Where’s the Snow?

Not here! Skiers have been waiting for a burst of snow but unfortunately the cold pattern we’ve just entered will not produce.

Tonight, freezing rain and sleet will muck up the ski slopes in Vermont, but thankfully there will be little melting with temperatures in the low 30s. I am expecting travel problems Friday morning especially on the east slopes of the Green Mountains away from the Connecticut River Valley where subfreezing cold will stay longest. On the left is a temperature forecast for 7 a.m. Friday morning from the 12z NAM.  You can see the 32 degree isotherm straddling the spine of the Greens down to the Massachusetts border with the coldest weather on the east slopes and especially across New Hampshire. Freezing rain is likely for a period of time early Friday across a large chunk of northern New England.

Beyond Friday I’m expecting a solid 48-72 hours of snowmaking weather in the higher elevations of southern and central Vermont. Daytime highs will stay below freezing about 3000 feet with overnight lows in the teen. Very low dew points and relatively light winds will make conditions good for the snow guns.

Early next week looks good with fair weather, light winds, cold nights and seasonable days. Rain may enter the picture on Thursday but we’ll deal with that when it arrives. I’m still hopefully we can squeeze out a snow event sometime in the first 10 days of December.


6 thoughts on “Where’s the Snow?


    The absurdity of winter weather hype along the
    East Coast of the United States

    Winter in the Western, Midwestern, and far northern regions of the United States needs no headline to announce its arrival. Folks who live in these regions know how to prepare for the long and severe winters that come with living in a northerly or high altitude location. Each winter they meet the cold season with little fanfare or hype. If you live in a place like Williston, North Dakota or Green Bay, Wisconsin…you don’t need the TV weatherman to tell you a cold front is coming when your walking down the street and the wind chill is – 45 F below zero. Folks living in the mountains of the Western United States… don’t need to be told what to do when it snows, you learn quick in places like Soda Springs, California where they get 470-inches of snow each winter, or in Alta, Utah where 516-inches of snow piles up in most winters.

    The meaning and reality of the word “winter”, is far different along the East Coast of the United States. We shout from the rooftops when it’s 30 F in Central Park or two whole inches of snow falls in DC. From the Tri-State area (NYC/NJ/CT) southward….the Eastern Seaboard does not have a winter in the Midwestern or northern sense of the word – only a season of cool weather with sporadic snow that lasts a few months on average. Although there is the occasional respectable snowstorm and bouts of subfreezing weather…winters along the East Coast are short and mild compared to the Western and far northern United States. Of course, once you get as far south as North Carolina on the East Coast…real winter generally just fades away. The long, hot summers are the dominant climatic feature of the East Coast south of Massachusetts.

    However, each fall, around early November… the comical pump-up to winter begins in the I-95 states. Time and time again, East Coast weathercasters warn, “snow is not far off“ (really? it’s 65 F outside now) …or “snow has now been reported at Mount Washington, NH” (yea, that tends to happen at 7000 feet). By December the machine is in full swing – each broadcast the viewer is bombarded with “its sunny, but boy is it cold” (44 F cold? they would laugh at that in Duluth)…or the evening weathercaster announces “there is the threat of snow in the 8-day forecast” (as if we need to plan stock-up with supplies for a few inches of snow that will melt in two days),….or an oldie but a goodie is that file video of a snowstorm we had 7 years ago (or 17 years ago).

    By December, the terse, non-stop rhetoric, reaches an almost comical pitch: If there is no threat of snow in the big cities along the East Coast (which happens most often)….we are then even warned about the cold – as if that the next cold front coming down from Canada into the upper Midwest will end all life as we know it on the East Coast. Somehow though, … that 20 below zero temperature they show us up in Minnesota … becomes 15 F in Indiana….25 F in Ohio,… and finally 35 F in Maryland or Connecticut. All we really needed was an extra scarf or a heavier coat. In a few days, it’s 45 F again.

    Predictably, by mid winter, most folks in the I-95 states from Virginia to the Tri-State area…have long since stopped paying any attention to the evening weathercast beyond 48 hours. As each hyped bout of pathetic wintry weather comes and disappointingly departs…even the folks who love an occasional good snowstorm have lost interest. It can be a bit embarrassing when your local TV station in Baltimore or Long Island tells you in a frantic voice to get prepared for 2-inches of snow …when you see folks in Denver or Cleveland digging out from 2-feet of snow. The final chapter of this absurd East Coast tale comes to an end in mid March: local weathercasters (especially the ones who live for the 90-days of winter on the East Coast) grumble with comments like “we got off easy this year, wait till next year”. Year in, year out, it’s the same story.

    For the millions who live in the Atlantic States… the TV weatherman has been reduced to a silly personality with a warped sense of climatological averages. Winter weather is a point of comical conversation for East Coast residents – a joke, a myth, something playful in a serious world. Sure, there is the occasional valid warning that it may snow once in a while, there may even be a week when the daily high temperature is stuck below freezing…but winter is fleeting along the Atlantic Coast of the United States south of Boston.

    It takes awhile for a relocated Midwesterner to understand that winter along the East Coast is really a state of mind…not a real season. A true winter landscape… with huge snow drifts…ice hanging from the eaves…bitter cold, and people bundled up in parkas and mittens, is really what we romance winter to be. In the end, despite the best attempts by the gods of media, marketing, and meteorology…. residents along the East Coast never really pay much attention to winter…only images of winter. The hype of winter on the East Coast is really about marketing and media.

    But oh how the hype that winter from DC to the Connecticut suburbs of NYC…

  2. Looks like the winter fans are already a little testy that another winter in the Atlantic states is off to a mild start.

    Oh well, we can at least look at the news and see all the snow out West on TV when we need our winter fix (lol).

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