Well we have endured the annual January thaw, and while it was much sooner than usual and more damaging, it is suppose to end by Thursday. Once the temperatures return to normal in the mountains will the snow follow? I know 7springs, snowshoe, and possibly Wisp will be able to cover their mountains. But many mountains with much shallower pockets (or cheaper owners) will need a couple of good dumps to salvage a good season. Will it happen? I am hoping we keep the pattern we have had with moisture being swooped up from the Gulf but coliding with an arctic blasts that sticks around. If that happens and you throw in that lake effect snow for good measure and we could end up with a great season yet.
Massanutten in Virginia will be able to lay down some serious snow once it gets cold. Before all the warm weather, they had all but one trail opened. I would imagine that if the cold weather holds, by next weekend, they will be back to at least that point. Here in Fredericksburg, I am looking at two days of 70-degree weather before it gets colder on Friday.
This warm weather is turning to be a bitter-sweet moment. There is one part of me that kinda enjoys the warm weather, but there is that other part of me that really want to get some good skiing in. I'd liked to go up and visit WT, Liberty, or RT this season, as I've never skied any of those. But with the warm weather, it is kinda throwing a wrench into those plans.
I think that many of the ski areas in the mid-Atlantic are going to get some snow next week. Since lake Erie hasn't frozen over yet, PA and the high elevations of WV are likely to get hit with lake-effect snows in addition to some snows originating out of the Ohio Valley. However, Accu-weather's 15 day forecast shows some mild weather returning to the mid-Atlantic by about day 13 or 14 of their forecast. So, given that it's going to get cold by Friday evening (Jan. 14), many ski areas should have around 9 or 10 days of solid snowmaking weather. By the time the next mild spell returns, most ski areas should be in pretty good shape. And, it's unlikely that any future warm period will last more than a few days. So, once the ski areas get a decent snow base down, we should have around 6 weeks of solid skiing, which would bring us into March. However, given that most ski areas will have less than their normal late-season base, I look for some early end-of-season closures.
There is a noticable abscence of lake effect snow this year. Last year we received large amounts in the Laurel Highlands during January. This crappy weather pattern, even when cold, has produced little lake effect snow. It seems what is missing this year is the "Clipper" storms that pass to the north near the Great Lakes and send the winds across the lakes to deposit the white bounty on our local mountains. To put it bluntly, the weather sucks in every way this year. Usually when we have a warm pattern, the resorts east of the Allegheny front suffer while the resorts to the west are able to stick it out. Hell, that's why I bought realestate in the Laurel Highlands. I pray to the snow gods to give us a break.
Mountain Masher, i wouldn't rely on the accuweather forecast for over 7 or 8 days. Their forecast for over that has been very incorrect in the past.
As I write this, the Snowshoe weather info on the DCSki home page shows that it is 69 degrees
Can this possibly be right??? I know there is a warm front, but almost 70 at the top of Snowshoe on January 12th? It often isn't that warm there in July. Oh my....
That weather info comes from Accuweather. Common belief is that it's based on weather out of Elkins, possibly with some altitude correction. The Snowshoe weather station reported 55 at 2pm. Still probably a record for that station.
If you really want to know today's high at Snowshoe, check this web page tomorrow. It shows the highs and low for the previous day. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/RLX/HYDRLX
. FYI it shows 47 as the high for Tuesday/Wednesday morning (actually occurred at 7am on Wednesday).
Things are actually looking pretty good for Snowshoe and 7 Springs. These resorts can really crank the snow once the cold air arrives, which it should starting Friday. Furthermore, they do not need to start from ABSOLUTE scratch--they still have some base to play with. I'd say in 1-2 days, it will be a different world at both mountains. Maybe I'm optimistic but that's how I feel. In the meantime, I am enjoying biking to work.