March 22-28: cocktails and umbrellas

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

It’s now a matter of the bigger the snowpack, the longer the skiing lasts. There’s a few nights this week where low temps in the north and mountains will be below freezing, but the northeast will be pretty warm for late March.

Where the snow is ample and has had a chance to degrade to corn snow or been groomed into submission rather than compacting to ice, the skiing in sun and warm temps in the early part of this week will be wonderful.

Conditions

Early this week, nighttime temps will set up the snow for faster and icier conditions in the early mornings. Snow will soften by mid-day. As the week goes on the snow will soften earlier and bare spots will grow. Expectation of rain on Friday could be the last straw for touring center operators, if not a wipeout for the snowpack.

And the signs are already there. Some or all the following will declare their ski season over this week: Grafton Trails, Lapland Lake, Minnewaska, Mountaintop, Rikert, Stump Sprouts, Woodstock Inn and Resort. Trail systems below 2000′ or with a base less than 18″ will have a hard time making it through the weekend with an intact base. Backcountry trails at altitude could have some skiing for a bit longer.

In terms of groomed trail systems, Prospect Mountain and Great Glen in NH are possibles for getting past the weekend, but will they make to to April? Stay tuned. Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ or in the menu above for reported conditions. Check ‘Word’ for details on opening days.

Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 22 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 22 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Forecast

Cocktail weather, then come the umbrellas.

Warm and dry spring weather during the first part of the week, turning windier and wetter before getting cooler on the weekend.

During most of the week our downstate high temps will be mostly in the upper-60s and even above 70 in NYC; up north temps will be in the 50s and 60s.

Slightly cooler on the weekend, when the north country will have highs in the 40s, with higher elevations staying in the 30s. Downstate and low-lying areas will be in the 50s and 60s. Breezy Friday and Saturday, with winds 10-20mph

Possible showers or rain arrive on Wednesday with spotty clearing Thursday. Rain likely again on Friday for the entire northeast, with some respite Saturday before showers and rain return again on Sunday.

8-14 day prediction indicates precipitation likely to be in the normal range for this time of year, with a good chance that high temperatures will be above normal.

Author: cfski

Living in the NYC area means watching for skiable conditions.