In this week’s SnoCast, the weather calms down… briefly. After a hyper-active 1-2 weeks behind us, some light shots of snow will continue to add to an already outstanding season.
A family trip to the mountains is an investment in time together, where many of us treasure memories of racing each other down the hill, hot chocolate breaks, and taking a dip in the pool at the end off the day. SnoCountry found some of the best destinations for the whole gang to rest their heads after a fun day on the slopes.
We’re turning the calendar to November in this SnoCountry SnoCast, and with that comes more signals that winter is coming. A weather pattern featuring frequent storm systems will impact both the western and eastern areas this week.
Fall and the first tastes of winter continue to duke it out across North America. With occasional bursts of cold and spurts of snow continuing in this week’s forecast, it’s a reminder that winter, truly, is not far away.
Those in the market for 2018-19 season passes at Vermont resorts still have time to save big, thanks to fall deadlines on some of the best deals in the business.
It’s just as fun to go up the mountain as it is to go down thanks to Vermont resort’s well maintained and sprawling trail networks. Thousands of acres of wilderness offer both challenging and meandering trails with beautiful views and the ability to choose between half-day hikes complete with summit dining, to overnight hikes and the opportunity to connect with Vermont’s iconic Long Trail system and the longest hiking foot path in the world, the Appalachian Trail.
Northern Vermont's Burke Mountain Resort might have been through some tumultuous times lately, but the thriving ski and riding, the new lift-served Burke Bike Park, and the opening of the 116-room Burke Hotel are victories for many in the Burke community who have worked hard to create a vibrant four-season resort at a mountain that is still recovering from April 2016 news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged investor fraud at EB-5 projects at Jay Peak and Burke.
Cruising on Spruce Peak at Stowe. (Stowe/Facebook)
Vermont resorts are offering 2018-19 season passes at their lowest prices this spring, and some options include access for the rest of this season, too. Several Vermont areas are also included in multi-mountain pass offerings for great travel options.
No matter the weather, lots of apres ski options at Jay Peak. (Jay Peak/Facebook)
At the end of the day, it’s all about the snow at Jay Peak. If you’ve got a family that is climbing the walls for some fun this winter, Jay Peak has you covered both on and off the slopes.
Visit Vermont during the tour to try some great Vermont products and enjoy Vermont's slopes. (Ski Vermont)
Skiers and snowboarders will once again be able to snack, sip and ski their way through Vermont’s favorite local food and drink vendors this year with the return of Ski Vermont’s Specialty Food Days Tour. This slope side tour will kick off Jan. 26 at Jay Peak, visiting fifteen resorts over the course of ten weeks.
Midwest resorts are in prime location to pick up several inches of snow and keep it around. (Boyne Highlands/Facebook)
Cold air dominates most of the United States and Canada through Christmas, leading to favorable conditions for snowfall in many areas.
Santa delivered an early Christmas present of more than three feet of snow on slopes throughout New England over the past week. And as a stocking-stuffer, cold temperatures wrapped up with all that new snow, allowing for round-the-clock snowmaking.
Sunny spring days ahead at Sugarloaf. (Sugarloaf)
Soft spring bumps and goggle tans are still calling many to the mountains in the Northeast, and a stormy March has left a handful of resorts in great shape to make it to May for those who aren’t ready to trade the skis for bikes and boats.
Investors in Tram Haus Lodge will receive a full repayment of their investment. (Jay Peak/Facebook)
Exactly one year after securities fraud charges were filed against Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Resort owner Ariel Quiros and resort President and CEO Bill Stenger, financial firm Raymond James Financial, Inc., has agreed to pay a $150 million settlement over its role in the alleged fraud relating to EB-5 projects in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe boasts the deepest overall base depth of any resort in the West with nearly 220" left on the ground, and a season total of nearly 750." There has been near record amounts of snow for the central Sierra Nevada range for the 2016-17 ski season. (Mt Rose Ski Tahoe/Twitter)
We continue to dig deeper into spring, but ski areas continue to press on. This week, we look to the Northwest U.S. for the best chance of new snow and fresh turns. But, cold enough temperatures at night in the Northeast may allow the ski season to continue for another week or more for some determined ski areas in the Northeast.
Here’s what to expect in the forecast for April 12 -17.
Western U.S.: We have to look to the Northwest part of the country to see fresh snow this week. Parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and some of Wyoming are in luck with this next storm system to roll through. Wednesday night through Thursday, expect snow to develop over the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and northern Rockies. Snow levels will generally be at or over 5500’ for this system. Expect a general 4-8” of new snow at many ski areas, with locally a foot or more for the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and also the higher mountains in Idaho by the end of the week.
On a side note, it has been an incredible year for snow over the Western mountains. The Central Sierra have about twice normal precipitation levels for this time of year, near the record pace of the '82-83 season. This has left current base depths deep enough to keep the season going strong well into spring for many Western resorts.
To see all ski areas open:
In the Rockies, click here
In the Northwest, click here
In the Southwest, click here
Eastern U.S. / Midwest: As I alluded to in last week’s SnoCast, the seasons are choosing sides. The cold is still left in the West, but spring has thoroughly sprung for the east. It’s been an awesome run this year for northeast ski areas with plenty of big dumps, but unfortunately this week is going to make it tough for ski areas to hang on much longer with several resorts targeting their last days. Temperatures will continue to be warm and spring-like by day, but still dip near the freezing mark at night. For those determined ski areas that keep going, snow blowing may be possible a few nights this week in the northeast and New England, but little or no natural snow is expected in the forecast. Hey! The best news of all, for those apres-ski and pond skimming events coming up, the weather looks absolutely perfect!
To see all ski areas open:
In the Northeast, click here
In the Midwest, click here
There are no Southeast region ski areas still turning chairs this season. See ya next year .
Canada: Much like in the U.S., all the cold air this week will be confined to the western part of the country. Snow will overspread the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta Thursday, and continue periodically into the weekend. Generally 4-8” of new snow can be expected, with locally a foot or more over the higher peaks. Meanwhile, in the East, it’s going to be tough to get much (if any) natural snowfall in the next 3-6 days at least. Temps will be near freezing overnights, but reach into the 40s and 50s by day for Southern Ontario and Quebec for the next several days.
To see all the ski areas open in Canada, click here
Look above at the model snowfall forecast image for a peek at possible snow amounts for Western Canada.
Finally, we'll cap it off with a mid-range forecast. Here’s a look at the temperatures outlook for the 6 -10 day forecast (April 17-21, 2017) from the Climate Prediction Center. Looks like there will still be cold air left in the Northwest and California, perhaps to bring in more snowfall with each passing system. Also in New England, blue on the image means colder than normal air. Otherwise, spring warmth builds in for next week.
That's all for this week's SnoCountry SnoCast, skiers and riders! Enjoy it while it lasts!
-Meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin
Sunny riding ahead for Stowe. (Stowe/Facebook)
On the heels of the news that Vail Resorts will be buying Stowe, buyers of the Epic Pass can now count Vermont as one of their destinations next winter. Vermont and the Northeast will be watching how this new pass offering will play out amidst the many other options for skiers and riders looking to maximize their time on the snow.
Jay Peak picked up some fresh snow earlier this week. The first sign as we turn to a colder, more active pattern in the Eastern U.S. (Jay Peak/Instagram)
What a ride it’s been the past week with continued record snowfall for the Western mountains and a messy mix of snow, sleet, and (ick) ice for some of the East. The weather pattern is changing for all regions this week. Let’s dig into this week’s SnoCast.
The changes we can expect this week (Jan. 25-31) feature a much more tranquil scene for the Western U.S. Meanwhile, for the Eastern U.S., a colder pattern will take over again, with potential for patchy snowfall with any storm system that develops. For all areas, even in a warmer than usual Canada, there will be fair conditions to make snow, if needed. In the image below, you're looking at the higher elevation temperature map into this weekend - notice the blue areas indicate colder than normal air, and red indicates warmer than normal.
Here’s what to expect by region for Jan. 18-23:
West: After record snowfall at so many locations through the month of January, high pressure will generally dominate the Western weather this week. This will generally mean that snow will be limited, but that’s OK at this point, as some ski areas are having a tough time turning the lifts after so much snow fell. Just check out this image tweeted out by Kirkwood in California earlier this week.
Good news is that the weather ahead should allow some great stretches of sunshine and bluebird days to look forward to. Any snow that does fall in the West this week will generally be very light and spread out over several days, and mainly squeezed out at the highest peaks. Totals could range anywhere from 2-6 inches from Thursday through the weekend for Colorado and Utah peaks, and between 1-4 inches for most other mountain tops. A quick front will dip into the Pacific Northwest Sunday night-Monday allowing for some better snow in the northern peaks of the Washington Cascades
East: In the east, following mild temps and snow melt the past two weeks, the tables are turning (and the lifts will be, too!). A large atmospheric trough will build in, allowing colder air to settle in for most of the Great Lakes region, and down the Eastern seaboard. Cold is, of course, the first thing we need to set the stage for snow.
I’d keep my eye on a couple of things. A quick moving, weak low pressure system Wednesday-Thursday treks from the Midwest, northeastward into Quebec. This will bring a mix of snow, sleet, and perhaps some chilly rain to some of our Midwest ski areas, New York’s Adirondacks, and New England ski areas. Behind this system is when much colder air is ushered in by a persistent west/northwest wind. That wind and leftover moisture should allow upslope snowfall Friday and Saturday against the Adirondacks, Green and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, and perhasps into Maine’s peaks, too.
A cold front dips into northern New England Sunday, which will bring a few more inches of fresh snow once again. Best bets: Whiteface, Jay Peak, Stowe. Here’s the snowfall forecast through Friday evening, keeping in mind another 3-6 inches may fall in the Northern mountains over the weekend.
Canada: After some fresh snow earlier this week in Quebec (~20 cm at Le Massif), we head into a warm stretch for much of Canada this week. Much warmer than average temperatures will prevail over most of the country for this forecast period we’re talking about. Check out the forecast model image below by the “European” ECMWF forecast model. The orange and red colors indicate above normal temperatures, which covers most of the country.
Despite this fact, temps will still be cold enough to support snow. With a large trough/active pattern over the Eastern country, I'd expect some light snow in the Quebec mountains through the weekend, perhaps 5-10 cm. Also in the West, a small area of exception to the warmer temps will likely be across the far southwest of the country in British Columbia. Expect new snow over the weekend as coastal moisture streams into British Columbia, allowing some wet snow for these ski areas, likely between 25-35 cm.
Happy skiing and riding! 'Til next week!
North America's largest resort Whistler Blackcomb is now owned by Vail. (Whistler Blackcomb/Facebook)
Consolidation of ownership, ticketing and even between mountains highlighted the winter resort news of 2016 – all giving skiers and riders more bang for their buck.
Layers will be key as you hit the slopes this week! With the right precautions, nothing can stop skiers and riders from getting the fresh snow at Jay Peak Resort where a quick hit of arctic cold air is followed by some fresh snow for the weekend. (Photo: Christopher Kurdek)
We are going to see some temp swings both in the East and West in this week’s outlook. From warm ups to January-like cold snaps, and snow in between, here’s the breakdown of the forecast in this week's SnoCast.
We’re in mid December, the holidays are coming right up, and the ski conditions look great. Last winter was (not so fondly) "the winter that wasn't" for a lot of the East, no thanks to very warm temps. This year...much better! About 40 percent of the U.S. has snow on the ground, and nearly 100 percent of Canada. Compared to this time last year, many ski resorts are happy leading into the holidays.
This week's outlook (Dec. 14-19) is quite a different story. Unlike last year with warm temps, we are in for some really chilly snaps that will have you digging for the layers before hitting the slopes in some areas. Oh, and snow, too. Here's what to expect by region.
Northeast: It seems we keep getting hit after hit of snow in the Northeast. While each system is generally small and quick moving, it has helped generate good early season skiing and riding. It’s going to be brutally cold (like, lots of layers and frequent 'pop-ins to the lodge’ cold) to finish this week. Most ski areas will have temps below zero in the mornings in New York and New England, and daytime highs in the single digits Friday. That arctic chill breaks a bit for the weekend, though, as a system moves through the Great Lakes. Expect a few inches of fresh snow on the mountains Saturday. Get out early before milder temps build back in through the day (and maybe a little mixed precip). The numbers below show the GFS model output, but do not account for any melting after as temps climb Saturday-Sunday. Look for another quick cold snap behind that system for early next week.
MidWest:A forecast with “book-end” arctic air for our Midwest ski areas this week. Bone-chilling mornings and mid-winter like days finish this work week. Look for a small shot of natural snow later Friday night into Saturday as a quick moving system drops a few inches of snow. That system pulls in yet another taste of arctic air to follow for early next week. One word: layers.
West: Western ski areas may also have some temperature swings to deal with this week. A storm system moving through northern California has tons of moisture with it Wednesday-Thursday (Dec. 14-15), but snow levels will be very high as warmer air comes in from the Pacific. As that system pushes inward, there will be enough cold air to get snow over Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming mountains Thursday and lingering into the start of the weekend. Look for the highest amounts, a foot or more, over the Wasatch of Utah and the Wyoming Wind River and Teton Ranges. Get out Friday for best conditions, since bitter cold air pours in by the weekend for a lot of the interior west mountains. Another quick shot of snow comes into the Pacific Northwest (Washington/Oregon Cascades) Sunday with a few more inches.
Canada: Certainly enough cold air to go around now. Very cold, arctic air will dip through eastern Canada finishing this work week. Another pocket of cold, arctic air also swings through central Canada over the weekend. So, where’s the snow? The storm system mentioned in the Northeast section will deliver several inches of snow for ski areas in Ontario and Quebec Saturday. There will be plenty of time to make snow for ski areas with ample cold in place. Look for deeper moisture over British Columbia, the coastal range and Rockies by the end of the weekend and especially early next week. This will likely bring big accumulation over several days, really picking up intensity sometime mid next week. We’ll be talking about that in next week’s SnoCast.
That's all 'til next week's SnoCast.
Special thanks to Lyndon State College students Amanda Stone, Chris Kurdek, and Scott Myerson for weekly contributions and forecasts.