Conditions + MLK weekend forecast

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast (Updated Saturday Jan. 16 with significant change to weather expected in north country Saturday-Sunday).

Summary

Although some light snow has helped keep bare spots at bay in some mountain areas, many places now calling ‘hard and fast conditions’ due to frozen granular snow and icy spots. Several have the ‘rock skis’ advisory. Those that can make snow and groom really well may have a few k in pristine condition.

On Saturday-Sunday, the Tug Hill plateau, Adirondacks, and mountain areas of VT and NH may get as much as 10-20″ of snow. Much less snow expected in lower elevations. MLK day could be a very good day to ski, particularly in the Adirondacks, Tug Hill plateau, and the higher elevations of New England. Very uncertain as to whether there will be snow enough at Minnewaska to refresh the base.

Conditions

Definitely grading on the curve today (Thursday evening), as most places except for the Tug Hill plateau have been getting starved for snow. Minnewaska has beat all expectations and Upper Awosting remained skiable through Wednesday, but ‘rock skis’ are advised. BETA report as of Thursday indicates conditions are better than we’d expect from downstate.

Today, ‘Skiable’ means it might be hard, fast, and with thin spots, but you can still pick your way through.

Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ or in the menu above for reported conditions as of Jan. 14. Some places took a break this week and I expect they might not bother to update till Friday, so they get a ‘TBD’ question mark icon.

ow depth northeast US, Jan. 14 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Jan. 14 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Forecast

Clouds today portend precipitation arriving Friday evening. Downstate and in flatlands it will be rain, with some snow possible in mountain areas of NY and New England, as well as central NY and northern PA.

Friday and Saturday daytime temperatures will in the low- to upper- 40s downstate and in the flatlands, and low- to upper- 30s in the northern and hillier areas. Mountain areas might stay just below freezing.

Warm temps in the first half of the weekend will make it hard for snow to accumulate on bare ground, but it might help any existing base. The Friday-Saturday overnight will barely touch below freezing in most spots other than the mountains and northern New Hampshire. Elevation will help some areas get more snow than rain.

[Update Saturday Jan. 16]: major snowfall expected in Tug Hill plateau, Adirondacks, and mountain areas of VT and NH, where 10-20″ could accumulate over Saturday and into Sunday. Much less snow expected in lower elevations

Starting Saturday, a Nor’easter weather pattern brings a modest snowfall event to upstate NY and northern New England. Northern areas are likely to get 2-6″ of snow. The event will continue through Saturday night and into Sunday. Greatest accumulation is likely in the southern Adirondacks and White Mountains of New Hampshire. Microclimates could affect the character of precipitation greatly, and there could be rain even in some areas of the far north.

Temperatures take a dip during Saturday night, going below freezing up north and close to freezing in the NYC metro. Sunday highs will be in the low- to upper- 30s to low 40s in the NYC metro area and 20s to low 30s up north. Good skiing temps, and nights will be cold enough to make snow.

MLK day brings similar temperatures as Sunday, and this looks to continue into the middle of next week. Some light snow might continue on Monday, mainly in central NY, the Tug Hill plateau, and the mountain areas of VT and NH.

[Update Friday]: Next week should stay cool- at or below freezing during the day in most parts north of the mid-Hudson valley at elevation. Along with some possible light precipitation as snow, we might get a refresh of the snow base, potentially setting things up for the Jan. 23 weekend.

Jan. 11 conditions + forecast

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

Lucky locals had at skiable cover at Minnewaska this weekend, but best for old skate skis.

Some areas have called it till more snow arrives. The areas that were lucky in terrain and good with grooming are hanging on today, just with slightly less base. Many places now reporting thin spots, fast conditions, and rock skis recommended.

Light refresh of snow this week in central NY and far north, and some additional snow and rain for the region overall late Friday into Saturday.

Conditions

The snowpack is granular and frozen granular; conditions are fast in the morning and get soft in the afternoon. Slightly cloudier skies this week might help keep that snowpack around until a refresh.

Best bets for NY remain the two Osceolas (I can’t take putting both ‘Osceola Ski and Sport Resort’ as well as ‘Osceola Tug Hill Cross Country Ski Center’ into one sentence), Paul Smith’s VIC, and Garnet Hill, because track setting is this week’s differentiator between ‘Skiable’ and ‘Good skiing’.

In Vermont Prospect Mountain is OK, and Trapp Family Lodge is actually having Good Skiing. In New Hampshire Jackson Ski Touring is best. For Massachusetts residents who are desperate, go to Notchview.

Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ or in the menu above. Snow depth graphic below:

Snow depth northeast US, Jan. 11 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Jan. 11 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Ah, to be in Snoqualmie Pass, where they’ve gotten over four feet of snow since New Year’s:

Snoqualmie pass highway surrounded by six-foot snowbanks, Jan. 2021
Road through Snoqualmie Pass surrounded by six-foot snowbanks, Jan. 2021 (via Yahoo)

Forecast

Modest chance of lake effect snowfall throughout the week in the Finger Lakes and Tug Hill plateau. Midweek snow may fall on the far north country of NY, VT, and Maine. No great amount of snow expected, but over a few days it could refresh the base in some areas. Skies will be mostly cloudy north of the mid-Hudson valley area, and partly cloudy for the downstate. Winds will be light and westerly. Daytime temperatures will start the week in the mid-20s to low 30s in the north, and mid-30s to mid-40s in the NYC metro area.

Wednesday winds will shift southerly and southwesterly. By Thursday temperatures will ramp up to range from the low 30s to low 40s up north, and low- to upper-40s in the downstate area and lower Hudson valley. Skies will change over in the downstate to mostly cloudy by end of Thursday.

On Friday, temperatures begin to cool a few degrees. With moist air arriving across the northeastern region later on Friday, precipitation could flip from rain/mix to snow overnight into Saturday, with the amount of snow depending on elevation and microclimate characteristics.

Saturday and Sunday the mid-Hudson valley and New England will start to see clearing skies, with precipitation tapering off on Saturday, although snowfall could persist in Central NY/Finger Lakes and Tug Hill through Sunday. Winds will shift westerly again, with stronger winds at higher elevations.

Thanks for reading.

Jan. 7 conditions + forecast

[Updated Friday Jan. 8] This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

Minnewaska had skiable conditions as of today Thursday, but it may not last through the weekend. Areas beyond with a better base and careful grooming should be able to keep things going pretty easily through the weekend, although skiability may slip a notch.

Best bets in NY remain the two Osceolas and Paul Smith’s VIC Lapland Lake. Trails at Lapland Lake may be a bit thin. In VT, Woodstock inn and Prospect Mountain seem to be able to hold up the best. In NH, Jackson has a lot of trail open.

Conditions

The snowpack is mostly granular and frozen granular and will continue to degrade over the next few days because there’s still no major snowstorm in sight. Weather will remain stable, so conditions will degrade gradually and predictably. It’d be ideal if the snow were in better shape, but it’s hard to argue with the weather otherwise.

BETA report as of today Thursday evening is pretty comprehensive about conditions in the Adirondacks. Definitely some skiable terrain beyond the touring centers.

Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ or in the menu above for reported conditions as of Jan. 8, except where noted in the details. As you can see in the snow depth graphic with ski center conditions, depth of base, grooming, and a lucky microclimate all make a difference at a time like this.

Snow depth northeast US, Jan. 7 2021
Snow depth northeast US, Jan. 7 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Forecast

No snowstorm in sight through to early next week. On Tuesday some light snow may fall in downstate NY, but will probably not amount to much.

Temperatures will continue through the weekend in the same pattern as this week, with daytime highs in the mid-30s to lower 40s in lowlands and south, and mid-20s to low 30s in the north country and mountain regions. Light northerly winds.

By Tuesday the winds will shift westerly, and moisture will come up from the south, bringing some precipitation that could result in light snowfall in the NYC metro area and lower Hudson valley.