Ghosting winter

The northeast US may be solidly in springtime weather and mud season cometh, but the High Plains and Rocky Mountains are gearing up for record-breaking snowfall this weekend:

Tweet from National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center, Mar. 12 2021

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

Warm weather this week has created conditions that are delaying grooming until the snow refreezes (and in some cases hardens up the surface of muddy approach roads). Some operators are opening late with limited trails in order to make things ready for the weekend.

Minnewaska might make it through the weekend with skiable conditions on a few trails. High Point may call it after Friday. Best chances of skiing for late March will be north of Albany.

Conditions

Where skiable conditions exist, expect ‘fast and firm’ conditions in the morning, softening to ‘spring skiing’ and in some cases, ‘wet granular’ conditions during the day. I am grading a bit on the curve for ‘State of the touring centers‘, where ‘Good skiing’ takes into account the variable conditions of spring.

I had wanted to call this post ‘Beware the Ides of March’, but Monday the 15th will actually be the coldest day of the next seven days, which by my standards is a Good Thing.

On the other hand, when touring centers, websites for backcountry skiers, and Google Groups stop updating or posting on a regular schedule, the fruitless clicking for an update that isn’t there makes you feel like winter’s been ‘ghosted’. For example, the BETA report hasn’t been updated since March 6, a clear sign of minds drifting toward spring recreation.

No snow depth graphic yet- the NOHRSC servers seem to be offline. If I get one later I’ll update this post. You can see a map with the ski center status at ‘State of the touring centers‘.

Forecast

Mild weather through the next seven days, with the most wintery-feeling coming from today (Friday) through Monday. Moderate chances for rain in downstate NY on Tuesday, and slight chance of rain on Thursday and Friday. The north country and inland areas have slight chances of precipitation from Tuesday through Friday of next week, some of which could be snow.

Day-by-day:

Friday: high temps in low-lying and coastal areas across NY state and New England will range from the low-50s to low-60s. Far north will be in the 40s and mountains in the 30s. Low temps will just start going below freezing again for inland areas. Light snow showers possible in northern NY state, VT and NH. Winds late in the day and overnight could be 20-30mph in the NYC metro and regions at elevation.

Saturday and Sunday daytime temps will be cooler: low-40s to low-50s downstate and in the valleys; mid-20s to mid-30s in the north country with elevated areas in the teens. Possible light snow showers in the Adirondacks, VT NEK, and northern NH on Sunday. Stiff breezes on Sunday could be 20+ mph.

The cooling trend bottoms out on Monday, when highs will be in the mid-30s to low-40s for most of NY state and southern New England, while the far north stays in the teens to low-20s, with mountain areas seeing some single-digit temps.

Tuesday: temps for downstate and Hudson Valley area will be somewhere in the mid-30s to mid-40s, with possible rain in the afternoon and evening. Nighttime temps in the NYC metro will be above freezing. Daytime highs in the north country and inland will be mostly in the thirties, with a few mountain areas seeing teens to 2os. These and inland areas might see snow/rain showers

The Tuesday-Wednesday overnight will mark a turn to above-freezing nighttime temps for areas south of the Catskills. Wednesday and Thursday daytime highs in NYC will be above fifty degrees, while low-lying areas across the northeast will have high temps in the 40s. Mountain areas in the far north will be lucky to stay below freezing. Slight chances of sporadic rain or snow showers persist across the northeast through Thursday.

Author: cfski

Living in the NYC area means watching for skiable conditions.