Marching into spring

crocus buds emerging from snow

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

Jump onto skiable conditions close by this weekend- a warming trend for next week will likely to prompt some touring centers in low-lying areas to lie low, closing trails during the week to preserve their snowpack for the following weekend.

Currently, Fahnestock is groomed, and Minnewaska is groomed and has set tracks (classic skiers say: ‘whoo hoo!’). High Point and Mohonk have closed their trails for skiing, at least for today. All I can say is to try calling on the weekend.

Conditions

Universal klister
Something classic skier might need this weekend

Following the warm spell and subsequent freeze, the snowpack has gotten crusty and icy, particularly in the low-lying areas and south of the Adirondacks. Where touring center operators have the equipment, they can make multiple passes to break up the surface to create loose granular conditions. Regardless, there can be some firm or icy sections which make for a status of ‘skiable’ rather than ‘good skiing’.

Expect that conditions will be firm and fast, particularly in the morning. Skaters remember to keep your feet under you, and classic waxers, pack that klister.

Still plenty of ‘life’ left to winter, as the photos below show:

Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ or in the menu above for reported conditions, and check out the snow depth graphic below.

Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 5 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 5 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Forecast

Warming trend starts after this weekend. The issues for the remaining snowpack are: nighttime temps that will stay above freezing starting in the southern region starting Tuesday night and extending northward Wednesday night, and possible rain next Thursday and Friday.

Temperatures will come back down to the 30s in the north country for the following Saturday, with a slight chance of snow showers. Downstate will be in the mid-40s to low-50s.

Day-by-day:

Today (Friday): Wintry and somewhat blustery. Downstate and southern New England temps in the low- to mid-30s for the most part, some areas at elevation in the 20s. From the Catskills northward, highs will be in the teens to 20s, with some single digits in the mountains. Stiff breezes and some gusty winds at elevation from the WNW. Slight chance of snow showers in the north country.

Saturday and Sunday’s temps will be similar in range to Friday. Winds slightly lighter and shifting to NNW. Some lake-effect snow likely on Saturday for central NY and parts of the far north.

Monday marks the start of a major warming trend, with downstate highs reaching the mid-40s. Inland, the daytime temps will be from the mid-30s to low-40s from central NY across southern New England and the lakes region of NH. The far north country will reach just about freezing, and only the mountains will stay in the 20s.

Tuesday high temps jump about ten degrees- upper-40s to mid-50s downstate and in the lowlands across the northeast, 40s in the north country. Tuesday night the low temps downstate will be above freezing. Above-freezing nighttime temps will spread northward as the warming trend continues in the latter part of the week.

By Wednesday the NYC metro will be over sixty degrees(!), and many low-lying areas of the northeast will hit the 60˚ mark. The mountain areas of NY and New England will get into the 40s. Meanwhile, winds will have turned southerly and potentially very blustery in the mountains.

Thursday temps will be much the same but with winds from the southwest and a chance of rain. The precipitation probabilities are highest in western and central NY, and also further north. Thursday also marks the peak of the warming trend. Temperatures start dropping on Friday and will be back to a late-wintertime coolness in the north country by Saturday, along with a chance of snow showers.

Happy skiing. Thanks for reading.

Spring skiing now

titmouse on a snowy branch
It’s winter as long as we can ski!

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

Downstaters have now had four weeks of skiable conditions at the closest areas with groomed trails: Fahnestock, Minnewaska, Mohonk, and High Point.

Today (Tuesday) the continuing gusty winds and icy crust have caused a number of touring centers to close trails for clean-up and grooming. Backcountry and off-piste skiing may need to wait till at least tomorrow afternoon for the cover to loosen up a bit.

Freeze-thaw cycles during the week, with a little help from grooming or skiing through to break up the chunks, will keep conditions in decent shape. If there’s enough snow, there should be some nice days of skiing coming up!

During the week, only central NY and the far north country have any chance of precipitation. But if a location you like has a decent snowpack as of today, the parts that aren’t too exposed to sun should keep some kind of skiable conditions through the weekend.

Advice is: ski what you’ve got, when you can. It’ll be crusty and fast in the mornings, less so as the day goes on.

Conditions

Corn snow and frozen granular for most, but some areas will get light snow showers.

Due to the extreme turnaround in temperature, combined with gusty winds, several touring centers have closed trails for Tuesday. They’ll reopen Wednesday so ‘State of the touring centers‘ has many markers with a snowflake indicating ‘Pending’ conditions.

BETA report of today says several inches of new snow fell in the High Peaks, but winds have caused drifting. Breakable crust outside trails that have been skied-through. Snow depth graphic below.

Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 2 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 2 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Forecast

Temperatures pop up on Wednesday, then cool down for nice skiing weather in the latter part of the week and weekend. Windy today (Tuesday), but mostly mild breezes after that. Partly cloudy north of the Catskills and Massachusetts, and mostly sunny downstate and in southern New England. Possible snow showers in the far north of NY state and VT/NH late Tuesday into Wednesday, with another slight chance of snow showers on the weekend.

The weekend looks to be good weather for skiing. A warming trend looks to be coming for next week.

For Tuesday, high temps in the north country will be in the teens, with single digits in the mountains. South of Albany and across southern New England, Tuesday temps will be in the 20s to low-30s. In the NYC metro area our daytime high will be in the mid-30s. Stiff breezes generally and strong winds of 30+mph at elevation and in the mountains, generally from the WNW.

Wednesday will be significantly warmer: mid- to upper-30s in the north, with mountains in the 20s; upper-3os to upper-40s from central NY to southern New England. The NYC metro region will get to about fifty degrees.

Snow showers possible in central NY state during the latter half of the week, extending through the weekend. A cooling trend starts on Thursday, with daytime temps in the north country ranging from the teens to low-30s, while downstate NY and southern New England will be in the upper-30s to low-40s. Strong breezes from the NW.

Friday the cooling trend continues: single digits in the mountain north, teens to mid-20s in the northern lowlands, and mid-20s to mid-30s for the regions south of the Catskills and Berkshires. Breeziness continues.

Saturday and Sunday start to warm up a bit, with north country high temps going to the 20s (teens in the mountains); upper-20s to about forty degrees from central NY and southern New England down to the NYC area. Winds will be calmer compared to Thursday and Friday.

Monday of next week will continue the warming trend, with high temps in the upper-20s to upper-30s in the far north (low-20s in the mountains and up to 40 in low-lying areas). In the downstate NY area and up the Hudson valley we’ll see low-30s to low-40s. Coastal New England will get to the upper-30s and low-40s.

Thanks for reading.

Conditions for 2/27 weekend + forecast

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

Today the word from the groomed-trail touring centers up north is ‘tenderizing’, as in breaking up a frozen surface to be more accommodating for skiing. A couple of places have held off updating or have called conditions too sketchy for now. But it’s gratifying to see that Fahnestock, High Point, and Minnewaska are continuing to groom diligently.

Sad to say this weekend doesn’t look like much fun for skiing in the coastal area or downstate NY. We many not get a lot of rain on Saturday, but combined with very warm temps, we’re looking at losing a significant amount of the snowpack. If an area you like avoids getting a lot of rain, early morning will be the best time to get out on the trail.

Midweek next week looks to be better for skiing, with spring-like conditions ranging from frozen crust to loose granular. As to where, it will depend on what happens to the snowpack. Stay tuned.

A pretty good freeze looks to be coming Monday night; decent groomed trail conditions for Tuesday will require trail crews to get up really early for multiple passes with the Ginzu groomer. Ungroomed or backcountry trails are likely to get more crusty by Tuesday morning. Take care in locations that received rain with daytime temps in the 40s prior to Monday night, as it may be icy.

Conditions

Hope you got out to ski midweek, as the weather was awesome! Snow conditions were a bit wet and soft, but if you went out in the earlier part of the day things were decent.

It was definitely a week to have the Maxiglide tm or Swix F4 tm and a scraper with you. A hint about warm and wet days: try not to let your ski bases pick up any water. Skiing through a puddle, going from sunlit snow into shade, or putting warm skis onto the snow can all result in water droplets forming on the ski base (particularly in the section with the grip pattern), which then causes snow to cake up.

I should probably mention that water adheres to dirty surfaces, so it helps to keep waxless ski bases clean and prep waxed. Although there’s plenty of info on waxing performance and race skis, here’s a video solely about waxing waxless recreational skis:

If you want to scope out where to take those freshly-waxed skis, hit ‘State of the touring centers‘ here or in the menu above for reported conditions. The visual state of our current snowpack is below:

Snow depth northeast US,Feb. 26 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US,Feb. 26 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Forecast

A long band of precipitation currently stretches across the country to our southwest. A series of fronts will form starting later today (Friday) and go on through the weekend. Most of the northeast US will see some rain on Saturday, and possible rain showers are forecast for Sunday. Coastal areas up through the mid-Hudson valley will receive the greatest amount of liquid precipitation. Low-lying areas in the far north will also get rain or wintry mix.

The Tug Hill plateau and Adirondacks have the best chance of avoiding rain/wintry mix. The higher elevations of the northern Green and White Mountains might also get lucky.

Either way, Saturday and even Sunday look to be warm and wet across the northeast. Even higher elevations of the far north will rise to the upper-30s to low-40s during the daytimes, while downstate will be in the 40s and NYC will hit fifty degrees.

Colder air moves in slowly from the north starting Monday. Increased winds can be expected across the northeast US, with strongest winds and gusts in the north country and mountain areas. Northern areas will see daytime temps drop a few degrees, but the thermometer won’t change as much south of the Albany and MA-VT/NH border. Some snow showers are possible on Monday across the northern mountain regions. Nighttime temps will be much colder, dropping to single digits in the north country and mid-20s downstate.

Tuesday will be clear and winter-like temperatures return for the day. North country will be in the 20s, downstate and coastal areas in the mid- to upper-30s. Some spots could be windy.

Wednesday and Thursday of next week look to hold a chance of rain showers, and warmer daytime temps. Downstate and NYC metro will be in the 40s, mid-Hudson valley and Catskills in the mid-30s to low-40s, and north country in the 30s except for high elevations.