New Zealand Teleroo's Mt Ruapehu Spring Weather chat

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Heading off to Ohakune NZ for twenty odd days of skiing at Mt Ruapehu with the +1 and telejoeys from this weekend (21 Sept). For a bit of a laugh, and having watched how it's done this winter by the gurus here, I thought I'd have a crack at the snow forecasting schtick for my upcoming trip. Only got access to the freely available web products of GFS and ECMWF (I gather the gurus have paid subscriptions to other websites providing additional products). What I've found seems to work for me is the GFS graphical output at wxmaps.org and the yr.no site output. A couple of basic parameters for those interested. Main ski fields are Turoa and Whakapapa. Both have base elevations of 1600 metres and highest lifted point of roughly 2300m each. Whaka faces west, Turoa south. Either can be closed depending on prevailing conditions. So here goes.

Predictions: 23 to 27 Sept - Freshies for Aussies
GFS has been gunning for a pineapple express starting late Monday next week (23rd Sept) for a few days now, with moderate rain through Tues, followed by a colder SW airflow. Latest model runs have spun up a tight little low south west of the north island for Tuesday, but with a big whack of colder 540 dam air to the south west. That's what we'll be waiting for to push through.

aus2.120hr.png


EC also has this big pool of colder air sitting in the wings (nice to see model agreement) with snow forecast Wed-Thu-Fri. Should be sufficient to top up the boilerplate that seems to have developed in the last week or so. The rain should soften the boilerplate and allow the new stuff to stick without too much avy risk. Gut feeling is the EC/yr.no precip total for Tuesday of 9mm is going to be a bit on the light side. Looks to be a solid tropical feed there, so I'd be expecting a bit more on the precip front, assuming the models can capture the local topographic effects of the moutain.

upload_2019-9-19_21-31-39.png


So plan will be ski Monday, probably chillax Tuesday depending on what the resort reports are like. Action stations from Wednesday onwards, hoping Turoa and/or Whaka are open for business.
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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EC precip totals for the prefontal have been bumped up for Turoa to values (47mm) closer to what i was expecting. Potential for 50cm plus from this system.

Screenshot_20190920-152754.png
 
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teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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GFS still looking strong for a cold outbreak during the 06Z run. The 540 dam line just about covering the entire north island and 534 dam approaching the southern side of Ruapehu.
GFS consistent with EC with both now indicating 24 hr precip totals of 50 mm + precip by midday Tuesday 24th.
Some snow now in the forecast for Ohakune.
+1 adding extra woolies to the luggage.
An event of this size however is probably going to mean ski field closure whilst they sort the effects :(. But send that big old high pressure along after please.

gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_22.png
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Sat night prediction update.
GFS has the 540 dam crossing Ruapehu are about 6pm local time Tuesday evening. So probably that pre-frontal going to be pretty solid before turning to snow.
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_13.png


Both EC and GFS indicate Wednesday night/early Thursday morning should see the coldest air, with a sustained SW airflow. Best chance for low level snow, possibly down to Ohakune. Both models pretty consistent with this pattern now for several model runs.

gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_19.png
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Sunday night update.
Snuck in a sneaky post lunch ski at Turoa. Spring corn in abundance but man there's are hard layer of what seems pure ice lurking beneath the spring corn. Bluebird arvo, temps about 20 deg c and only light winds.

Anyway, tomorrow arvo the weather changes. Rain from Monday arvo. EC and GFS seem to have pushed back the cold change until Tuesday midday.

Screenshot_20190922-195907.png
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Time to switch to Observations Mode 24-28 Sept
Monday 24 th

Was grey, overcast with light drizzle at Ohakune. Went back to bed , the after early wakeup. However
upper slopeso of Turoa were above the clouds, with light/moderate NW winds, a little below zero deg C above 2000m. Here's a photo of a telejoey high up above the clouds. The day surprised on the upside but we bailed about 2pm when the cloud and moisture started coming in.

IMG_20190923_101452_compress30.jpg
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Predictions update:
Both GFS and EC have a second snow system on the cards Saturday night. Maybe another 20-30 cm on the cards. Gale westerlies forecast next few days, Turoa closure on the cards, maybe due to avalanche risk.

Here's GFS's take on Saturday's action.
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_21.png
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Observations 23-28 Sept
Turoa closed due to heavy rain. Raining in Ohakune too. All as per forecasts issued Thursday last week. Love them weather models.
 

essjaywhy

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Tūroa 2* Freeride World Qualifier on from this friday, hope you enjoy it.

NZAC Ski touring weekend meet, from Oct 4 at Tukino.

Another prime month of corn skiing to come ... back on 02/10
 
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teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Observations: Officially pi55ing down in Ohakune now (midday). Was about now the colder air was forecast to come through so about on cue for heavier precip as cold temps squeeze the moisture out.


IMG_20190924_124838_compress29.jpg



Signs of subzero temps on the upper mountain with rime, maybe a little snow sticking to chairlifts.

latest (1).jpg


Somewhat ominously, most of the locals I've spoken to reckon no ski resort action likely for a few days due to strong winds, possible avalanche control.
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Yes, noticed that. Metservice has upped the snow for Turoa to 58+28+27=113cm. But speaking to a few locals here they are of the opinion that metservice regularly overstates snow falls. So we'll see. EC via yr.no has about 40mm precip = 40cm snow over next three days, which is a somewhat lower.

Turoa yr.no:
Screenshot_20190924-180830.png
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Start with Obs for today (Wednesday):
Turoa closed due to weather. Skied Whakapapa, well the Happy Valley beginners valley. Snow on the ground at Tongariro Chalet, locals saying it snowed at National Park last night. Snowed on and off at Whakapapa, more so in the arvo (as predicted). Temps hovered around zero at the ski field base. Probably about 20cm accumulation overnight at Whaka.

Solid rain at lower elevations. Back at Ohakune now and blowey and showery tonight, with some sleet.

Now to forecast:. EC and GFS both gunning for a week of snow. Saturday looking like best chance for some resort opening on both models.

Turoa via yr.no
Screenshot_20190925-191338.png


gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_13.png



This forecast schtick over here at the moment is more about trying to pick the open days rather than the snow days :confused:.
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Thursday AM obs:
Turoa closed due to blizzards, neg 10 deg c at top.
Whaks reporting 15-30 cm snow, blizzard, waiting on further assessment before deciding whether to open. Bruce Rd closed ATM.

Whaka Happy Valley:
1569434401359.jpg
 

POW Hungry

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Argh! Just as how I recall Ruapehu’s temperament. Akin to Mount Hutt’s ‘mount shut’ parody.
Need to savour those ‘spring’ days to remind you of blue bird and deep snowpack because when she blows through the Tongariro, she blows for days!
 
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teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Just a quick follow up on the forecast post from Friday night last week, more for model verification purposes than anything else. The EC forecasts had (a little) snow in the forecast for Ohakune on
Thursday morning. Well, it turned up, right on queue five days out from the initial forecast. A little graupel. Job well done ECMWF.


IMG_20190926_072331_compress66.jpg
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Forecast update Thursday 26 Sept
Friday still looking iffy for Ruapehu Resort access. Gale SW winds will be the killer. Possibly a day for Tukino if they open being on the eastern side of Ruapehu, but possibly still blizzard conditions on that side of the mountain.
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_4.png


Saturday is the next big hope for clear weather, lighter winds and less precip:
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_9.png


But Sunday looking iffy for a bit of late pineapple action prior to a colder change with more snow. Both EC and GFS consistent on this.
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_14.png


Turoa EC via yr.no
Screenshot_20190926-172952.png
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Friday Obs: rainy, cloudy, about zero at Whakapapa. Beginner area only open. Turoa closed. Not much chop for skiing o_O.
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Predictions Update Friday.
Saturday and Sunday are the big hopes for some clear weather.
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_4 (1).png


But Monday and several days after looking like Ruapehu resort closers:
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_12.png
 

teleroo

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Jun 19, 2019
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Predictions update Sunday night for Ruapehu
Fair blob of precip inbound fir Monday before turning to snow late on Monday night according to GFS. Here is the Monday 18Z plot with the 540 dam contour over Ruapehu.

gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_7.png


The 535 dam contour covers the whole north island by Tuesday night.
gfs_mslp_pcpn_swpac_9 (1).png


EC vis yr.no for Turoa in good agreement again, with metservice going for snow to 900m Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Screenshot_20190929-204532.png
 
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teleroo

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Ski Pass
Jun 19, 2019
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Obs update Monday:
Cliud building over Ruapehu. Turoa closed due to wind, Whaka planning on lower lifts only but vis is shite. Clouds whistling over Ohakune from the NW.


latest (3).jpg
 

teleroo

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Ski Pass
Jun 19, 2019
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Tuesday Obs
Sunday's models were pretty much spot on today. Started snowing at Turoa as the lifts opened, within a few hours of the timing of the 540 dam contour crossing (forecast for 18z Monday = 6am Tuesday). Tuesday afternoon, when the 534 dam contour was at its northern-most saw an hour of snow at Ohakune elev 650 m, pic below.

IMG_20191001_170637_compress50.jpg


Lovely snow earlier up the mountain on the drive home.
IMG_20191001_155359_compress88.jpg
 
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MattS

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Obs update Monday:
Cliud building over Ruapehu. Turoa closed due to wind, Whaka planning on lower lifts only but vis is shite. Clouds whistling over Ohakune from the NW.

Was recently doing a NZ trip and was planning on calling through Whakapapa on a Wellington-Taupo road leg to show the kids some snow on this day. Sounds like our decision to avoid the mountain on that day was probably for the best.
 
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