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16 feet of snow on Donner Pass

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mdw
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16 feet of snow on Donner Pass
Posted by mdw on Thursday, December 30, 2021 4:48 PM

With now about 16 ft of snow on Donner Pass, has UP called out the rotaries yet?

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 30, 2021 5:48 PM

mdw
With now about 16 ft of snow on Donner Pass, has UP called out the rotaries yet?

Nah!  Two men with brooms!  [/sarcasm]

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, December 30, 2021 7:55 PM

Well, it is  December in the Sierra-Nevadas after all.  Sixteen feet of global warming on the ground shouldn't surprise anyone. 

Remember "Miningman?"  We correspond, and he tells me they've got -37 degrees of global warming where he is in Saskatchewan. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 30, 2021 8:03 PM

Arrived NE Florida 82 degrees of spot warming

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, December 30, 2021 10:19 PM

It got well below -40 in parts of Alberta a few nights ago, a friend said his thermometer read -51°C as he left for work early in the morning.

We don't get anywhere near as much snow and it is normally dry, not at all like the wet concrete that falls down east and closer to the Pacific coast.  

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, December 31, 2021 9:18 AM

SD70Dude
It got well below -40 in parts of Alberta

'Dude, I'm sure I don't need to tell you this but man, you be careful out there in that hellish cold!  I cannot imagine that kind of cold, unless it's in the Arctic or Antarctic.

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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, December 31, 2021 9:34 AM

It ain't da cold, it's da wind chill factor. 

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Posted by selector on Friday, December 31, 2021 4:16 PM

If one keeps moving, keeping warm is rarely a problem, even in extreme cold.  The wind about doubles the chilling effect at any temperature, so be warned. Usuually it's just the exposed skin you have to watch.  Nose tip, chin, forehead, and of course keeping the extremities warm is a must, if you're not careful with layers and with shaking 'it' properly, that other tip can get mighty stung as well.

When I was in the Canadian Army, we slept out in the snow (did that with scouts years later, too).  The secrets were three:

Get into a dry bag.

Throw one of them charcoal pocket warmers down the bottom of the inner liner.  VERY important at zero dark thirty in January.

Lastly, don't you dare sleep with your face inside the bag.  Otherwise, good luck with the first secret above next time you go to use the bag. Confused

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Monday, January 3, 2022 10:30 AM

Well this should give you an idea of how serious the weather has been on Donner this winter.  Interstate 80 was closed for a couple times this winter when feet of snow overwhelmed the ability to keep it clear.  It takes quite a bit to do that when even the DOT is equipped with airport grade snow blowers on Donner.  

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Posted by caldreamer on Monday, January 3, 2022 9:27 PM

I lived and worked in northern California for many years and chased trains from Colfax over the summit to Truckee.  Winter is not called Mother Nature or Old Man Winter, but the Storm King.  When the snow starts to fall 16 feet is not uncommon.There are two types of storms that hit the Sierra Nevada mountains, the pineapple express where the storm is coming from the pacifc ocean and the air is warmer creating light fluffy snow.  The other is coming from the gulf of Alaska with its colder air creating the infamous sierra cement which is the heavy wet snow. UP may have had the rotaries out.  One is based in Roseville just east of Sacramento and the other in Sparks, Nevada. Just wait for January  and February.  Great skiing up on the sierras.

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, January 3, 2022 10:40 PM

caldreamer
I lived and worked in northern California for many years and chased trains from Colfax over the summit to Truckee.  Winter is not called Mother Nature or Old Man Winter, but the Storm King.  When the snow starts to fall 16 feet is not uncommon.There are two types of storms that hit the Sierra Nevada mountains, the pineapple express where the storm is coming from the pacifc ocean and the air is warmer creating light fluffy snow.  The other is coming from the gulf of Alaska with its colder air creating the infamous sierra cement which is the heavy wet snow. UP may have had the rotaries out.  One is based in Roseville just east of Sacramento and the other in Sparks, Nevada. Just wait for January  and February.  Great skiing up on the sierras.

I would have featured the storm effects would be the opposite.  Warm air holds more water than cold air.  

In the Mid-Atlantic states the heavy wet snow happens when the storms get their starting moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and that moisture gets reinforced as the storm hugs the coast and gets more moisture off the Atlantic Ocean.  The lighter snow happens when the so called Alberta Clipper sweeps over the Great Lakes and dumps low moisture snow as the storm crosses the Allegheny Mountains.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 8:37 AM

The thing about the warmer air causing the powder is related to how dry the region is where it passes over prior to getting to the mountains.  The cement style storms tend to be fast moving coming in right off the coast and slamming into Donner hard before they have a chance to get sucked dryer.  

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Posted by timz on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 12:27 PM

mdw
has UP called out the rotaries yet?

Fans like to think the track has disappeared and only a rotary can find it. Actually, the track hardly ever disappears and a rotary is rarely needed. If UP brought one out now it would most likely be a tryout, giving employees a chance to learn how to work them. No doubt all the SP experts are long since gone.

16 feet of snow isn't that big of a deal if there wasn't much on the ground already. The spreaders can cope, and after the storm the bulldozers can make room for the next storm -- or does UP not send in bulldozers any more?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 7:50 PM

caldreamer
...creating the infamous sierra cement which is the heavy wet snow. UP may have had the rotaries out.  One is based in Roseville just east of Sacramento and the other in Sparks, Nevada. Just wait for January  and February.  Great skiing up on the sierras.

When I go out west, I ski the Rockies.  Once I skied the Tahoe area, plenty of snow, but that Sierra Cement lives up to its name.  I'll stick with the Rockies.

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