Not just a typical Jan. thaw
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MichaelB
January 3, 2006
Member since 11/20/2000 🔗
61 posts
I will officially sound the alarm. Even though December was fantastic, take a look at the temps and weather predictions over the next 2 weeks from the National Weather Service, Accuweather, etc.

This is not a January thaw. We are looking at normal to above normal temps for at least the next 3 weeks with only a minor cool down this weekend. The cold pattern collapsed on Jan. 20. That means we will certainly see at least 4 weeks of warm, above normal temps. That is not a January thaw!

There were a lot of bold predictions on this site back in December about this being an exceptional ski winter. I don't see anything exceptional any more. The long range models for Feb. are calling for more of the same.

This winter looks like a repeat of 2001-2002.
kwillg6
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,030 posts
I think that to cry the sky is falling is premature.
If you go back over the past two years and look at the January 3rd temperature, you would find that we had record or near record warmth and each year ended up as better than average on the slopes...Besides, what do the long range forcasters know anyway?
hockeydave
January 3, 2006
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
As long as the nights are cold and dry enough to make snow and the days remain cloudy and below 40F, the base laid down by the big boys (Snowshoe, 7S, Wisp) and Mother Nature in December should pull them thru this warmer than usual spell. Remember last year at this time... 7S only had Wagner open and LM was completely closed. So all in all, slightly above average temperatures coupled with a little rain isn't that bad. The weekend is looking good in the Laurels for snowmaking.
skiTLINE
January 3, 2006
Member since 12/15/2004 🔗
230 posts
I am looking at NOAA.gov under zipcode 26260 (davis) and from what i see there really isnt a bad warm trend at least for the next 10 days. temps actually are looking avg to slightly below a few nites dropping to low teens. I aint worried bout this at all. At least thats me
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snowcone
January 3, 2006
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Just forget Accuweather, Weather.com, Weatherbug and all the other weather wannabees. Basically all they do is take NOAA reports and massage the data for peddling. Even the top Pro mets are having all sorts of issues this winter predicting anything with any accuracy that is further out than 3-4 days. What makes you think AccuNever is going to give an accurate prediction of the weather 15 days out when the top pros can't?

If you watch NWS over the period of a week they change the forward predictions on a daily basis. Yes, it is currently warmer than the norm but if the resorts can get into nighttime temps in the 20s for snowmaking then we are in good shape.

We not be Utah. We be Mid Atlantic and our snow is 90% manmade. Mother Nature is way too busy out west doing gorgeous powder dumps to be bothered by us peons. Ya'll want natural snow? Then stop kvetching and go west. Otherwise just enjoy our unique conditions and be proud of the fact that if you can ski MidA you can ski anywhere.
Roger Z
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
The January weather we had last year was abysmal. Way worse than this, and a number of ski resorts made it through without closing (not that I'd want to ski the WRODs that most of them clung to but still). The fact that ski resorts will be able to churn the guns fairly regularly through this mild stretch is a good sign. It's not that I want to see this weather for the rest of the winter, just that the resorts can make ends meet pretty well until the cold weather invariably returns.

Another thing: those forecasts beyond two weeks are almost useless. I've been watching the forecasts in Utah all winter (for a ski trip in March) and haven't seen them forecast a storm more than five days in advance yet, and those five day predictions are outliers- many of the 1 foot storms that have struck they haven't seen coming until two or three days in advance. On the east coast, the phenomenon is that generally they don't shift the long range forecasts until the short range temperatures shift.

Another curious thing: I'm here in Florida and they're forecasting highs in the 50s here in Orlando the day AFTER the weather is supposed to start warming up in the central Appalachians. Are we to believe that Florida is going to get colder while the Mid-Atl and Northeast are warming up? Something isn't right- the forecasts don't jive from region to region. So we'll see what happens when it happens.
jimmy
January 3, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
This winter's forecast

Quote:

It was October and the Indians on a remote reservation asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he became the chief in a modern society, he had never been taught all the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the winter was going to be like.
Nevertheless, to be on the safe side he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.
Now being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to a phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again. "Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?"

"Yes," the man at the National Weather Service again replied "it's going to be a very cold winter."

The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.
Still apprehensive the chief called the National Weather Service once again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"

Absolutely, the man replied. It's looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters ever.
How can you be so sure the chief asked.
The weatherman replied, because the Indians are collecting firewood like crazy!



MichaelB
January 3, 2006
Member since 11/20/2000 🔗
61 posts
Quote:

Just forget Accuweather, Weather.com, Weatherbug and all the other weather wannabees. Basically all they do is take NOAA reports and massage the data for peddling. Even the top Pro mets are having all sorts of issues this winter predicting anything with any accuracy that is further out than 3-4 days. What makes you think AccuNever is going to give an accurate prediction of the weather 15 days out when the top pros can't?

If you watch NWS over the period of a week they change the forward predictions on a daily basis. Yes, it is currently warmer than the norm but if the resorts can get into nighttime temps in the 20s for snowmaking then we are in good shape.

We not be Utah. We be Mid Atlantic and our snow is 90% manmade. Mother Nature is way too busy out west doing gorgeous powder dumps to be bothered by us peons. Ya'll want natural snow? Then stop kvetching and go west. Otherwise just enjoy our unique conditions and be proud of the fact that if you can ski MidA you can ski anywhere.




Who is kvetching??? And where did I say that I expect western conditions at Whitetail or Liberty?

Dave Tolleris from WXRisk predicted this warmup back in early December along with 4 other top pro mets on EUSWXB. That is a heck of alot longer than the 3-4 days forecasting that you say is only possible. They predicted the warmup would last from the week before Christmas all the way up until at least 1/15. Last time I checked that is 21 days. So far, they have nailed the forecast going back 20 days from today. Not bad, in my opinion. Now, he and some of the others are predicting a minor cool down this weekend, which is unfortunately going to be followed by a return to normal to above normal temps through to the end of the month. We are under a screaming Pacific Jet which has trapped all the cold air up in Canada and there is no sign in the models that this will change any time soon. Hey, if they are wrong, I'll be the first one to cheer! But so far they have hit the bullseye.

All I am saying is: "this is not just the typical January thaw" I am merely advancing the idea that perhaps this is not going to be the "great" ski winter we expected from what we saw in December. I have skiied the Mid Atlantic all my life and I never said that I expected natural snow. When was the last time they had the snowguns on at Liberty or Whitetail? Answer: 12/22 That means no snowmaking now for 12 days. With rain predicted for Wed. and Thurs., even with the low temps overnight on Friday and Saturday, we could start to see reductions in trail counts right up into the following weekend.

I imagine the folks at Snowtime should be a little nervous right about now.
kennedy
January 3, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
From looking at Whitetails webcam you can see the puke patches forming. Overall the wintoer may not end up being a wash out but it's not looking too strong right now. 2 weeks of warm weather will put a major dent in the season. As I recall last year while it rollercoastered a bit there were no major sustained warm/wet spells to really destroy base until the end of the season. I don't care about natural and I'm not concerned about warm daytime temps as long as it stays reasonably dry and gets plenty cold at night.
Roger Z
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Well, although last winter was a bit warmer than normal thanks to the January implosion we haven't had a truly warm winter in four years. Sometime in the next couple years, we're due for one or two of 'em.
tgd
January 3, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
You know, I think DT also predicted a major winter storm over New Years week after he predicted a warm trend 2 weeks earlier. Of course that winter storm turned out to be the rain we have had the last couple days. He just shut up about it after it after the models starting trending back to his original forecast - talk about hedging bets! Today WXRisk is hinting at an East Coast winter storm in a week also. So, my impression is that there is a lot of guessing going on and no one has a clue what is going to happen until it does - then they'll say I told you so. Checking the long term forecasts is just a good way of burning up time at work. I'm taking the Mid-Atlantic winter a weekend at a time. If this season we don't get the 170"-220" of Mother Nature's snow we've gotten annually in Canaan Valley over the past 3 years - that just means we are due next year.
JohnL
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,516 posts
I've lived in DC since 1988 and I don't think this winter has been all that remarkable one way or the other. Late November and early December were unseasonably cold and snowy and produced some great early season conditions. It's been warm since mid-December, but we really haven't had any drastic warm-ups. I can recall plenty of past December and January days in the 60's and 70's. Getting some rain during this warm period has certainly hurt the ski area bases; often the warm spells are sunny and dry.

Counting on consistently cold temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic is pretty much futile.

Last winter was horrific until the end of January. The good news was that despite the warm temps, most areas stayed open in January. To balance out the poor start, West Virginia had some epic dumps during the end of February and early March.
skier219
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I would say to get out there this coming weekend and enjoy it while you can -- in WV, there will be light snow from Wednesday night through Saturday. That ought to be enough to rescue the weekend at least. Just don't carve too hard because it will be nasty underneath the new snow....
Murphy
January 3, 2006
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Quote:

I would say to get out there this coming weekend and enjoy it while you can -- in WV, there will be light snow from Wednesday night through Saturday. That ought to be enough to rescue the weekend at least. Just don't carve too hard because it will be nasty underneath the new snow....




NWS has a second system coming in behind this one with snow Sunday through Tuesday (as far as they forecasted). It'll be alright.
Roger Z
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Agreed. I mean, I've seen a lot crappier warm spells than this one. If this is as bad as the warm spells get this winter (doubtful), then we're gonna have a pretty nice winter. Keep your fingers crossed!
fishnski
January 3, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
The night is still young! What better time to have a warmup than in Jan the coldest month? Chances are when we get into the warmer months the cold air will return. Thats when we will really need it.There will be a warm spell every winter around here so just wish for that "Jan Thaw"..we got another 100 inches of snow to go up in the high country before this winter is done. Hey Roger,Florida is 1 day behind our Mtns weatherwise or at least tempwise.The cold air drops south & east. The warm air returns from the southwest hitting our mtns 1st & then as the left over bubble of cold over florida moves east the warmth returns.Anyway you knew that & by the way..I got somthing FUZZY you can hug..you muddah!
jimmy
January 3, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
MichaelB you're right we're possibly in for a tuff stretch of weather but this has already been "an exceptional ski winter." Fast start like u said about 00-01 but that means some quality days already, ya tgd, weekend by weekend that's us, headin down thursday, big cold yet to come!

Smile, ULLR loves ya .
fishnski
January 3, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
If a clockwise rotating high pressure system gets stuck in the carolinas,the sw flow on the backside keeps the mtns warm but the ne flow over the cold waters of the Atlantic blow into Florida which of course keeps it cool. Who cares right? Goodnite
Mountain Masher
January 4, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
MichaelB, I agree with your assessment for the remainder of the ski season. The current 15 day Accuweather forecast shows (for the most part) relatively mild temps for the mid-Atlantic. Plus, the long-range NOAA outlook shows Equal Chances for temps (1/3 chance mild, 1/3 chance normal, 1/3 chance colder than normal) moving forward from the end of the aforementioned 15 day Accuweather forecast. So, when the predicted 15 day or so mild spell ends, there will be about 6 weeks of core Winter season left until Mar. 1. And, colder than normal temps will likely be in place approximately 1/3 of this time, which translates to ONLY 2 weeks of true Winter weather. Granted, I've excluded March from this prediction, which can be a cold and snowy month, particularly in the higher elevations of WV. However, the DC/Baltimore area and the close-in, day-tripper ski areas are likely to experience a rather mild Winter (and a sub-par ski season) from here-on out.
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