With temperatures climbing into the 60’s today, many area skiers and boarders are wondering if El Niño has returned. A warming trend the past week, kicked off by some rain over the weekend, has left local ski resorts nervously watching their snow bases slowly melt.
Not to fear. Starting Friday night, temperatures will begin to return to more seasonal levels, and resorts will respond in kind with snowmaking. Throughout next week, nighttime temperatures at local resorts will dip down into the 20’s, allowing the snowguns to come back on-line. Daytime temperatures will hover in the 30’s, with partly cloudy skis, opening up the possibility of some excellent mid-week conditions.
Despite the recent warm trend, most resorts have fared well. Although surface conditions have been soft and springlike, careful grooming has patched up any spots and trail counts at local resorts are still very high. Resorts are now hoping for low temperatures that will allow them to add enough snow to their bases to last into March, Mother Nature willing. Although conditions have been fair the past week, resorts have seen visit rates tank, since many skiers and boarders simply don’t think about hitting the slopes when it’s t-shirt weather.
It looks like the “January thaw” will end with the commencement of February; hopefully February will be “thaw-free”!
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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