The usual NYC snowstorm


[2/20]: Wolfsnow68 reports that Fahnestock got some snow that turned into “a downpour of freezing rain” and will remain closed. Over at Minnewaska, Antelope4455 reports “The groomers were pleasantly surprised at the relatively minimal loss of snow… Ski conditions fair overall, with some good stretches.  Base is 2 – 4″ and best coverage can still be found on Millbrook Mountain and Hamilton Point.”

Yesterday’s news

Psyched to get some snow, but it will later turn to sleet, freezing rain and rain. The worst part is the snowfall amounts will be lesser further north, meaning little that will help Fahnestock or Minnewaska- and there’s a warm front coming for Thursday.

Total new snow forecast as of Feb. 21 7am
Total new snow forecast as of Feb. 21 7am

Daytime temps on Thursday will be in the mid-40s up the entire Hudson river valley, and across Massachusetts. In the mountain regions you can expect mid-20s to about 40 for the highs.

Spring skiing weather continues through the weekend and peaks on Sunday before dropping back toward what-used-to-be-normal winter temps on Monday.

But for today and maybe tomorrow, NYC residents and commuters will practice our unique snow sports:

man slipping on crosswalk
A New Yorker demonstrating the crosswalk luge

President’s day weekend

Hi, old man sister winter- we remember you!

Elsa and snowflake
Bring the magic, Elsa!

[Feb. 14]: Mohonk was reported as very skiable today, so it’s likely Minnewaska is doing alright too. At Minnewaska Park, Antelope4455 reports their groomers had to break up lots of ice, so “Upper/Castle loop and Lake Minnewaska may be all that gets groomed”. The wise will call on Saturday before heading up.

Notchview, Prospect Mountain, and Lapland Lake each got some snow over the past two days, but there is a bit of crust at Notchview. Conditions are hard pack at places within easy daytrip distance.

Precipitation on Friday will fall as rain from the Shawangunks south, and alternating rain/snow to the north past Albany and southern VT. The good news is there is less rain forecast than expected a few days ago. Higher altitudes in the Adirondacks and White Mountains could get snow exclusively.

If we’re lucky there won’t be much damage to the snowpack from the rain, as temps go back down below freezing for the weekend and all the way to midweek for the first half of the school break. On Saturday a bit of lake effect snow will hit Rochester and Tug Hill plateau, but that’s it for snow during the weekend.

Eager skiers can brave the variable conditions on Saturday morning, while the more cautious might wait till after trail crews have a chance to go over it. However, as long as ski areas have base to groom, the skiing should be good for President’s day weekend. If you’re heading far north for a snow sports vacation, looks like you’re in luck!

Ice underneath any new snow will likely make off-trail skiing in the woods a pretty mixed bag. Stay careful and in control.

Middle of next week, we could see some snow showers. Unfortunately the downstate and Hudson Highlands region isn’t going to get enough to help. Daytime temperatures will inch above freezing for much of the northeastern US starting Thursday.

No updates for snow depth map or state of the touring centers till Saturday, when we know what we’ve got.

The new rocket science

…is climatology

Earth’s weather and climate result from recursive and iterative interactions between the elements, energy, and time. Recently, with advances in computer modeling, predictions are much better, and simulations are getting closer to replicating observed evidence.

Not a moment too soon, or not a moment too late?

From the NYTimes:

…and from The Atlantic:

Modern Weather Forecasts Are Stunningly Accurate

“The weather-research hub of Norman, Oklahoma, is rarely mentioned in the same breath as Palo Alto… But over the past few decades, scientists have gotten significantly—even staggeringly—better at predicting the weather.

“Meteorologists are increasingly uniting weather models and climate models, allowing them to project the general contours of a season as it begins.

“You translate Newtonian physics into a sphere and get Coriolis [force],” [said Richard Alley, a geoscientist at Penn State]. “There’s no line in the code that says, Please make a Gulf Stream. But it is the physics of the Earth, so when you spin it up, the Gulf Stream appears because it has to.”