A poet/author named Henry Van Dyke once said,
" The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. Thedifference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
Well, in the eastern U.S., we are only talking about a few days between the incredible warming they are presently seeingand the first official day of spring. Spring skiingis in full form right now in the east, and given the ample snow-cover across mostof the east, conditions are outstanding with things softening up. However, ifcolder weather does not return soon, many eastern ski resorts may be closing early this year.
In the west, as spring sings in this Friday, many ski resorts in the centraland northern Rockies and Utah will be chirping as heavy snows will have fallen.
The big weather news of this past week were the incredible snows at Whistler with close to 70"; Panorama 17", whileAlberta began seeing some of the finest skiing of the season with 20" at Fortress; Jasper 32" andBanff 30" plus. Some of the lower elevations in B.C. were seeing the old Pineapple Express nemesis with rainhurting some of the improved conditions that did temporarily arrive at Red Mountain and Whitewater in British Columbia.
Mt. Ashland in Oregon received over 20" of snow with some rain at the lower elevations in parts of the Pacific Northwest. Skiing in much of Oregon and Washington in marginalwith lose granular or wet skiing conditions. Mt. Baker and some of the higher elevations of course, have been seeing some heavier snow and great conditions.
In the Sierras, Utah and Colorado, a major storm is dumping some of the heaviest snow of the season and as freezing levels fall, significant snows will fall by mid-week (seereport). Some of the best skiing of the season will bless Utah and Colorado this next week.
The first map "current snow-cover anomaly" illustrates where below normal (yellow/red) to above normal (green to blue) exists. Please note that this map has not taken intoaccount the big storm that is presently blasting the central Rockies. Anyway, you will see how parts of eastern Colorado, much of Utah and the Sierras have had below normalsnowfall with the eastern U.S. normal to above. Much of Wyoming (Jackson Hole/Targhee) have seen slightly above normal snowfall, but certainly the most consistent of anyski resort in North America this year. By the way, I made an error last week--Grand Targhee can now boost over 440" of snow. Anyway, the light green (slightly above normalsnow-cover) now extends up to Idaho, Montana, Fernie and parts of British Columbia.
FORECAST FOR THE NEXT WEEK
If you are planning a ski trip to Utah, Colorado, Wyoming (I'll be at J.Hole/G. Targhee with my fat-boys), you're in luck. Many areas will see 1-3 feet through Thursday of thisweek. Eastern Colorado, such as Winterpark, which can use some good snow may see the heaviest snow event of the winter. Travelling will be difficult through Wednesdayacross much of the foothills of Colorado through eastern Wyoming and Montana with strong winds and heavy snow.The second map shows low pressure over N. Texas on Wednesday the 19th. The solid lines (isobars) extend from the northeast to the southwest over Colorado, Wyoming toMontana suggesting great up-slope snows on the eastern slopes of the Rockies and 20-40 MPh winds. The darker green to blue regions suggest where the heaviest snow willfall by mid week.
In the east, a chance of rain will develop by the end of the week, after several days of delightful skiing at such resorts as Sugarbush/Mad River Glen, Stowe/Smugglers' Notchto Cannon Mt and Waterville, Valley, New Hampshire. Even in southern New England it will be a nice next week to ski. There is a slight chance for snow later this weekend in thenorthern areas with temps falling back into the 20's 30's north and 40's south (normal). Spring skiing should be great in Pennsylvania and West Virginia (Snowshoe) as wellwith the warrmer temps, but snow-cover will be evaporating fast!
In Canada, a series of weak disturbances will have the chance to bring some moderate snows to much of British Columbia and Alberta later this week through the 24th ofMarch. Freezing levels should lower a bit so places such as Red Mountain and even the lower elevations of Whistler should benefit with at least 4-8 inches of snow with a foot ormore at the higher elevations. Heli-skiing will get a boost from the recent snows and active weather pattern that we envision over the next week. In Quebec, the warmer tempsare making for some nice spring skiing. Slightly colder weather and a few inches of snow may hit Le Massif to Tremblant this weekend, but no major storms are expected.There are some signs that Quebec could see a return to more normal snowfall about 8-10 days down the road making for some good spring skiing with mixed conditions overmost of New England. No unusual Nor'easters are likely along the east coast for at least 10 days.
Go to www.bestskiweather.com for tons of free weather information. We would appreciate your comments.You can see how we forecasted several weeks ago the big pattern change toward drier weather in New England and big snows out by checking out my March newsletter at Clickhere for the complete Let'sTalkSkiWeatherNewsletter2003 March.pdf If you want subscription info..e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org