President's Day weekend forecast

Forecast summary: Be ready to pack an overnight bag and the wax box if you want to ski this weekend, what with light snow today and chilly weather coming Friday. Another wave of cold air Monday will probably result in some snow Tuesday, brightening prospects further for those who are going north during the school break, lucky retirees, and freelancers with checks in the mail.

Will Mother Nature roll a hard six for the mid-Hudson valley and make us lucky? Check out what SNSA said today (see below).

Based on the weather since the beginning of the year, and my musings in ‘Are the canaries OK?’, I wouldn’t blame a cross-country skier living in the NYC metro area for holding some disappointment in Mother Nature.

This weekend’s forecast looks like it’s falling in well with NWS models, and they’re calling for some light snow today, mainly north of Albany and the MA-VT/NH border (I’m getting pretty tired of repeating that one).

Friday will be downright chilly in the far north and mountain regions, with daytime temps in the single digits to low teens. Here in the downstate we’ll be in the low- to mid- 30s.

Saturday will be warmer but still below freezing pretty much any place that skiers want to be. Sunday the warming trend continues, as even northern New England and higher elevations may pop above freezing, while the NYC area will get to the upper 40s.

By Monday a cold front will start coming in from the west, dropping temperatures in the Tug Hill, Adirondacks, and parts of Vermont back below freezing during the day. But the cold air will be blocked by warmer moist air in the south, so we won’t see as much change in the NYC metro area. However, the cold air is expected to cause snowfall across northern NY and New England on Tuesday. Exactly how much is TBD.

Tuesday will feature yet another frontal boundary along with
another area of low pressure tracking west of the area. Look for another round of wet weather on Tuesday before the frontal boundary gets east of the area by mid week.
Other than the cold start to the period, temperatures will
recover and overall average above normal for Sunday through
Tuesday.

NWS forecast discussion for Friday 2/14 thru Tuesday 2/18, vicinity of Fahnestock State Park

Our 2019-2020 season is following a pattern, and even NWS calls it out in forecast discussion. We’ve seen pretty regular small-moderate weather systems bringing snow to the northeast, but almost always out of easy day trip distance from downstate. But if you want take the glass-half-full scenario, there’s been just enough snow to keep Canterbury Farm as an early-start day trip option most weeks, as well as Notchview and the ever-ready-with-a-new-snowcannon Prospect Mountain.

If you really want to take the high road, feel glad that at least the mountains still have snow- the Adirondacks and White Mountains look to be having a terrific snow year.

Hoping for a hard six

FWIW, a post by a member of SNSA on the MHVXCS Google group states that the higher elevations at Minnewaska got 1.5″ of wet snow and sleet overnight. On top of the remaining base it’s skiable if you squint your eyes, use rock skis, and plug your ears against the occasional sound of polyethylene on gravel. IF by chance the mid-Hudson should get super-lucky, there might be some ‘marginally skiable’ conditions on Friday.

Hey, just breathing the fumes of optimism here.

Feb. 8 weekend forecast- pack the wax box

Summary: Skiable snow has now been transformed to ‘klister conditions’ (for those who still wax for classic skiing), and the Ginzu-groomed frozen granular composition means fast skate skiing. However, snow and wintry mix in the forecast will change the waxing conditions considerably, so hold off on prepping those skis or figure on taking the wax box with you.

Garnet Hill reports “Our conditions are the best they’ve been all season”, which just makes me feel it’s so unfair. Why does great skiing have to be a 4 hr drive away? (They do have rooms available for the weekend- just sayin’). For 25% less drive-time, Prospect Mountain looks plenty skiable, and Notchview is doing what they can with what they’ve got.

Event: In case we get really lucky, Shawangunk Nordic Ski Association (SNSA) is ready with a free XC clinic at Mohonk Mountain House scheduled for Sunday Feb. 9. For details see the Event posting on their Facebook page.

BETA report from Monday gives details on generally good conditions of Jackrabbit trail segments. A regional report to come later this week.

For full details for each touring center, go to ‘State of the touring centers‘ or find it in the nav menu. Below is the snow depth graphic as of today:

Forecast: A two-punch weather system enters the region in the latter part of the week. The first shot comes from the southwest on Thursday, bringing light to moderate snow/wintry mix to the region before shifting to ice/freezing rain and rain.

On Friday the second shot brings more precip with some heavier snowfall predicted from the Catskills northward. Accumulation is very likely on Friday and could be heavy in some spots, but once again it will be concentrated north of Albany and the MA-VT/NH border. Some parts of the far north (ie, Tug Hill, High Peaks, northern New England) could get as much as a foot of snow. There may be lingering snow/rain showers into early next week.

Daytime temperatures will trend downward until by Saturday it will actually feel wintry, with temperatures in the low teens in the far north and mountain country, while we in downstate will see temps in the mid-30s. There could be some gusty winds Friday night and early Saturday. Sunday highs will in the 20s in up north, and in the low 40s in the NYC area. The warming trend in temperatures will continue through to Monday and Tuesday.

Thanks for reading- be prepared to wax for anything.

Rode Violet Multigrade ski wax
Rode Violet Multigrade ski wax

Take a day for MLK

Winter is Here

Summary: call in sick next week, because you should go skiing. This update includes current as well as forecast ski conditions and weather for next week.

Best days to ski: Sunday and through next Thursday(!), because a storm will arrive Saturday afternoon and temperatures favor keeping snow around through all of next week. For today the closest skiing is at Notchview, Prospect Mountain, Brattleboro Outing Club, and Lapland Lake.

Notchview trails on Friday Jan. 17 (via Instagram)

Where the best skiing will be: For now, that would be the High Peaks, Craftsbury, White Mountains, and Waterville Valley. Closer by, Garnet Hill and Lapland Lake are doing well. But just wait for it…

Total new snow forecast by 7pm 2020-0119 (NWS)
Total new snow forecast by 7pm 2020-0119 (NOAA)

By Sunday, the greatest amount of new snow will fall on Tug Hill, which means the AMC trip this weekend is going to have some happy campers. If you’re in the mood for the drive, you’ll be skiing in falling snow at Osceola on Sunday. Prospect Mountain looks to get dumped on, so their trails should be awesome. Canterbury just needs a few more inches to reopen. The heroes at Notchview have hung tough, so their reward is coming, as is Lapland Lake’s. Garnet Hill is already grooming and tracksetting 30k of trails, so they’ll be great by Sunday. Backcountry near Garnet Hill should be OK.

Touring centers in the Green Mountains will be revived by Sunday. And don’t feel bad for the northern Adirondacks, Waterville Valley, the White Mountains, or Craftsbury. They received anywhere from 2-9″ during the week, so they’ve had good skiing since Wednesday and it’ll just get better.

As of yesterday, BETA reports 4-6″ inches of ‘dense powder snow’ fell in the ‘dacks during the week. Things are definitely looking good for backcountry skiing this weekend.

Where to stay: Didn’t plan ahead, did you? Well, Canterbury Farm has a few rooms. Lapland Lake has a couple for tonight, and lots open up starting Monday night (hint-hint). Garnet Hill has one left for Saturday-Sunday nights and lots starting Monday. Mountaintop only has cabins this weekend, but rooms available next week. Anywhere else, just Airbnb it or stay at the Super 8.

And what about Minnewaska, Mohonk, or High Point? Their fate comes with two big IFs: they need a solid 4+” of snow, and they can’t afford to get rain. We won’t know till early morning Sunday, but if both those things come through on the plus side, we could be able to ski there Sunday late or Monday. I’m not so hopeful about Fahnestock, but let’s keep a smile on.

Olaf the snowman happy and anxious

As usual, the ‘State of the touring centers’ is updated. Snow depth graphic as of today is below, and keep scrolling for the forecast.

Forecast: Snow enters the northeast region from the west, starting late morning Saturday. By evening, the rain/mix line starts moving up through the NYC metro region, but areas north the Hudson Highlands will still see mostly snow.

The storm will start to clear out Sunday morning in the southern region, but linger in the north country for the rest of the day, and in Tug Hill and central NY through Monday.

Today, highs in the single digits in the far north and higher elevations, to about freezing in the NYC area. Saturday and Sunday’s highs 20-40 across the region, Monday low teens to around freezing.

Tuesday high temps will drop back to single digits up north and about freezing in NYC, and Wednesday warms up to the teens in the north and 30s in downstate. Thursday continues the warming trend, going up to the high 20s in the far north and around 40 in the NYC metro area.

Good news is that night time temperatures will be below freezing throughout the northeast- so we’ll hang onto the snow we get.

Thanks for reading. Pack up the wax kit with blue and green classic- it’s hard to have a better opportunity than what’s coming.