Suddenly Ski Season in New England | NECN
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Suddenly Ski Season in New England

As peak foliage time continues in Greater Boston, ski areas are spinning lifts in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NECN/Wildcat Mountain

    Even as I took this photo here in our NECN Parking Lot, five ski areas were spinning lifts in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

    Sunday, Nov. 9, in Newton, Massachusetts, it's peak foliage time.

    But in our mountains, the leaves are down and it's been snowy and cold.

    About two minutes after the final trick-or-treater ran away with the last Snickers bar, holiday advertisements debuted on the radio. Not to be late for the party, Mother Nature sent New England's first snowfall the morning after Halloween. Snow was so heavy the first two days of November that more than 100,000 lost electricity in the State of Maine.

    Then, six days later, we saw another six-inch snowfall in Maine. The snow in the Pine Tree State broke records.

    The National Weather Service issued the following statement on Sunday:


    NORTHERN AND EASTERN MAINE OFF TO A SNOWY START THIS
    NOVEMBER...

    SO FAR THIS NOVEMBER A TOTAL OF 15.8 INCHES OF SNOW HAS BEEN
    OBSERVED AT CARIBOU. THIS IS 14.2 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL...AND IS BY
    FAR THE SNOWIEST START TO THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER ON RECORD. PRIOR
    TO THIS NOVEMBER...2004 HAD THE SNOWIEST START TO THE MONTH OF
    NOVEMBER WITH 11.1 INCHES DURING THE FIRST 8 DAYS OF THE MONTH.
    THE ALL-TIME SNOWIEST NOVEMBER AT CARIBOU WAS IN 1974 WHEN THERE
    WAS A TOTAL OF 34.9 INCHES OF SNOW. BY COMPARISON...THE AVERAGE
    SNOWFALL FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF NOVEMBER AT CARIBOU IS 10.5
    INCHES.

    AT BANGOR...A TOTAL OF 12 INCHES OF SNOW HAS BEEN OBSERVED SO FAR
    THIS NOVEMBER...WHICH IS 11.9 INCHES ABOVE NORMAL. IT IS ALSO BY
    FAR THE SNOWIEST START TO THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER ON RECORD. PRIOR
    TO THIS NOVEMBER...1968 HAD THE SNOWIEST START TO THE MONTH OF
    NOVEMBER WITH 4.7 INCHES OF SNOW DURING THE FIRST 8 DAYS OF THE
    MONTH. THE ALL-TIME SNOWIEST NOVEMBER AT BANGOR WAS IN 1962 WHEN
    THERE WAS A TOTAL OF 24.6 INCHES OF SNOW. BY COMPARISON...THE
    AVERAGE SNOWFALL FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF NOVEMBER AT BANGOR IS
    ONLY 2.3 INCHES.
    CB

    There has been less snow in New Hampshire and Vermont, but it's been plenty cold for snow-making. The five areas open Sunday were Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Killington, Bretton Woods and here at Wildcat Mountain.

    With 2,000 feet top to bottom, Wildcat may have the most vertical in the entire nation.

    Photo credit: Wildcat Mountain

    Photo credit: Wildcat Mountain

    Only Killington and Sunday River are open for the season right now. Others are day-to-day for a while. That's good, because the big ski party is coming to Boston this week. We all have to meet and greet and stock up on the latest gear. Are you coming? If so, stop by and say hello at the Ski The East booth at the 32nd annual Boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo Thursday evening at The World Trade Center.

    Our current weather map features the much-talked-about powerful upper low from 90 degrees north latitude that has meandered to southern Ontario, bringing with it some of the coldest air on earth right now. But for how close that system is to New England, we are very warm (it's all relative). Temperatures are running five to 10 degrees above the climatological north for Nov. 10-12.

    Obviously, it is a very tight gradient between the warm and the cold. That means we have a tremendous Jet Stream, the wind high in the sky is moving 100 mph and faster. The shape of the upper low is such that systems race by with the most minor perturbations able to generate heavy bursts of snow. The main action the first part of the week focuses from western Canada, down the Rockies to Texas, then lifting through the Great Lakes into eastern Canada.

    The magnitude of cold and snow is such that we will hear of records for early snow and cold from several states and much of Canada this week.

    New England gets into this next batch of 'pre-winter' winter storminess, beginning Friday. Due to the fast flow and high sensitivity of each short wave coming around the long wave powerhouse upper low from 90 degrees north latitude, we are not able to deliver a high-confidence forecast beyond a day or two. The stakes are high - snow will come with the cold by Friday, but it is difficult to say where and how much. This cold outbreak may rival the most early expansive winter as we have seen in decades (thinking 1976). It appears the heart of this cold outbreak for New England is Nov. 15-25. But if I had to lay odds, my guess is most New England snow plow operators will be put to work before Thanksgiving, when we may be playing ice hockey on the bogs near Cape Cod.

    Either that or I may be a big turkey.

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