Ski areas, especially those in northern New England, are getting some much needed natural snow with the heaviest amounts expected later today and tonight.
In the last few days, areas like Jay, Smugglers and Stowe in northern Vermont have gotten up to 10 inches. And that’s not counting the new snow that will be falling today and tonight.
The heaviest snow is expected to start around noon and continue into Saturday morning.
The forecast for Sugarbush in Vermont, for example, is calling for up to 5 inches during the day. And … tonight… another 11 inches possible! If that happens, it will be the biggest snowfall of the season. And I won’t be surprised if totals top two feet.
Sugarbush raved on its web site this afternoon: “Though it’s only just begun, a Winter Storm Warning remains posted for our region, and the ‘numbers’ in the National Weather Service’s forecast have climbed as high as 14-22″!
South central Vermont areas like Killington and Okemo are in line to pick up a foot of snow … or more. SoVT areas like Mount Snow and Stratton, at least a half a foot.
New Hampshire and Maine areas could also pick up a much-need foot of freshies.
Check back because I’ll be updating this blog post throughout the day.
Downsides to this storm?
Connecticut started the day with a nice, but heavy snow. Now it’s turned to rain.
Massachusetts areas only got a few inches.
A winter storm warning with snowy roads could make for a tough ride later this afternoon and tonight. If you’re heading up to Vermont later today, check road and weather conditions on VTrans.
Then there’s a high wind advisory, with gusts up to 50 mph, that could affect some lift operations early Saturday.
But I’m not complaining; all of these downsides are minor compared to the the great improvement in conditions and snow bases on trails.
It looks like Sunday will be the pick of the weekend with sunny skies and temps in the high teens in the north; 30s farther south. By that time, the wind will be diminished and most trails will be groomed.
Close to home, you can saddle up and ride to Ski Sundown in New Hartford, Connecticut for its annual Wild West Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Areas in southern Massachusttes like Catamount and Butternut (that has ALL its trails open) are also great picks for this weekend. They picked up a few inches of new snow and should come through the rain later today nicely.
Apart from the heavy snow that will fall up north, ski resorts owners are also happy that metro areas like Connecticut got some snow. It’s the best reminder that winter … and the skiing and snowboarding season … is not over yet!