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Lacking Natural Snow, Mountains Look To Feb.

Ski resorts have been able to create snow, however the natural white stuff from the sky has been less than sufficient so far this season. February looks more promising for our ridgelines though.
Ski resorts have been able to create snow, however the natural white stuff from the sky has been less than sufficient so far this season. February looks more promising for our ridgelines though.

Here's data from the University of Vermont that shows Mount Mansfield's snow depth.

The image shows Mt. Mansfield's typical snow depth (amount on the ground at the stake) in green, as well as the past three winter seasons (including this season). Mount Mansfield in northwest Vermont is the highest peak in the Green Mountain State at an elevation of 4,393' and is part of Vermont's Long Trail.

Don't worry, we have a lot of winter left. In fact, here's another reason not to worry. Through January 31 Jay Peak Ski Resort has received 161" of snow. Last year through that time period the mountain had gotten 168". Jay ended up 2012-2013 winter with a grand total of 362".

The season is about halfway over. Sure it has been a pretty lackluster first half of winter for the mountains, but if you click the link above and look at the past couple of seasons, it shows we have made some pretty nice rebounds in the second halves of each season. In fact in the past two winters, the mountain's (Mansfield) snow depth has reached 80"+! As of the end of January the snow depth sits at 36" whereas the average depth is about 54".

I have seen some incredible comebacks in sports. As a New England fan, the 2004 ALCS between the Sox and Yanks comes to mind, down three games to none Boston rallied to win and sweep the World Series. The Patriots were on a streak of second-half comebacks this season, unfortunately not getting one done in the post season against Denver. So don't count our winter out yet!

February is looking MUCH more promising. Our weather pattern has been driven by cold, arctic air plunging southward on several occasions, pushing storm tracks too far south for us to get appetizing snow. This appears to change in the teleconnections in the next two weeks. Milder air (than what we've observed) and more favorable storm tracks will likely give us numerous chances to catch up on snow. The first chance is the first weekend in February where the northern ski resorts will pick up about 3-5" of snow, 3" or less farther south. The next event will likely be Wednesday, February 5th (as I write this Jan. 31). Medium range ensemble forecasts are in pretty good agreement that we'll get some "sizable" snow event that day, as you can see 10 out of 12 weather models forecast a snow event that day. As they say in the ski industry, "THINK SNOW."

-Meteorologist Steve Glazier
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