew dramatically. Below Kate Hill, had the most. The totals were massive. The one road had snow banks so high the road really could not be traveled with a car. It was just too narrow.

Thanks for stopping by. Sorry I couldn't have spend more time with you. But, snow removal duty was calling.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby alexis » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:29 pm

Here is another picture:

Image

If it snows anymore, the window view will be blocked.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby mike » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:14 pm

We got 30" during the first storm
We got 8-10" at the beginning of the second storm
And 11-14" at the end of the second storm
We got 8" on Friday night and 1" on Saturday.

This makes the total snow to be around 58-63".
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby dave » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:01 am

Rt 23a was closed today due to gridlock. It opened back up around 5 PM.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby mike » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:45 pm

NYS DEC had to use snowmobiles to evacuate people from their houses. Most didn't have power, telephone, or internet. There was no way out, and EMS could not get in. There was also a concern that roofs would collapse due to the heavy wet snow.

Some locations reported up to 7' of snow during the week. These locations are Hunter Mtn and Blackhead. We knew that Hunter Mtn had 60" two days ago, and most locations received another 1-2'.

In my lifetime, I have seen two storms in this area that dumped 4' of snow. But, this truly breaks this record substantially.
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Re: NE Catskills get over 30" of snow!

New postby dave » Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:04 pm

The largest snowfall was from Hunter Mtn to Tannersville to Blackhead/WHP. This area got pounded. The record seems to be Hunter Mtn with ~84". This beats the 1958 record.
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